Xi Jinpings first international public brainstorming of belt road was ... Kazakhstan
our (valuetrue.com) interpretation :
Belt was conceived to respond to the 2 biggest livelihood challenges of Jinping's 10 year leadership role
Belt was launched in year 2 of Xi's presidency : 2013 as Jinping spoke at neighbouring landlocked countries - why not collaborate in developing a 21st C silk road which had once linked Asia and Europe in the most valuable trading pathways the world up to 1500 had ever known
afghanistan - the us ambassador is quoted may 2017:
“China has not just the resources now, which is key, but also the vision and desire and strategy to push its engagement outside its borders,” Afghan Ambassador Janan Mosazai told the AP.
A rail cargo link between China and Central Asia across the northern Afghan province of Balkh opened in August and the country is discussing possible Chinese investment in rail, hydropower and fiber-optic networks.