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.