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China plans new Silk Route across Ukraine

December 09, 2013, 13:03 UTC+3

Ukraine allocates to China part of its territory in Crimea to set up the so-called Crimean economic development zone

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MOSCOW, December 09. /ITAR-TASS World Service/. Ukraine allocates to China part of its territory in Crimea to set up the so-called Crimean economic development zone, which Beijing has included into its Silk Route Belt super project, Nezavisimaya Gazeta writes. The Chinese expansion into Ukraine may change the position of forces during the discussion of the Russian-Ukrainian economic projects.

The Chinese plan to build in the Crimea a new airport, shipyards, a refinery, a terminal for liquefied natural gas, training centers, beaches and leisure zones. Until recently, China has not declared the Crimea a part of its Silk Route, which as yet is aside of Russia. Investments in the project will make seven billion dollars. The term of implementation will be under two years, China’s Renmin Ribao (People's Daily) newspaper writes.

Several days earlier, China and Ukraine signed a memorandum on construction of a deep-water port in the Crimea. The construction will be financed fully by Chinese investors.

“Construction of a deep-water port in the Crimea will shorten China’s trade route to Europe by about 6,000 kilometers. China may ship the cargo to Europe via the Suez Canal or by the Mediterranean Sea, avoiding the Strait of Gibraltar. The new port will be surrounded by an industrial zone occupying 300,000 square meters.”

Late past week, Ukraine’s President Viktor Yanukovich during his visit to China confirmed to Premier Wen Li Keqiang his interest in improvement of the strategic relations with China.

While commenting on the situation, deputy head of the institute for the CIS countries Vladimir Zharikhin says Ukraine depends much more now not on China, but on Russia and the European Union, between which the country has been trying to make the painful choice. “Ukraine is connected with Russia by huge financial and trade flows — those are by ten or even hundred times more than investments China will be making in the country,” the expert said. “China is concerned about diversification of its transport and other systems. And it would not cooperate with Russia only.”

It seems as yet Russia is unable to play fully the role of a transport corridor between Europe and China, though only recently it claimed to be the one, Nezavisimaya Gazeta writes.

Itar-Tass is not responsible for the material quoted in these press reviews

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