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The introduction to the Special Issue explores the relevance of the concept of West Asia for understanding connections between East Asia, Eurasia, and the Middle East. It seeks to go beyond the tendency in much scholarly work concerning regional connectivity in Asia to fixate on various permutations of the "Silk Road" or East–West ties more generally. We bring attention, rather, to the simultaneous significance of dense North–South connections that enable the interpenetration of varying parts of Asia and argue that West Asia is analytically helpful in bringing definition to such ties.