Modern Silk Road Inspires Hope

2017-04-21 15:03:01 , Source : The Government Website of Shaanxi Province

The Silk Road Style Street, photo taken on 2013 World Tourism Day

Chinese poet Li Bai in Tang Dynasty (618-907) once depicted the booming and spectacular Tang West Market in his poem 1200 years ago. The East Market for domestic trade and the West Market for international trade were the largest business institutions in the capital city Chang’an (Xi’an, in the present day) in Tang Dynasty. In addition to businessmen who came afar along the ancient Silk Road to Chang’an City, there were also monks, scholars and explorers and they jointly created the Silk Road Spirit of openness and inclusiveness.

With the change of the times, the ancient Silk Road has been on the decline and the Tang West Market has long fallen into oblivion. “The Belt and Road Initiative” has restored the past glory of the Tang West Market.

“The ancient Silk Road was a business road of fortune, bringing silk, tea and china to Persia, Rome and other regions. In return, pepper, carrots and Qiang flute entered into common families in China.” explained by Zhang Rongli, the guide of Tang West Market Museum. Visitors from all over the world come afar to visit the Museum and some were quite interested in the ancient Silk Road. “In the past, many people rode camels along the Silk Road to come to Xi’an. I’m quite interested in Chinese history and culture, so I’ve visited the Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses, the Great Wild Goose Pagoda and the Bell Tower.” said a visitor from Turkey.

On the Silk Road Style Street beside the Tang West Market Museum, there is an India style restaurant run by Carter, a Chinese culture enthusiast from India. This stylish restaurant wins enormous popularity among guests. The most popular food here includes grilled chicken cooked with Indian spices and India style yogurt.

The Belt and Road Initiative inspires people like Carter to seek business opportunities in China. Carter said: “in 2013, I learned online that the Silk Road Style Street was under construction. So I’m here to run a restaurant”.

Before coming to Xi’an, Carter visited lots of places in China and convinced that Xi’an, the starting point of the ancient Silk Road, was the ideal location for him to run a China-India Theme Restaurant. In the future, he plans to open more restaurants to introduce India culture.

Nowadays, more and more people from countries along the Silk Road come to China to work, study or settle down. A PhD candidate at Xi’an Jiaotong University from Iran said that he was full of hope and expectation of “the Belt and Road”. He said: “in ancient times, Persian Empire was the major participant and consumer along the Silk Road; the present day Iran has maintained a sound business relationship with China. In my opinion, ‘the Belt and Road’ not only brings trade and fortune to the developing countries, but also inspires hope.”

“The Belt and Road” has brought significant changes to people’s life. Sophia, a teacher from Kazakhstan at School of Law, Xi’an Jiaotong University said: “I’m a bridge linking China and Kazakhstan together.”

In 2004, Sophia came to Xi’an upon the completion of her PhD thesis entitled Tariff Law on the Silk Road. The trip to Xi’an made her the winner of both love and marriage. After her marriage to a man from Shaanxi, she gave up the job opportunity to be a university professor in Kazakhstan and settled down in Xi’an with her husband.

Now Sophia works as a lawyer, a teacher and a consultant, which are all closely related to the Silk Road. 10 years ago, the research undertaken by Sophia into tariff law of the countries along the Silk Road was showing little signs success in other people’s eyes. It was not until September 2013 when Chinese national leaders visited Kazakhstan and raised the initiative to jointly build “the Silk Road Economic Belt” that Sophia’s life has completely changed.

Sophia is not only familiar with national conditions of both countries and shows unique insights into the trade, laws and policies between the two countries, but also has an in-depth understanding of the necessity of building “the Silk Road Economic Belt”. At present, she is frequently invited by Chinese enterprises to give advice on how to enter Central Asia market.