World Bulletin / News Desk
A Chinese firm announced that is it preparing to spend up to $150 billion on a huge high-speed rail project which will link China's autonomous province of East Turkestan (Xinjiang) to Turkey across Central Asia.
CSR chairman Zhao Shiaoyang said that the 6,000 kilometer-long train line will cut across Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Iran all the way to Turkey, the China Daily newspaper reported.
Saying that most of the line will be open to service by 2020, the CSR chief said it would be complete by 2030, calling the project the 'New Silk Road'.
The line will enable commuters to travel up to 200 kilometers an hour across the Asian continent, while freight trains will have a speed to 160 kilometers an hour.
While experts noted that finansors in Pekin would be very generous in supporting the project, they also noted that geo-political compromise would need to be achieved between central Asian states in order for the project to become a reality.
Currently China exports around $4 trillion of goods annually, half of which is imported by Europe, the Middle-East and central Asia. However, the trade is largely dependent on sea routes.
However, China has been involved in a dispute with neighboring countries Japan, Philippines and Vietnam over territorial waters in the Pacific, as increased co-operation between the far-eastern US allies threatens China's sea borders.
This has consquently added importance to the central Asian rail project, which is likely to join with Turkey's own national high-speed train project which will reduce traveling time between the capital Ankara and biggest city Istanbul to just 3.5 hours.
The Ankara-Istanbul line is due to open on July 11 after two delays and technical problems during testing.
Kazakh president Nazarbaev tells Turkish cpunterpart that both Russia and Turkey must 'demonstrate a responsible attitude' to preserve relations
Japan has said that its Antarctic whaling fleet will sail on 1 December, despite a UN legal decision that its "research ships" are actually commercial hunts.
The head of the immunization programme in Pakistan has been killed with militants claiming that it is a covert effort to sterilize Musims.
Suu Kyi has requested "national reconciliation" discussions with the president and army chief to smooth the transition from the military to her ruling party
Environment minister says target reached before deadline, but extra 30 to 50 percent cut needed for significant improvement
A suicide attack targeting a senior Afghan election commission official has killed one guard and injured several others in capital Kabul Saturday. Hawliya Rodwal, Kabul provincial director of the commission, escaped the blast unhurt.
The military has confirmed that an Indonesian ‘expert bomb-maker’ was found among 8 fighters killed in firefight earlier this week
Weapons makers bid to supply new submarines to Australia, after Japan lifts ban that prohibited weapons sales in line with post-WWII pacifistic constitution
Week of Peace events in troubled Philippines south aim to bring different religious communities together, heal rifts of recent years
Police say muezzin has been killed and three worshippers wounded in the shooting, a rare attack on minority Shiite Muslims
Beijing Environmental Protection Bureau says pollutants emitted by vehicles in city will be cut by as much as 30 percent by 2022
Provoking anger and amusement, Taiwanese flag appeared alongside in ISIL propaganda video released listed Taiwan as one of Washington's 'close counterterrorism partners' in Asia-Pacific
China calls for peace and stability after Japan, US agree to continue drills in disputed sea
Minister says violence not the answer as police hunt continues for ISIL militants in mountains of Indonesia's north
Haroon Bhatti, founding member of outlawed Lashkar-e-Jhangvi group, was arrested in Dubai last month and brought back to Pakistan
Muslims in Myanmar have been banned from printing their own calendars, with senior Buddhist monks imploring for stricter sentencing on the publisher and his associates.