Xi’s Silk Road

In cooperation with leaders of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), President Xi Jinping proposed the establishment of a new Silk Road that would encompass free trade throughout Central Asia. The SCO is an official grouping that includes China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan, with Afghanistan, India, Iran, Mongolia and Pakistan as observer states; Belarus, Sri Lanka and Turkey as dialogue partners; and ASEAN, the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and Turkmenistan as guests.

 

Xi is looking to both find new markets and leverage some economic clout over the region’s vast oil and gas reserves, as well as minimize the potential for conflict that could spill over into China’s Xinjiang Autonomous Region by raising local incomes and wealth throughout the region.