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I believe the quote, spoken to Marco Polo, in response to Polo's lenghthy description of an impressive bridge of great strength was meant to point out that the greatest creations of man ultimatly rely upon a single supportive entity.
Polo's response was that it is not a stone but rather the arch built of stones that supports the bridge, to which Kahn replies "why do you speak of stones, it is only the arch that matters to me"
Kahn's questions speak to his undersanding and insight of what crucial element (like the keystone of an arch) holds the strenth of the grandest of creations, be it a bridge or even an empire.
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