The VHL along with the China International Cultural Communication Center is set to launch the Silk Road Cup in the 2018-19 season. The full name of the competition will be the Silk Road Cup Super Hockey League or SHL for short.
The aim of the competition is to promote the sport of hockey in China, with Beijing set to host the 2022 Winter Olympics. It is also thought to be part of a Chinese Govt. strategy to establish trade routes along the historical “Silk Road”.
The competition is set to feature teams from Russia, China, and Kazakhstan. The plan is to also invite teams from Japan, South Korea, and Europe. There may also have been mentions of North Korea. Although it will be later in the 2017-18 season before any of the participating teams are confirmed.
The SHL is set to be a classic league based on the VHL. It’s still unknown if the SHL and the VHL will co-exist or if the SHL will replace the VHL. The feeling is that the long-term goal is to create a Pan-Asian league.
The short term plans for the Chinese Ice Hockey Association is to have three new teams set up by the end of the year. Two teams have already been set up, Kunlun Red Star Heilongjiang and Qien Tou, with a third team based in Xinjiang, expected to be set up by the end of the year. The long-term goal of the CIHA is to have 8-10 Chinese teams, based in Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, and Guangzhōu by 2022.
Major Source (Russian): International Hockey League to be created based on the VHL
Minor Source (English): Silk Road Hockey League Launched