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Thread: The Silk Road

  1. #1
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    The Silk Road

    HASAN KANBOLAT
    h.kanbolat@todayszaman.com
    August 10, 2015, Monday
    China: 21st century Silk Road project

    China is undergoing a major transformation. Its high-paced growth is taking a toll on the social structure. For instance, Mao Zedong's Cultural Revolution largely undermined the fabric of family and social life. Even members of the same family would report each other's anti-establishment activities. It was an ideology-centric era in China when people were required to hang photos of Mao, Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels and Josef Stalin on the walls of each room in the house.

    Gone are the old days. The wounds of the past were redressed and had started to be forgotten. The practice of wearing single-type attire was terminated in 1973. Although the elder and more traditional members of the Communist Party of China (CPC) continue to stick to this tradition, it is more like a veneration of the past. Mao has come to be accepted and honored as the founding leader of China. China has emerged as the world's primary buyer of raw materials and energy. As the same time, it has become the primary exporter of cheap processed goods. It is the world's third largest foreign investor after the United States and the European Union.

    In 2013, China announced the One Belt, One Road (OBOR) development framework that focuses on the land-based and maritime silk roads. The land-based Silk Road is around 7,000 kilometers and was mainly used between the second and 16th centuries to transfer raw materials and processed goods from China to the West. The Silk Road was instrumental not only in transformation and commerce but also played a major role in improving communication and civilization between East and West. The Beijing administration argues that China, which has implemented a reform and foreign expansion program, has to integrate with the world to fuel its growth, while the world needs close cooperation with China for development. There was certain progress in eliminating inequality among people and countries until the 1980s, after which inequality started to increase. The rise in inequality has sped up, particularly in the wake of the disintegration of the Soviet Union in 1991.

    The Silk Road project seeks to eliminate inequity and ensure that people and countries are provided with equal opportunities. The project takes into consideration diversities as well. The main purpose of the project is to connect dynamic Asia to developed Europe, help the development of the countries under the project and cement a more balanced structure of regional cooperation. Under the project, China is offering state scholarships to 10,000 students from Silk Road countries. Cooperation will be improved in the areas of tourism, technology, health and science. Investments, commerce and visa procedures will be facilitated. Free-trade zones will be established. The project will avoid competing with other regional cooperation projects and, rather, seeks to have a complementary relationship. China expects a foreign trade volume of $2.5 trillion with the Silk Road countries in the next 10 years. This figure is currently $1.3 trillion.

    In China, the number four is considered to bring bad luck. This is because its ****phone is the Chinese word for death. The number seven is also considered ominous as it is perceived as bringing obsession or getting stuck. In Chinese, the word eight is very similar to the word for wealth. Therefore, if a business employs many eights, it is believed to be successful. When the Chinese words for danger and opportunity are merged, you get the Chinese word for crisis. In Chinese mythology, the lotus flower represents purity and integrity as it emerges from the mud. I hope the phrase Silk Road brings good luck to all the Silk Road countries. This project may or may not be successful, but we need solidarity, peace and development with equality.
    Why do we need a Silk Road thread? Soon come.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
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    New Silk Road Project will include the "Marco Polo" Connection in ground/maritime master plan: http://thediplomat.com/2014/05/china...sion-revealed/

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    Get ready for a trip

    KungFuMagazine.com's intrepid reporter Greg Brundage begins his Silk Road Kung Fu Friendship Tour: Part 1: Xian, China and the Fabled Silk Road by Greg Brundage.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
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    Part 2

    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
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  6. #6

    check out more photos

    For more great photos check out the KungFuMagazine.com Google+ Album.

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    Great to have reporter/TCMA Greg Brundage on the Road for a glimpse of the big picture in this monumental project. Finished Part 1. A must read!

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    Part 5

    Gene Ching
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    Part 6

    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
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    Part 8

    Gene Ching
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    Part 9 - the final chapter

    The Silk Road Kung Fu Friendship Tour Part 9: Kung Fu Tai Chi Magazine and International Diplomacy by Greg Brundage

    I want to thank Greg for sharing his extraordinary adventure with us.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
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    Great reads! Going to binge read the last 3 installments, now! * Greg is the perfect ambassador for the KFM Silk Road Journey.
    Last edited by PalmStriker; 10-30-2015 at 09:19 AM.

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    Train running

    The ancient ‘Silk Road’ is back in business as new train connects China to Tehran
    Zhejiang to Tehran in 14 days
    By Andrew J . Hawkins on February 15, 2016 12:36 pm Email @andyjayhawk



    The first train connecting Iran and China loaded with Chinese goods arrived in Tehran Monday, reviving the ancient Silk Road trade route and highlighting the economic possibilities for Iran since the lifting of international sanctions, AFP reports. The 5,900-mile trip from eastern Zhejiang province took 14 days, or 30 days less than a typical sea voyage between Shanghai and the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas, according to the head of the Iranian railway company, Mohsen Pourseyed Aqayi.

    Tehran is not the train's final stop, though. According to Aqayi, the plan is to lengthen the routes into Europe, which would give Iran the opportunity to raise even more money from passing trains. The country recently sent its first shipment of crude oil to Europe via shipping container, Bloomberg reports.
    30 DAYS LESS THAN A TYPICAL SEA VOYAGE
    China was one of the few world powers that did not have sanctions against Iran. More than a third of Iran's foreign trade is with China, which is Tehran's top oil customer. A spokesperson for Iran's rail company told AFP that future trains from China would arrive with greater frequency, starting at once a month and increasing from there. The leaders of both countries agreed to a 10-year, $600 billion trade partnership last month.

    The Silk Road is an ancient network of trade routes dating back to 220 BCE, connecting China to the Mediterranean Sea. It was a significant player in the rise of both Eastern and Western civilizations, including China, India, Greece, Rome, and Persia. In 2013, the president of China proposed the idea of creating a new Silk Road through Russia and the Ukraine into Europe. Under the title "One Belt, One Road," this plan is China's new national vision to improve its connectivity to Europe, Asia, and Africa.
    What an amazing train ride this must be.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
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