China to rebuild ancient Silk Road [Infographic]
President Xi Jinping's $1 trillion plan -- known as One Belt, One Road -- will see two trade routes to Europe.
The plan will bind China's economy to 60 countries, home to 4.4 billion people, half of the worlds population.
The iconic Silk Road was a network of trade routes during the Chinese Han Dynasty (206BC–220AD), from Xian in the east to the Mediterranean in the west, linking China with the Roman Empire. The Silk Road ceased to be a shipping route around 1453 with the rise of the Ottoman Empire.
As China’s domestic market slows down, President Xi hopes "One Belt; One Road" will boost cross-border trade by $2.5 trillion within a decade.
To penetrate the affluent European market, Beijing is investing $400 million to upgrade of the Greek port of Piraeus. Beijing has already started building a 10,000-kilometre cargo rail route between the Chinese city of Yiwu and Spain’s capital, Madrid.
China is also building a $46 billion economic corridor through Pakistan, to establish a trade route connecting Gwadar, a port on the Arabian Sea, to north-west China.