China, under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), has shown willingness to build a railway system that would connect Pakistan to western China. The $58 billion railway system would be China’s most expensive BRI project to date, spanning 1,860 miles from Pakistan’s port of Gwadar to the Chinese city of Kashgar in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region. The 3,000 km railway will link China’s western regions with the Arabian Sea, bypassing the Strait of Malacca and reducing dependence on the South China Sea.
Despite the hefty price tag, a feasibility study conducted by the state-owned China Railway First Survey and Design Institute Group Co Ltd has determined that the investment is worth it, given the potential to reshape trade and geopolitics across the Eurasian continent.
The Chinese team of analysts emphasized the strategic significance of the project, urging the government and financial institutions to provide strong support, increase coordination and collaboration among relevant domestic departments, and strive for the injection of support funds. They also called for strong policy support and guarantees for the construction of the railway, which is expected to solidify China’s position as a world superpower and encourage global domination in the trade sector.