The Silk Road once served as the vital artery of the ancient world, connecting China to societies across Eurasia and providing immense wealth and prestige.
Now an ascendant China is attempting to restore its place at the centre of global trade through one of the most ambitious projects of modern times.
This `New Silk Road' will use rail lines, highways, pipelines and shipping routes across China, Russia, the Middle East and Central Asia, unifying a region that has been contested for millennia. Having travelled the length and breadth of the future `Road', from its planned starting point in Xi'an, China, to its outer reaches in Western Europe, Wade Shepard provides an absorbing account of China's efforts to make the New Silk Road a reality.
He reveals its implications for the world as a whole, and argues that the Road represents the focal point of China's plans for an alternative economic order, which it hopes will rival or even surpass that of the West. On the New Silk Road is the essential account of a crucial turning point in the history of Asia, and of the world.