In reviewing the literature on the Belt and Road Initiative, attention is paid to the antecedents of China's Silk Road revival, the domestic driving forces, and the perennial search for energy security behind the policy initiated in 2013. After detailing and interpreting the Initiative's timeline, key aspects of the government's policy are analysed; its financial arrangements are noted; and the initial 64 countries covered by the Belt and Road identified. The signature Land Belt and the Sea Road components are analysed using an array of tools: economic corridors, blue economic passages, and economic circles. Reference is made to specific projects and the varied reactions stemming from other countries to the implications of China's policy implementation. Finally, an assessment of the Initiative's first five years is made before looking ahead to consider how it may dovetail with other government programs as Beijing addresses the next 45 years of its planned life.