"One Belt, One Road" includes a number of hugely ambitious projects, including a train line stretching from eastern China to London.
What are the economic benefits?
As its runaway economic growth has slowed in recent years, China has suffered from widespread overcapacity in heavy industries such as steel, cement and aluminum.
Ways of dealing with declining domestic demand include cutting jobs -- more than 1.2 million in 2016 and 2017 -- and expanding demand overseas.
"China is looking to use OBOR as a way to ship its own domestic overproduction offshore," said Nick Marro, an analyst with the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).
The project will also open new markets for Chinese goods, shoring up the country's economy against any potential slowdown in demand from Europe or the US, said Jin-Yong Cai, former head of the International Finance Corporation.
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