BEIJING: Chinese officials have been asked to carry out research to identify a location for railway connectivity between Pakistan and China, a press report said, adding that people were enthusiastic on plans to build a train link to connect Kashgar in Xinjiang with Gwadar.

“We’ve already been asked to carry out research into the location of a station in Kashgar for the China-Pakistan railway, but a detailed plan and timetable have yet to be drafted,” Wang Yongzhi, the deputy commissioner of Kashgar prefecture, was quoted as saying by an English-language newspaper.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif announced in June that Pakistan would like to build new road and rail links to Kashgar and establish a Sino-Pakistan economic corridor.

If an overland link were to be established, Gwadar Port would become the starting point for deliveries of oil and natural gas to Xinjiang, China Daily reported.

Mr Wang said that China’s long experience of carrying out construction work on plateaus could prove invaluable if the decision is made to build a railway across the Pamir Plateau.

Yuan Jianmin, director of Xinjiang Logistic Association, said most freight from Pakistan was transported to China via sea route, a journey of more than a month, whereas a railway link would allow goods to be transported from Pakistan to cities around China in 10 days.—APP