‘Whither the silk road?’ considers the silk road’s fate. It was traditionally believed that the silk road declined after 1500 with the arrival of European ships in the Indian Ocean. However, maritime traffic in the Indian Ocean had existed prior to this, and significant overland exchanges continued for centuries afterwards. Russian imperial expansion opened more trade with India and China, although the nomadic peoples declined in strength as animal power became less important and they were subjugated by agrarian states. Sino-Russian communist relations were a modern silk road transaction, transporting political and architectural forms. The silk road is still an idea drawn on today in business, entertainment and politics.