A New Railway Project for China, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan

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On March 1st, Akylbek Japarov Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers of the Kyrgyz Republic, Abdulla Aripov Prime Minister of Uzbekistan and Ma Xingrui Communist Party Secretary of China’s western Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, met in Kashgar (Xinjiang) to discuss the construction of the China-Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan railway.

Japarov first praised the incentive for its potential to strengthen the development of trade and economic cooperation between the three countries and reported that a jointly funded feasibility study of the project had already been developed and approved.

Uzbekistan’s Prime Minister Aripov expressed his country’s interest in developing multimodal transport routes to support the joint construction of the China-Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan railway.

Addressing the insufficient throughput capacity of the Irkeshtam checkpoint on the Kyrgyz-Chinese border, Japarov stated, “increasing the volume of cargo throughput at the Irkeshtam checkpoint is an issue relevant to both the Kyrgyz and Chinese sides, as well as the Uzbek side. It is therefore important that all checkpoints are modernized and equipped with updated means of customs control.”
He then reported that new customs inspection complexes at the Irkeshtam and Torugart checkpoints to be installed this year, will allow up to 125 vehicles per hour to cross the border, and added that the Kyrgyz side aims to increase the throughput capacity of these checkpoints to 1,000 vehicles per day.

In the interest of developing trade and economic ties, the Secretary of Xinjiang’s Party Committee welcomed the Kyrgyz Prime Minister’s proposals and supported his stance that Xinjiang is perceived as a gateway to China from Kyrgyzstan and in turn, several other Central Asian countries.