Shanghai meet shows China's expansive goals in Central Asia

At this remote crossing point along China's border with Kazakhstan, mountains rise behind cranes shifting cargo containers from Chinese trains to cars on narrower track used in the states of the former Soviet Union.

It's all part of a day's work at the bustling Khorgos Gateway, one that CEO Zhaslan Khamzin attributes to fortunate geography, divine intervention and Chinese President Xi Jinping's desire to spread China's economic influence westward.

"It's God's will that we were located here, and that's why Kazakhstan is trying to develop its potential, using this opportune location to develop," Khamzin told The Associated Press in the landlocked Central Asian...