A silk road connected Europe and Chinese civilizations thousands of years ago, and it reshaped much of the world's commerce and culture. In 2013, the president of China, Xi Jinping, proposed using his nation's financial power, industrial capacity, and diplomatic leverage to create a modern-day version of the ancient road. With freight trains trundling along thousands of kilometers of railway linking Chongqing in the East to the Dutch border, in the West, the effects of such a pathway are already being seen. At sea China is building new, modern ports and harbours in Malaysia, Pakistan and Greece. New pipeline snake through Kazakhstan and Myanmar. The effects of the One Belt, One Road initiative are being felt in countries as far away as Indonesia and Bulgaria, and from the beginning, Chinese authorities have said the initiative will ultimately cover sixty-five countries with a combined population of 4.4 billion people.
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