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For China, ‘Iran is at the Center of Everything’

July 26, 2017
Plain English Version

A modern "Silk Road" stretching across Asia.

The idea of ‘America First’ does not impress the world. It is giving other countries the chance to fill the gap left by President Trump’s bombast. For example, Trump is tearing up trade agreements. The rest of the world is making them. The infrastructure of the U.S. is falling apart. Other countries around the world are building high-speed rail lines.

The best example of growth around the world is what China and Iran are doing. China has its “One Belt, One Road” project. It will spend more than $1 trillion to build bridges, rails, ports, and energy. They will create trade routes through sixty countries in Europe, Asia, and Africa.

Iran is a crossroads at the center of those places.

Critics say the U.S. has wasted trillions on wars. The high cost of the U.S. military continues. The military may protect our nation from attack by an enemy. But it is not having an impact on the world economy. Many think that cyber warfare is the future. Some wonder why we are building a twenty billion dollar aircraft carrier.

The rest of the world is moving forward on growth. Soon Tehran will connect to Afghanistan. In western Iran, Tehran will soon send goods to Turkey.

Iran is a big part of China’s ambitions. Of course, China could get too strong in the future. For now, business interests rule. There are new political bonds between the countries.

A professor in Tehran said there are no problems among the countries in the new programs. He said, “Together, we are moving ahead.”

When finished, the rail link of the “One Belt, One Road” project will stretch about 2,000 miles. It will go from Urumqi, the capital of China’s western region, to Tehran. The link will connect Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan.

China became important to Iran in the last ten years. Western sanctions on Iran gave China a big chance to expand its relationship with the country. Today, China is the biggest buyer of Iranian crude oil.

Chinese state companies are active all over Iran. They build highways, dig mines and make steel. Tehran’s shops are full of Chinese products. Chinese cars clog the streets.

An Iranian expert said huge developments are taking place around the country. It is happening under the umbrella of the Chinese investments.

Source: The New York Times July 25, 2017

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