Iran Is at the Center of China's Global Ambitions

(New York Times) Thomas Erdbrink - Iran is strategically at the center of China's "One Belt, One Road" project across Asia. In eastern Iran, Chinese workers are busily modernizing a major rail route, with the ultimate goal of connecting Tehran to Turkmenistan and Afghanistan. Much the same is happening in western Iran, where railroad crews are working to link the capital to Turkey and, eventually, to Europe. Other routes to Western markets are longer and lead through Russia, potentially a competitor of China. In a 2016 test, China and Iran drove a train from Shanghai to Tehran in 12 days, a journey that takes 30 days by sea. China is already Iran's biggest trading partner and is an important market for Iranian oil. Chinese state companies are active all over the country, building highways, digging mines and making steel. Tehran's shops are flooded with Chinese products and its streets clogged with Chinese cars.

2017-07-25 00:00:00

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