China is increasingly hedging against weakness in developed economies by weaving a web of business relationships with Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America, economists said. This network of trade and investment is called "the new silk
road" by economists. China's exports to emerging economies jumped from 2% of gross domestic product in 1985 to 9.5% in 2008. Iran is investing in a revival of the silk road to break a U.S.-led effort to isolate its economy.