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China's Xinjiang Boss Signs $2 Billion In Deals In Kazakhstan

China and Kazakhstan have signed $2 billion in deals during a trip by the Communist Party chief of China's far western Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, Chinese media report.

The restive Xinjiang -- which is strategically located on the borders of Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, and Tajikistan -- is a key part of what Beijing officially refers to as its "one belt, one road" strategy to develop trade and transport links across Asia and beyond.

During his visit from May 1-4, Xinjiang's party chief and top official Zhang Chunxian said Xinjiang and Kazakhstan would both benefit from the establishment of a new Silk Road.

Zhang oversaw the signing of five energy, agricultural, and industrial projects worth more than $2 billion, Chinese media reported on May 5.

There are three Kazakh autonomous prefectures within Xinjiang, where at least 1.5 million ethnic Kazakhs, 250,000 Kyrgyz, and some 200,000 Tajiks live.

Based on reporting by Xinhua, Reuters, and Xinjiang Ribao