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Reviving Silk Route: China eyes high speed rail link between Kunming and Kolkata



By NewsGram Staff Writer

China has shown interest in establishing a high speed rail link between Kunming and Kolkata in order to revive the ancient silk route. The proposal was mentioned at the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) meet in Kunming.

As per media reports the proposal seeks to give a boost to the Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar (BCIM) multi-model corridor project initiated by China.

“We are in favour of it. The high-speed corridor would help the economies of Myanmar and Bangladesh as well,” Li Ji Ming, vice secretary of Yunnan provincial government was reported as saying.

The 2800 kilometer rail route could be a significant component for the BCIM corridor that seeks trade and flow of people across the border.

Reportedly, Yunnan is one of the major provinces engaged in the construction of China-Indo-China peninsula economic corridor and BCIM economic corridor.

Mink has asked for “active participation” from India to develop the BCIM and China-India peninsula corridor projects.

“We are glad to know that after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi assumed office, the look east policy has substantially moved ahead. We hope we can join our efforts together. We are big partners and influential in the region,” he was reported as saying.

China has been seeking a revival of the ancient silk route with a visionary plan to establish wide-ranging connectivity from Kunming to Kolkata. Reportedly it has pledged US $40 billion for the silk route, having a trade potential of US $132 billion.

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Is China trying to revive the Old Silk Route? Find out!

China’s primary focus on culture and history is a sign that this is a way back to a “normal” economy

Illustrated map depicting the journey of the Venetian merchant Marco Polo (1254 - 1324) along the silk road to China. Image source: MPI/Getty Images
  • The attempt to revive Silk Route is to dig back into its past glories and historical achievements
  • In the oasis city of Dunhuang, the ancient Mogao caves are being restored with special care
  • The first International Expo will take place in the Dunhuang city in September 2016 

The project of developing the Silk Route is neither spontaneous nor coincidental. It is a strategic scheme to keep the accusations that Beijing is enjoying the regional dominance owing to its financial stature, at bay. Analysts opined that it is China’s way of sending a message that the One Belt One Road project is an extension of the peace treaties China had made with Asia and Europe in the ancient times. The new project is to honour that Silk Route which remained the connecting route of theirs for centuries.  The Chinese are aiming at the revival of their agreements with Asia and Europe.

The economically boosted city of Beijing. Image Courtesy : Wikimedia Commons
The economically boosted city of Beijing. Image Courtesy : Wikimedia Commons

“The Silk Road has a shared legacy, for not only did it involve China, but many other countries including India, Russia, and Italy,” said E. Jun, the director of the Gansu Provincial Museum in Lanzhou, the capital of Gansu to The Hindu.

In fact, the museums have antics which remind us of India’s Buddhist connect with China. The museum is under construction but the work is progressing at an extremely triumphant rate. A mega theatre is being built, a few miles away, in the area that falls under the Gobi desert. The scale of cultural infrastructure that is being developed is amazing. China’s primary focus on culture and history is a sign that this is a way back to a “normal” economy. At least, that is what they seem to be aiming at.

The Old Silk Route of Indo-China. Image Courtesy : Wikimedia Commons

Mr Wu pointed told The Hindu that the overall contribution of the “culture industry to the total GDP of the city had already crossed the 55 per cent mark last year, and the figure is expected to rise, as plans to develop infrastructure take root.

The historic Mogao Caves. Image Courtesy : Wikimedia Commons
The historic Mogao Caves. Image Courtesy : Wikimedia Commons

However, the critics perceive the work going on to develop the Silk Route through these plans as “cultural overkill”. They are saying that the attempts made by China to revive their cultural heritage by constructing new cultural sites will result in drawing in a flood of tourists to that particular area and the novelty of the Mogao caves will wear off.

-This article is compiled by a staff-writer at NewsGram.