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Agricultural Development Bank of China
Silk Road Economic Belt FAQ

About Eurasian Silk Road

May 29, 2020


Abstract : The Eurasian Silk Road refers to the Silk Road, a historical trade route that traversed the Eurasian continent and promoted China's friendly exchanges with Asian, European and African countries. As China is the home to silk, silk is the most representative commodity exported from China.

-- The Eurasian Silk Road

The Eurasian Silk Road refers to the Silk Road, a historical trade route that traversed the Eurasian continent and promoted China's friendly exchanges with Asian, European and African countries. As China is the home to silk, among the trade through this route, silk is the most representative commodity exported from China. In the second half of the 19th century, Ferdinand von Richthofen, a German geologist, called the land route "The Silk Road". Since then, the term has been adopted up to now by both Chinese and foreign historians. After Zhang Qian, an imperial envoy in the Han Dynasty, explored the Western Regions (a Han Dynasty term for the area west of Yumenguan), the overland passage stretching from China to Europe and Africa was opened.

On June 22, 2014, the Chang'an-Tianshan corridor of the Silk Road spanning China, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, becoming the first project to be successfully designated as a world heritage site by transnational cooperation. In September 2013, Chinese President Xi Jinping put forward the strategic vision of building a "New Silk Road Economic Belt". On March 28, 2015, the National Development and Reform Commission, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Commerce jointly issued the Vision and Action to Promote the Co-construction of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.

-- The role and significance of the Eurasian Silk Road

The Eurasian Silk Road refers to the Silk Road, a historical trade route that traversed the Eurasian continent and promoted China's friendly exchanges with Asian, European and African countries. The Silk Road connects several major civilizations in the world, including East Asia, Central Asia, India, West Asia and the Mediterranean, and is of great significance to the advancement of world civilization and the progress of human society.

Firstly, the caravans on the Silk Road brought rare animals, plants, furs, medicines, spices, jewelry from the West, and goods such as silk, tea, and porcelain from China, which enriched the daily life of people in countries involved.

Secondly, after the opening of the route, iron smelting and well digging technologies from the Central Plain were introduced into the Western Regions, which improved local production level and economic development. The Four Great Inventions of ancient China (paper-making, printing, gunpowder and compass), silk weaving technology and lacquer craft were also introduced to the rest of the world through the Silk Road, which promoted the progress of world civilization.

Thirdly, after the Silk Road was opened, envoys from states in the Western Regions came to have an audience with Chinese emperors, which strengthened the political ties between the Central Plain and the Western Regions. At the same time, the Persian and Roman empires also sent envoys to China, which promoted the cultural exchanges between China and the West.

Fourthly, Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, Manicheism and Nestorianism were also introduced to China through the Silk Road. They became the religion of many people and spread to the Korean Peninsula, Japan and other Asian countries via the branches of the Silk Road. In addition, the Silk Road is of great significance in promoting ethnic integration and artistic and cultural exchanges.

-- The rise of the Eurasian silk road

In January 2015, the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) was signed by Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia, with further accession treaties by Kyrgyzstan and Armenia.

The five EAEU nations represent an integrated single market of more than 180 million people and a GDP of USD1.5 trillion; the economic size of Canada or South Korea, respectively. While Russia dominates more than 85 per cent of the total, the Union's real importance is that through economic integration it will ensure peace and economic cooperation between the member countries.

From the Chinese perspective, the four countries - Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Russia and Latvia - are all located along the ancient Silk Road.

It is the modern restoration of the trade, logistics and infrastructure network that will connect East, South and Southeast Asia with Central Asia, the Middle East and North Africa, through Central and Eastern Europe to Western Europe.

EAEU is an international organization in the Eurasian region for regional economic integration. Its member countries are important partners along the Belt and Road.

According to the customs, China and EAEU member states have strong economic complementarity and great potential for trade cooperation, which have boosted the trade development between Xinjiang and EAEU's member countries.

China has called for better synergy between the Beltand RoadInitiative and the EAEU, further cooperation in high-tech fields as well as sub-national cooperation and people-to-people exchanges.

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