Duty-Free Area in Horgos

The Relics of Empire: Resource Extraction and the Making of Modern Xinjiang

Duty-Free Area in Horgos

Chinese purchasers who have stocked up on Kazakh products wait outside of the official duty-free shop in Horgos, China. This town has been an important border post connecting Xinjiang to the Soviet Union since the 1930s and still serves as a connection point between China and Kazakhstan. Today, the border-crossing point is a development priority under President Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road Initiative, and the central Chinese government has provided various tax breaks for businesses as well as creating a “free trade zone.” The site is also an official “dry port” used for transshipping commodities from China to Eurasia, and on to Europe.