The Silk Road first emerged more than 2,100 years ago during the Han Dynasty after China's envoy Zhang Qian (164-114 BC) twice visited Central Asia. It became a bridge between East and West, opening the door to friendly engagement between China and Central Asia. For two millennia, countless tales of everlasting friendship between peoples have been woven into this ancient network.
In 2013, China proposed building a Silk Road Economic Belt to expand Eurasian economic cooperation. An innovative cooperative approach was outlined, starting with individual projects that are expected to help spur larger-scale regional cooperative development. The proposed economic belt is considered the longest economic corridor in the world – and potentially the most dynamic – connecting the Asia-Pacific region in the east with developed European economies in the west.
Aerial photo taken on July 5, 2018 shows the Lianyungang-Horgos expressway along the Sayram Lake, northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. As an important link of the Silk Road Economic Belt, Xinjiang is speeding up the development of transportation and logistics to connect east and west. By the end of 2017, the total length of roadin Xinjiang reached 186,000 km, with 4,578 km of expressways. (Xinhua/Zhao Ge)
Aerial photo taken on Aug. 2, 2018 shows a roadin Zhaosu County, northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. As an important link of the Silk Road Economic Belt, Xinjiang is speeding up the development of transportation and logistics to connect east and west. By the end of 2017, the total length of roadin Xinjiang reached 186,000 km, with 4,578 km of expressways. (Xinhua/Hu Huhu)
-- Countries along the Silk Road Economic Belt
Countries in Central Asia such as Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan are just across the border from China. They are closely connected with China's economy.
Middle-eastern countries such as Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Syria, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey mainly trade oil and gas. They look forward to developing other industries and agriculture through cooperation with China.
Other countries on the boundary between Europe and Central Asia such as Azerbaijan, Georgia, Armenia, Ukraine, Belarus, and Moldova are expected to achieve economic integration.
Russia is an important part of the Silk Road Economic Belt. It has a close relationship with Central Asian countries, the countries of the Caucasus region, and Western Asian countries.
-- Six major economic corridors under Belt and Road Initiative
The six major economic corridors usually refer to the New Eurasian Land Bridge, the China-Mongolia-Russia Economic Corridor (CMREC), the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), the China-Central and Western Asia Economic Corridor, the China-Indochina Peninsula Economic Corridor, the Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar Economic Corridor (BCIMEC).