by Sue Anne Tay
Promoting Chinese language and culture through Confucius Institutes
[Top] Tashkent, Uzbekistan: Chinese ambassador Zhang Xiao, poses with Uzbek student winners of the ”Chinese Bridge” (or han yu qiao) Chinese language proficiency competition.
[Bottom] Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan: A Kyrgyz graduate student works on Kyrgyz-Chinese translation in the Confucius Institute located in the Bishkek Humanities University.
China’s visibly growing trade and business presence in the region
[Top] Tashkent, Uzbekistan: Uzbek patrons stop by a promotion booth of a Xinjiang-based cotton-picking farm machinery company at an annual trade fair sponsored by the Xinjiang government as part of boosting Sino-Uzbek trade and business links.
[Middle] Osh, Kyrgyzstan: A money changer displays the currency rates of the day. The Chinese renminbi is a common business currency after the US dollar and Russianruble in Osh which is a major trade centre for the region.
[Bottom] Tashkent, Uzbekistan: Uzbek customers leave a Chinese restaurant, of which there are three in the city. This particular one is owned by a Tianjin businessman who specializes in northern cuisine.
Cross-border activity and cooperation with China
[Top] Southern Corridor, Kyrgyzstan: Signage outside the China Bridge and Road Corporation (CBRC) site office. CBRC is responsible for repaving and rehabilitating much of the country’s southern highway leading to the Irshketam border with Xinjiang, China.
[Middle] Irshketam border, Kyrgyzstan: A Uighur driver stands in front of his container truck. He takes a break after crossing into Kyrgyzstan at the Irshketam border with China. Chinese goods are often transported to major trade bazaars in Osh or Karasuu but also go directly to Uzbekistan’s markets.
[Bottom] Khorgos, Kazakhstan: New smooth roads lead to a new custom crossing in Khorgos which remains under construction on the Kazakh side, and is expected to speed up inspection process.