President of Kazakhstan, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, announced at the recent Eurasian Economic Forum that China Railways and the Kazakhstan’s Kazakh Temir Zholy (KTZ) are developing new rail links between the two countries.
“It is extremely important to build effective cooperation with the key political and economic partner of the union – the People’s Republic of China. China is both the largest shipper and the largest client”— President of Kazakhstan, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev
In March, both sides agreed on the construction of a terminal on the territory of the dry port in Xi’an. This port already receives 40% of Kazakh imports, according to the press service of KTZ, as well as an upgrade of tracks on the railroads of Bakhty-Ayagoz and Dostyk-Moiynty with the possible construction of an additional Kazakh terminal in Urumqi.
The move to build closer rail links comes as Kazakhstan has sold a second large batch, of more than 30 tonnes, of uranium to China’s National Atomic Corporation.
However, as highlighted in our recent analysis of Kazakhstan’s role in Central Asia, the government has also sold a 49% stake in the country’s second-largest uranium deposit to subsidiaries of Russia’s Rosatom.
Read more on the “Great Game” for Kazakhstan’s resources: