The Russia-Ukraine War has revived the search for different corridors due to the blockage of the Northern Corridor and sanctions. One of the reflections of this situation is that China, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan have refocused on the railway project, which has been on the agenda since the 1990s, but has not progressed.
As it will be remembered, a cooperation agreement was signed on this issue at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Samarkand Summit. In fact, Kyrgyz President Mr. Sadyr Japarov stated that Chinese experts are conducting research in the Naryn and Jalal Abad regions and said, “The project has been discussed since the first years of our independence. However, it could not be completed due to the conflict of political interests.” The project, which is envisaged to connect Kyrgyzstan’s Torugart-Arpa-Makmal-Jalalabad line, has opened the door for the parties to develop technical and economic cooperation. The corridor, where the parties split the costs, offers these countries the opportunity to open up to Western Asia, the Middle East and Europe.
It can be said that the railway on this route, which is claimed by Chinese President Xi Jinping to reveal the transportation potential of Central Asia, will increase the export potential of countries, reduce transportation costs and deepen regional integration. Thus, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan will become a bridge that provides the connection between Europe and Asia.
Essentially, this project, which will bring China to Europe quickly through Central Asia, will also ensure the creation of the safest route at the Caspian-based transportation point. Therefore, as stated by the President of Uzbekistan, Mr. Shavkat Mirziyoyev, global challenges and new challenges make alternative transport corridors essential. In this context, it is very important that Mr. Japarov stated that the railway will be completed in 3-4 years on the occasion of joint work. Moreover, Mr. Caporov noted that this project will serve to deepen economic, cultural and humanitarian cooperation
As is known, the implementation of transport and logistics projects helps to strengthen regional ties, as well as economic interests. Both the governments of Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan are keen on the construction of the railway.
The implementation of the project is also very important for China. China will diversify its connections with the outside world. It is also because of this that the Beijing administration has not given up on the project for many years.
To summarize briefly, Central Asia, which is one of the most important geographical regions of the world, is located in a very important geography in terms of global transport corridors. In this sense, the Middle Corridor is important in the connectivity of Central Asia-the Caspian Sea-the Caucasus-Europe. Kyrgyzstan, on the other hand, is the missing part of the corridor because there is no railway. This project, serves to diversify the transportation routes of the regional states and to achieve a safe and low-cost route.
On the other hand, on the occasion of this railway, which serves to deepen cooperation based in Central Asia, the competitive processes in the heart of Eurasia will be pushed to the background and cooperation will be brought forward. This, in turn, will complicate foreign interventions in the region and thus contribute to regional security.
Consequently, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan, on the occasion of this project, want to both open up to the West and turn the process into an advantage in terms of socio-economic development goals, while China wants to diversify its transport corridors. The China-Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan Railway Project stands out as an extremely important initiative in this regard. It is possible to say that the completion of the railway will also strengthen the Middle Corridor.
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