The development of human civilization cannot go without exchanges and collision between various civilizations.
The Silk Road, a business channelthat began in 2100 years ago, wasa bridge connecting the trade between AsiaEurope trade, a link between of the East and West civilizations, describes the magnificent history through the ages.
History has always shown the future through the power of time and space. Today, the dialogue between western civilization and oriental civilization needs a new bridge. The Belt and Road Initiative born in the intertwined history and reality derives from the heritages of the Silk Road spirit.
Chinese President Xi Jinping interpreted what the Silk Road spirit is in June 2014 at the Arab Cooperation Forum, and it is the spirit of peaceful consultation, the spirit of common construction and fruition, the spirit of inclusiveness and mutual learning, the spirit of free trade and the spirit of mutual benefit.
The Silk Road and Maritime Silk Road in history was the road of trade and the road of communication between civilizations. It connected ancient Chinese culture, Indian civilization, Persian civilization, Arab civilization and ancient Greek and Roman civilization.
This road carries the common interests of people from different regions, the task of exchanges between the East and the West, and the endless faith and mission of human civilization.
In China, road is not a simple character. The Chinese people tend to combine road and way, and the latter opens a road while the former bears the later. Road and way connect the mission in people’s heart.
Form Zhang Qian who was ordered to open the Silk Road in the Western Han Dynasty to Gan Ying, who was stopped at the Persian Gulf and could not reach Rome in the Eastern Han Dynasty; from Monk Faxian who went west for Buddhist doctrine in the Eastern Jin Dynasty monk to Tang’s Monk Xuanzang, whose stories were later interpreted into a pilgrimage for Buddhist scriptures, on the long and arduous road, envoys shouldered political missions, believers looked for Bodhi in their heart, while businessmen carrieda dream of wealth, generation after generation, they continued the arduous journey, leaving their impressive footsteps on the Silk Road length.
The development of navigation technology opened up a new road to the world. Numerous vessels left from Guangzhou, Quanzhou and other world-class ports. Zheng He’s seven voyages in the early Ming Dynasty marked the continuous development of the Maritime Silk Road. Zheng He, in his seven voyages, did not leave a soldier on an overseas land;instead he brought friendship and civilization. His voyage was the longest ocean-going route ever in history of the ancient Maritime Silk Road.
Besides travelers going abroad, there were guests from afar.
As early as the mid-eighth century, Al Ubaid, a navigator departed from Western Asia, sailed withSuhar, a double-mast wooden boat, traveled thousands of miles and arrived in Guangzhou, China two years later. The story of the sailor Sinbad in the popular novel "One Thousand and One Nights" was based on this experience.
Of course, we should not forget Marco Polo, the young Venetian businessman, as a 17-year-old, he came to China and spent the most exciting 25 yearsin his life here, before he reluctantly returned home on the sea. Marco Polo was world's first to complete the all-round trip of the belt and road.
Time flowed in the ups and downs of a millennium.
The Belt and RoadInitiative once again awakened the memory of history. What we need today is not only a new silk road conducive to the exchange of goods, but a silk roadthat benefits dialogues and understanding.
Although the Silk Road is only a cultural symbol today, it shows the concept of peaceful exchanges and common development. Peace and development is the "core" of the Silk Road.
The review and study of the Silk Road is sufficient to show that although there are differences among civilizations, it does not necessarily lead to confrontation and conflict. On the contrary, the peaceful coexistence, mutual respect, mutual learning between different civilizationsis the right way for the development of world's civilization. It was true in the past and is still the case today and in the future.