Wednesday December 12, 2018

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

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Illustrated map depicting the journey of the Venetian merchant Marco Polo (1254 - 1324) along the silk road to China. Image source: MPI/Getty Images
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  • 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.

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  • Aparna Gupta

    Its really good if they are trying to revive their agreements with Asia and Europe. This will not only help the financial condition of China but also of Asia and Europe.

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Google Is Run Without Any Political Bias: Sundar Pichai

Google shut down its search engine in China in 2010 after China insisted on censoring search results.

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Sundar Pichai
Google CEO Sundar Pichai testifies at a House Judiciary Committee hearing "examining Google and its Data Collection, Use and Filtering Practices" on Capitol Hill in Washington. VOA

Google CEO Sundar Pichai insisted Tuesday before the House Judiciary Committee that he runs the U.S. technology giant without political preference.

“We find that we have a wide variety of sources, including sources from the left and sources from the right. And we are committed to making sure there are diverse perspectives,” Pichai told the panel.

Pichai defended the company after accusations from Republican lawmakers that Google has developed online search algorithms to suppress conservative voices.

“There are numerous allegations in the news that Google employees have thought about doing this, talked about doing this and have done it,” Republican committee chairman Robert Goodlatte said.

Google, Sundar Pichai
A demonstrator holds up a sign in the doorway as Google CEO Sundar Pichai testifies at a House Judiciary Committee on greater transparency in Washington. VOA

Republican Congressman Lamar Smith cited a study by P.J. Media that concluded 96 percent of Google’s search results for President Donald Trump were from “liberal media outlets.”

“In fact, not a single right-leaning site appeared on the first page of search results. This doesn’t happen by accident but is baked into the algorithms. Those who write the algorithms get the results they must want and apparently management allows it.”

Smith also cited a study by “Harvard-trained psychologist” Robert Epstein that said Google’s alleged bias “likely swung” more than 2.5 million votes to Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election.

“Google could well elect the next president with dire implications for our democracy,” Smith added.

Sundar Pichai, USA
Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., the top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, arrives for the testimony of Google CEO Sundar Pichai about the internet giant’s privacy security and data collection, on Capitol Hill in Washington, VOA

“I lead this company without political bias and work to ensure that our products continue to operate that way,” Pichai said. “To do otherwise would go against our core principles and our business interests.”

Top committee Democrat Jerry Nadler said Republican accusations of bias is “a completely illegitimate issue, which is the fantasy dreamed up by some conservatives that Google and other online platforms have an anti-conservative bias. As I’ve said repeatedly, no credible evidence supports this right-wing conspiracy theory.”

President Donald Trump is among those who have accused the company of censoring conservative content, tweeting in August that Google is “RIGGED” and that “Republican/Conservative & Fair Media is shut out.”

‘Dragonfly’ project

Pichai’s testimony came after he angered committee members in September by declining an invitation to testify about manipulation of online services by foreign governments to influence U.S. elections.

Google, Australia, encryption, Sundar pichai
A smartphone and computer screen display the Google home page. Australia is one step closer to forcing tech firms to give police access to encrypted data. VOA

The CEO was also questioned about the company’s planned “Dragonfly” project, a censored search engine for China and “next generation technology” that Congressman Smith said Google is “developing on Chinese soil.”

“This news raises a troubling possibility, that Google is being used to strengthen China’s system of surveillance, repression and control,” Smith said. “We need to know that Google is on the side of the free world, and that it will provide its services free of anti-competitive behavior, political bias and censorship.”

An international group of 60 human rights and media groups submitted a letter Tuesday to Pichai, calling on him to abandon the project, warning that personal data would not be safe from Chinese authorities.

Also Read: Australia Proposes To Strengthen Regulations of Facebook, Google

Reporters Without Borders, a signatory to the letter, said China ranked 176 out of 180 countries in its Freedom of the Press Index.

Google shut down its search engine in China in 2010 after China insisted on censoring search results. (VOA)