The New Silk Road Economic Belt, among other newly launched foreign policy initiatives, illustrates that China is broadening its strategic aperture and making more efforts to “look westwards” and “march westwards,” which are crucial as China consolidates its status as the world’s largest developing country and promotes South-South cooperation. To better understand Beijing’s interest in reviving the Silk Road and it westward march, one needs to pay closer attention to the ongoing overhaul of China’s periphery diplomacy. Expansion of its influence to the west is a strategic necessity for China’s involvement in great power dynamics, the improvement of its international environment, and the strengthening of its development resilience. China faces a number of daunting challenges in implementing this grand strategy. These challenges include seeking support from regional powers who are suspicious of China’s strategic intentions and addressing China’s own knowledge and capacity deficits in dealing with the governmental and nongovernmental actors in the Central Asia, South Asia, and Middle East regions.

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