It was no coincidence when China’s head of state and party leader Xi Jinping announced the plans for his ambitious Belt and Road project during a state visit to Kazakhstan in 2013. The world’s ninth-largest country is a vital neighbor of China in the west. The largest and most prosperous economy in Central Asia is rich in natural resources such as oil and gas, zinc, uranium, and titanium. And Kazakhstan was the country in Central Asia that emerged most stable, prosperous, and independent from the collapse of the Soviet Union.
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