This book offers the prequel to China's successful implementation of its New Silk Road, the so-called Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The preconditions for the establishment of especially the land route between China and Western Europe have been set decades ago in Central Asia. In the political, security, and economic realms, China had to find arrangements with Russia as well as the Central Asian states. Border disputes had to be resolved, a security architecture and political cooperation was lacking. The key to BRI's success today lies in China's successful diplomacy of the 1990s and 2000s. This book tells the exciting story behind the largest geopolitical infrastructure project of our time.
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