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Russia wary of China's advance into Central Asia

The region offers rich natural resources but Beijing's commercial plans struggle to take off

Central Asia's oil and gas pipelines, main roads and railway lines are beginning to point towards China.

Shymkent, Kazakhstan

SLOWLY but surely, a four-lane highway is beginning to take shape on the sparsely populated Central Asian steppe. Soviet-era cars, trucks and ageing long-distance buses weave past modern yellow bulldozers, cranes and towering construction drills, labouring under