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China, Kyrgyzstan Revitalize Ancient Silk Road

BISHKEK – Tianshan Mountain, situated in the hinterland of Eurasia, is one of the world’s seven largest mountain ranges, stretching through four countries including China and Kyrgyzstan.
As a major location along the ancient Silk Road – a route that made important contribution to the friendly exchanges and mutual learning among Eurasian peoples and civilizations, Tianshan Mountain, for thousands of years, has been a witness to the flourishing trade along the Silk Road and the persevering spirit of the envoys promoting friendly relations among different countries.
Chinese envoy Zhang Qian in Han Dynasty (206 BC–220 AD), who was also a Silk Road pioneer, had left his footprints in the Tianshan region before reaching Central and West Asia.
The mountain often comes into the sight of the people in Bishkek, capital of Kyrgyzstan, 90 percent of whose territory lies more than 1,500 meters above sea level.
Kyrgyzstan is halfway along the ancient Silk Road. The Kyrgyz people used to travel thousands of miles along the Tianshan Mountain range to Chang’an (present day Xi’an), capital of Chinese Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD), and traded their horses and furs for fine silk and ceramics. What they brought home also included a close friendship with the hospitable Chinese people.
Such beautiful memory of the splendid history of the ancient Silk Road was activated by Chinese President Xi Jinping, when he made the first-ever proposal to jointly build the Silk Road Economic Belt during his visit to Central Asia in 2013. The proposal has won wide support from the leaders and all walks of life in Central Asian countries, Xinhua news reported Friday.
In 2014, with the joint efforts of China, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan, the Silk Roads: the Routes Network of Chang’an-Tianshan Corridor of the Silk Road stretching from Chang’an in China to Central Asia was listed as UNESCO World Heritage.
The UNESCO World Heritage Committee believed that the Silk Road, as a road of integration, communication and dialogue between the eastern and western civilizations, has made important contribution to the common prosperity of mankind.
In recent years, the tourism bureau of Kyrgyzstan introduced the Great Silk Road traveling route, in an attempt to promote the beauty and history of the ancient corridor. The traveling route includes the Suyab ruins, and is the country’s most important project of cultural tourism.
“The ancient Silk Road brought opportunities and prosperity to this land, and I believe that the Kyrgyz people will gain more by jointly building the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI),” said Nina Nichiporova, first deputy editor-in-chief of Kyrgyz Russian-language newspaper Vecherniy Bishkek.
As a journalist that has covered BRI projects for times, she told People’s Daily that President Xi’s state visit to Kyrgyzstan will further promote the friendly cooperative relations between the two countries.
As one of the earliest participants of the BRI, Kyrgyzstan has yielded fruitful results.
Transportation interconnectivity, a priority in the Belt and Road construction, plays a fundamental role in this initiative. It is especially important for a mountainous country like Kyrgyzstan.
With the participation of Chinese infrastructure companies, the China-Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan highway, defying many high mountains on its route, has become a transnational transport artery.
Besides, China and Kyrgyzstan are actively advancing other transportation connectivity projects, including the Bishkek road network improvement project and the alternative North-South highway in Kyrgyzstan.
The BRI has enriched the traditional friendship between the Chinese and Kyrgyz people.
Today, China is Kyrgyzstan’s largest trading partner and source of investment. Bilateral exchanges and cooperation are comprehensively expanding.
Ahead of President Xi’s state visit to Kyrgyzstan, a series of activities were held in Bishkek, such as a China- Kyrgyzstan BRI seminar, an economic and trade fair, and a commercial exhibition.
Manas, a Chinese opera created by China National Opera and Dance Drama Theater, debuted on June 11 at the Kyrgyz National Opera and Ballet Theatre in Bishkek. The successful performance indicates further cultural exchanges between China and Kyrgyzstan and brighter prospects of the two countries’ traditional friendship.
(Sahar News Monitoring Desk)

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