Chinese 5G giant to send equipment to Central Asia by rail
ZTE, the second-largest 5G infrastructure provider after Huawei in China, has dispatched its first batch of containers from Xi’an to Tashkent via rail. The shipment comprises 50 units with telecommunication products, including 5G mobile base stations, antennas, cables and line cards, with a total value exceeding 100 million yuan (13 million euros). ZTE’s forthcoming rail orders in Central Asia will solely rely on trains departing from Xi’an as their logistical solution.
The first ZTE Central Asia Express set off on 31 May, crossing the Khorgos border before entering Kazakhstan and ultimately arriving at Tashkent in Uzbekistan. The journey covers a distance of approximately 4,667 kilometres, with an estimated delivery time of 10 days.
The existing international freight trains departing from Xi’an can reach five Central Asian countries. ZTE’s partnership with Xi’an is seen as the latest development following the China-Central Asia countries meeting held in Xi’an.
Central Asia meeting
China hosted the first-ever China-Central Asia summit in Xi’an, nurturing the relationship between the countries on 18 and 19 May. The heads of five Central Asian countries – namely Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan – could not agree more. The BRI seems to be the paste glueing the neighbouring states closer together than ever.
The meeting by itself is a metaphor illustrating China’s growing prominence in the region compared with the Russian influence. However it is interpreted, the leaders of the region are on one page when it comes to creating better connectivity, with countries publishing their official statements and MoUs signed, one could expect few developments in the region, and railway infrastructure plays an important role in this.
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