The Western Europe-Western China Expressway To Connect The Yellow Sea With The Baltic
The WE-WC Expressway is a major part of the Western Europe-Western China Transport Corridor, which Kazkah president Nursultan Nazarbayev described in a 2012 speech as the “construction of the century.”
“That is the China, Kazakh, Russia road,” Illiyar, a Kazakh Uyghur in his early twenties, said as he pointed out the window of the bus.
I looked out but only saw five foot high piles of dirt as we rumbled along the old Soviet road towards the Chinese border in the far east of Kazakhstan.
The road that he was talking about was the emerging Western Europe-Western China (WE-WC) Expressway, which will soon stretch from the port of Lianyungang, on the Yellow Sea in China, to the port at St. Petersburg, on the Baltic Sea in Russia, 8,445 kilometers away.
The WE-WC Expressway is a major part of the Western Europe-Western China Transport Corridor, which Kazkah president Nursultan Nazarbayev described in a 2012 speech as the “construction of the century.” It is to be part of a new multimodal, high-speed nervous system, which will link together other highways, rail lines, and transport hubs as it ties together China, the CIS, Eastern Europe, South Asia, and the Middle East — essentially turning Kazakhstan into the logistical heart of Eurasia.
“Kazakhstan might perform the function of an important link, a transcontinental economic bridge, for interactions between European, Asia-Pacific and the South Asian economic regions,” Nazarbayev declared.
“Kazakhstan is coming from a landlocked country and is becoming the most linked-in country on the whole continent.” Karl Gheysen, the CEO of the Khorgos Gateway land port on the Kazakhstan/China border, said. “If you take Russia, the largest country; China, the largest economy; India, one of the largest populations, and you put these three together, right in the middle is Kazakhstan. It’s this place.”
The WE-WC Transport Corridor is also one of Kazakhstan’s major contributions to China’s Belt & Road initiative, which aims to increase infrastructural, economic, and political connectivity between more than 65 countries across Eurasia, covering half the population, 40 percent of the GDP, and 75 percent of the known energy resources in the world.