Can China turn the middle of nowhere into the center of the world economy?

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The Eurasian Pole of Inaccessibility is one of the most isolated points on earth. It is situated in china just east of the border of Kazakhstan and gets you a good distance from harbors and coastlines. At present, among some of the last surviving pastoral nomads in Central Asia, situated between two branches of the Tian Shan range on the edge of Kazakhstan, the ultimate infrastructure project in the world’s history is widening.

Approximately 80 miles from the Pole of Inaccessibility, just across the boarder of Kazakhstan, is a village known as Khorgos. The village not only just has a small community; it has also only been responsible indistinct perimeters of international affairs. However, in recent years, it has increasingly played an important role towards the global economic growth. It is played a part in an initiative known informally as the new Silk Road, a China-led effort to establish an extensive cephalopodic network of highways, railroads and international shipping routes, promoted by hundreds of new plants, pipelines and company towns in multiple countries.

Khorgos is a key venture of this work in progress, a global shipping hub and free-trade zone that its advocates say is set to become the next Dubai. Due to its prominent location, at the junction of the world’s eventual largest national economy and landlocked country, Khorgos has turned into an unlikely harbinger of globalisation.

China’s plans are relatively more ambitious, and they reach far beyond eastern Kazakhstan. The “belt” of Belt Road Initiative (BRI) refers to the Silk Road Economic Belt, an entanglement of rail and highway routes now weaving across the continent from eastern China to Scandinavia. The “road” refers to the Maritime Silk Road, a shipping route that will conjoin Quanzhou to Venice, with prospective stops along the way in Malaysia, Ethiopia and Egypt. At present, at least 68 countries, representing close to two-thirds of the world’s entire population, have signed on to bilateral projects partly funded by China’s policy banks and other state-owned enterprises. The BRI is so enormous and multifarious that illustrating it can seem like attempting to describe the weather conditions of the entire planet.

China has never published any official map of Belt and Road routes nor any list of approved projects; and it did not furnish any precise numbers of participating nations or even guidelines on what it means to be a participant. However, this ambiguity may be one of the determining benefits. Rather than a list of megaprojects and bilateral deals, some of which might not materialise, BRI can be known as an indefinitely noticeable hand guiding all the interlocking establishments in infrastructure, energy and trade where China plays a part.

It is also a framework through which China’s leaders can showcase virtual any part of its foreign policy, from a soda-ash plant in Turkey to China’s first foreign military base in Djibouti, as part of a non-threating outlook of what party representatives deem as “win-win” global development.

Kazakhstan is believed to play a significant role in China’s objective. The BRI was first announced in Astana, at a 2013 ceremony attended by Xi and Kazakhstan’s longtime president, Nursultan A. Nazarbayev. During which, both parties also celebrated the launch of a joint gas pipeline and signed $30 billion worth of trade and investment agreements.

Source: NY Times 

Participate in the upcoming QS WORLDWIDE 2019 under the theme of “Journey to Global Prominence: Harmony of Human Heritage and Advanced Technology” from 19-20 September 2019 in Almaty, Kazakhstan