Economic zones in a global(ized?) economy

Authored by: Salvatore Babones

The Routledge Handbook of Transregional Studies

Print publication date:  November  2018
Online publication date:  November  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138718364
eBook ISBN: 9780429438233
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9780429438233-77

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Abstract

On 15 February 2016 the first regular train service connecting China and Iran arrived at Tehran railway station carrying 32 containers from China’s famous wholesale market city of Yiwu. Billed as a tangible manifestation of China’s ‘new silk road’ across Central Asia, the train crossed through Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan on its way from East Asia through Central Asia to the Middle East. Pundits heralded a new age in global transportation, the expansion of Chinese influence in the Persian Gulf, and the long-awaited integration of the Eurasian landmass. China’s new silk road would generate massive transregional connectivity that would transform the economies of the Middle East and Western Europe, make Central Asia the most important economic region in the world, and lead to endless growth in China itself.

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