China has become a major political and economic force in impoverished Cental Asian nations. Kazakhstan hopes that China will bring prosperity to its people while China seeks to acquire Kazakhstan’s natural resources.
From the BBC:
. . . Ibragim described the ambitious project that he, along with his colleagues, is trying to implement. The project will fill the empty steppe with shopping malls and business centres. It will allow a free flow of people and goods, and give a huge boost to the trade between China and the whole of Central Asia.
Kazakhstan hopes that the creation of the free economic zone with China will turn the country into a trade crossroad of global significance. Beijing, on the other hand, says the zone will allow China to expand even further into both Asian and European markets. [Full Text]
[Image: Chinese goods are increasingly being sold at Kazakh markets, from the BBC]