A map published by Xinhua shows the routes of China's two "silk roads."
China’s vision for a new “Silk Road economic belt,” as recently announced by Xinhua, is establishing regional integration around China as an attractive economic direction for Central Asian countries. With a series of strategic agreements between Chinese President Xi Jinping and leaders of central Asian countries inked over the last month, the vision for the land- and sea-based Silk Roads is fast becoming reality. As a key component of China’s diplomacy, Beijing is careful to ensure that its bilateral agreements with Central Asian leaders have multilateral implications. Not only are Central Asian states drawing closer to one another, but Beijing’s Silk Road strategy will ultimately link three continents, generating geopolitical reverberations around the world.