"New Image of Shaanxi" Shines along the "Belt and Road"

2017-09-12 16:35:09 , Source : The Government Website of Shaanxi Province

Chang’an is as well known in the East as Roman in the West.

Back to the Han Dynasty 2,000 years ago, the world renowned Silk Road, starting from Chang’an (present Xi’an) of Shaanxi, was established to bridge the communications of people and countries alongside it. 2,000 years later, China again joins hands with countries and regions across the globe to co-build “the Belt and Road”, pushing Shaanxi to the frontier of opening-up. Tourists from across the world come to visit this time-endured and fashionable land, enjoying world prestigious cultural relics including Emperor Qinshihuang’s Terracotta Warriors Museum and Famen Temple and appreciating natural sceneries like Qinling Mountains and Hukou Waterfalls of the Yellow River. Tourists may be convulsed by its magnificent Loess Plateau, indulged in the beautiful landscapes of southern Shaanxi, impressed by its abundant mineral resources and attracted by its strong scientific and educational strengths. The natural, cultural and historical resources together forge a shining image for Shaanxi tourism, welcoming guests from China and the other parts of the world.

Promoting cultural communications for learning from each other

The key to sound relations between states lies in the affinity between their people, which largely stems from mutual understanding. With openness and inclusion in mind, Chang’an welcomed merchants and tourists from all over the world, promoting greater prosperity in trade, culture and tourism. Today, the Silk Road spirit has gained revival and Shaanxi has been implementing the requirement of Chinese President Xi Jinping to build strong ties with Silk Road countries in infrastructure, transportation, energy, telecommunications and trade at a quickened pace. As the province actively integrates in the “Belt and Road” to promote cultural and artistic communications, the understanding between people from countries alongside the “B & R” deepens.

Responding to the “Belt and Road” initiative, Shaanxi has been erecting the sheer new Silk Road cultural brand from the fall of 2014, building a series of cultural communication platforms including the Silk Road International Arts Festival and Silk Road International Film Festival. During those events, various artistic performances, art exhibitions, cultural forums, poetry seminars and film plays were presented. On September 7, 2017, the 4th Silk Road International Arts Festival opened in Xi’an, while Shaanxi attracted artists from 106 countries and regions. The next day saw the launching of the 2nd Silk Road Business Summit & Silk Road Cultural Week. As the events have been gaining bigger scale and greater influence, they have become important platforms to promote the Silk Road spirit and cultural communications.

Besides promoting the Silk Road culture in its “home venue”, Shaanxi also steps out to introduce its local and Chinese traditional cultures to the world, facilitating the communications and integrations among different cultures. Over the past four years, Shaanxi has presented its traditional cultural performances, Guofeng Qinyun, in Germany, Italy and Turkey. Silk Road Rainbow, a large original acrobat play themed on From Chang’an to Rome won warm applauses from six countries of Europe. “An Open China - Shaanxi Engaging the World” global presentation was held in Beijing. Shaanxi elements including Terra-Cotta Warriors and Fengxiang clay figurines attracted numerous visitors in Expo 2017 Astana. Performances and activities, like many brooks, finally converge into a river run through the hearts of people alongside the “Belt and Road”.

Building tourism centers to promote win-win cooperation

“They covered all the accessible beautiful scenes. Where to go next? They walked into the tavern in laughter.” For many foreign tourists, after visiting metropolises like Beijing and Shanghai, Xi’an is the next must-visit destination. Carrying so much cultural connotations, Xi’an is welcoming an increasing number of tourists from the “Belt and Toad”. Guided by the Silk Road spirit of “peace, cooperation, open, inclusion, learning from each other and win-win based mutual benefits”, Shaanxi accelerates to open-up and develop all-for-one tourism, building itself into an international tourism center.

August was a golden month for Shaanxi tourism industry. Big events including Silk Road International Tourism Expo, All-for-One Tourism Promotion Conference and Shaanxi Tourism Development Conference pushed the Shaanxi tourism industry to stride forward. As the “Belt and Road” construction quickens and Shaanxi enjoys advantageous historical and cultural resources, the province is making itself a highland in the “Belt and Road”. In the 38th World Heritage Committee held in June 2015, the application for Silk Road project, which was co-launched by China, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, won approval. Seven cultural relics in Shaanxi including Weiyang Palace Relic, Daming Palace Relic, Dayan Pagoda, Xiaoyan Pagoda, Xingjiao Temple Tower, Tomb of Zhang Qian and Binxian Giant Buddha Temple were listed as world cultural relics. What is more, Xinghan New District in Hanzhong City with the total investment of RMB 200 billion Yuan is under rapid construction, Wanda Cultural Tourism City with the investment of RMB 66 billion Yuan has settled down in Xi’an and a series of Overseas Chinese Town projects have attracted investment totaling RMB 238 billion Yuan, injecting great vitality to the cultural tourism of Shaanxi. Capitals, talents and creations both home and abroad are contributing to the development of Shaanxi cultural tourism. Shaanxi, an ancient but fashionable inland province in northwest China, is welcoming tourists from the “Belt and Road” with high spirits.

The 4th Silk Road Tourism Expo held in August this year pushed the Silk Road tourism industry to a new height, participants from 32 countries and regions shared the resources, information and markets of the “Belt and Road” tourism industry. The Expo hosted more than 6,000 business negotiations and witnessed Shaanxi signed 35 major tourism projects with the total contractual volume reaching RMB 28.5 billion Yuan. The cultural tourism resources in the ancient Silk Road have turned into the new business opportunities for cooperation in the “Belt and Road”.

Relying on people to deepen interconnections

Distance cannot separate true friends who feel so close even when they are thousands of miles apart. Based on frequent cultural communications and deeper understandings among people, the interconnections of the “Belt and Road” are going wider. Influenced by the Silk Road and the Tang culture, Shaanxi has become a tourism hub. Relying on cultural communications and with the consecutive achievements in joint declarations, MoUs and cooperation agreements in policy, business, trade, science, education and culture, Shaanxi is making effective interactions with countries along the “Belt and Road”.

In the past four years, Shaanxi has launched direct flights to Moscow, Paris, Bali and San Francisco; Thailand, South Korea and Malaysia have established their consulates in Shaanxi; Netherlands, the United Kingdom and France have set their visa application centers in the province. Easier out-bound tourism and simpler life enable more frequent cultural and tourism communications on the “Belt and Road”. In the first half of 2017, Shaanxi has welcomed more than 260 million tourists with the year-on-year growth hit 6%. Its tourism revenue has totaled RMB 230 billion Yuan, increased by 28% from the same period last year.

During the past four years, interconnections have gained rapid development under various cooperation platforms for the “Belt and Road”: the declaration for co-building the Silk Road economic belt was made in Xi’an, Tourism Ministerial Meeting of Countries along the Silk Road Economic Belt shaped Xi’an Initiative, the Silk Road International Museum Alliance and the Universities Alliance of the New Silk Road came into being. With the implementation of the “Belt and Road”, the understanding between people gets deeper, and the win-win cooperation in various fields quickens.

Silk Road, which carried the tasks of promoting trade and cultural communication between Asia and Europe in the past, shines again under the construction of the “Belt and Road”. Shaanxi, the starting place of the ancient Silk Road, is embracing tourists from all over the world with its sincerest enthusiasms.

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