The Silk Road first emerged more than 2,100 years ago during the Han Dynasty (206 BC-AD 24) after China’s imperial envoy Zhang Qian 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 a speech at Kazakhstan’s Nazarbayev University on September 7, 2013, President Xi Jinping proposed building a new 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.