Clarify the Maritime Silk Road

The Maritime Silk Road was a conduit for trade and cultural exchange involving China's south-eastern coastal areas and foreign countries. There were two key routes: the East China Sea Silk Route and also the South China Sea Silk Route. Get extra information and facts about Maritime Silk Road

A visitor looks at Quanzhou-style lanterns in the course of an exhibition on intangible cultural heritages along the ancient Maritime Silk Road in Quanzhou, southeast China's Fujian Province, Nov. 23, 2019. (Xinhua/Wei Peiquan)

Beginning from Quanzhou Fujian Province, the Maritime Silk Road was the earliest voyage route that was formed within the Qin and Han dynasties, developed from the Three Kingdoms Period towards the Sui Dynasty, flourished inside the Tang and Song dynasties, and fell into decline inside the Ming and Qing dynasties.

Via the Maritime Silk Road, silks, china, tea, and brass and iron have been the four key categories exported to foreign countries; even though spices, flowers and plants, and rare treasures for the court had been brought to China. Consequently, the Maritime Silk Road was also known as "the Maritime China road" or "the Maritime spices road".

The Maritime Silk Road, like its overland counterpart, had its origins through the Han Dynasty (202 BC-220 AD). Although vast seas separate the four corners on the Earth, with advances in shipbuilding and navigational technologies, maritime transport came to provide unprecedented access for the most distant destinations.

It truly is identified that the bulk with the raw and processed silk transported along the overland Silk Road throughout the Han Dynasty was produced mainly along China's southern coast and inside the coastal Wu, Wei, Qi, and Lu regions (present-day Shandong Province). Because ancient times, these locations have already been thriving centers of shipbuilding too as silk production. They had been thus able to supply each commodities for export plus the signifies to transport them across the sea. It was this combination that offered the social and material conditions essential for the development of maritime trade throughout the Han Dynasty.

The maritime routes opened by Emperor Han Wudi (reigned 140-87 BC) supplied access for the Roman Empire through India, marking the first oceanic route at the same time because the earliest maritime trading route within the world. This enabled China to actively seek out overseas markets and establish foreign trade relations, and laid the foundation for the development on the Maritime Silk Road.

Han Shu Record (also referred to as The History in the Han Dynasty) kept the first comprehensive vivid record on China's boats sailing into the Indian Ocean from the South Sea through the Malacca Strait in Southeast Asian waters. Han ships would leave from Xuwen in South China's Guangdong Province, or Hepu in South China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, and by way of the South Sea, would arrive in India and Sri Lanka -- a transfer station, where pearls, colored glazes, along with other exotic items could be purchased. Chinese silk was transported to Rome hereafter. Such was the Maritime Silk Road.

In his book Nature History, Gaius Plinius Secundus, a knowledgeable scientist in ancient Rome, recorded, "four sailors from (today's Sri Lanka) left for Rome (through the Caesar Era). According to one of the sailors named Rutgers, each Rome and Sri Lanka had direct trade relations with China."

In 166 from the Han Dynasty, the Roman Emperor sent envoys to China, presenting various such gifts as ivory and hawksbill turtles to the imperial royal court, which marked the earliest friendly relations between China and European countries. A direct route in the East to the West was hence opened up.

Through the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD), Chinese ships set sail from Guangzhou, bound across the South China Sea, hence pioneering the most essential routes with the maritime Silk Road. Also to transporting silk, the South China Sea routes stimulated both material and cultural exchange. Nations all through Southeast Asia, South Asia, West Asia, and in some cases Europe dispatched emissaries to China by way of the new maritime routes to establish diplomatic relations, obtain silk, and engage of trade of all sorts. Silk, because the principal maritime trade commodity, flowed inside a steady stream from China to other countries.

Earnings in the maritime trade were one on the Chinese government's main sources of income during this time. The Tang, Song (960-1279), and Yuan (1279-1368) Dynasties all appointed particular Commissions of Maritime Affairs at coastal cities which includes Guangzhou (Canton), Mingzhou (present-day Ningbo), and Quanzhou. These offices have been accountable for overseeing maritime trade and providing logistic support and preferential treatment for foreign merchants in China. The maritime Silk Road as a result became a conduit for advertising friendly relations and linking East and West.

East China Sea Route

Kaiyuan Temple in Quanzhou, the starting place of Maritime Silk Road. The East China Sea Route enjoys a lengthy history of about 3,000 years. It was during the Zhou Dynasty that Ji Zi, a court official, was sent on a journey east, setting off from Shangdong Peninsula's Bohai Gulf and navigating his way across the Yellow Sea, which led towards the introduction of sericiculture (silkworm farming), filature and silk spinning into Korea.

When Emperor Qin Shi Huang united China, many Chinese fled to Korea and took with them silkworms and breeding technology. This sped up the development of silk spinning in Korea. These new skills and also the technologies had been subsequently introduced into Japan through the Han Dynasty. Since the Tang Dynasty, the silks produced by Jiangsu and Zhejiang Provinces have been directly shipped to Japan. Many Japanese envoys and monks had been also in a position to travel to Chang'an (now Xi'an) along this sea route.

South China Sea Route

Guangzhou represented the starting-point with the South China Sea Route, which extended across the Indian Ocean and then on to numerous nations situated around the Persian Gulf. The kinds goods dispatched for trade consisted primarily of silk, china and tea, whilst imported merchandise incorporated several different spices, flowers and grasses - hence it being typically known as the sea's 'China Road' plus the sea's 'Flavor Road' .

The route was initial used inside the Qin and Han Dynasties, and increased in recognition in the Three Kingdoms Period (220-280) to the Sui Dynasty (581-618). Up until the Tang Dynasty Anshi Rebellions (755-762), this route was viewed as a secondary option to the Silk Road, On the other hand inside the latter half from the eighth century, owing towards the scourge of wars in the vast Western Regions, trade volumes along the Maritime Silk Road boomed as those on its overland counterpart steadily declined.

Delicate Silk Technologic advances in shipbuilding and navigation led to the opening of new sea-lanes to the Southeast Asia, Malacca, areas in the Indian Ocean plus the Persian Gulf. Guangzhou became the initial wonderful harbor in China about the time of the Tang and Song Dynasties, though it was later substituted by Quanzhou inside the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368) as the most important trade port.

The Naval Expedition to the West by Zheng He within the early part of the Ming Dynasty demonstrated the wonderful value of the Silk Road and was to represent the peak of its recognition. The governments from the Ming and Qing Dynasties issued a ban on maritime trade, contributing to huge decline in its use. As the Opium War broke out in 1840, the Silk Road on the Sea completely disappeared.

As early as 2,000 years ago, the Maritime Silk Road started from China's south-east coastal regions, traversing a vast expanse of oceans and seas to nations in Southeast Asia, Africa and Europe.

This trading route that connects the East and also the West, had enhanced the exchanges of commodities, people and culture among nations situated around the road.

To be able to revive the ancient Maritime Silk Road and bring additional benefits towards the relevant nations and peoples, the initiative that China and nations along the ancient Maritime Silk Road would create together a new Maritime Silk Road on the 21st Century was proposed by China.

Such an initiative draws inspiration both from history and from most up-to-date developments in the 21st century. The aim is always to inject sturdy impetus in enhancing political mutual trust, deepening economic cooperation, and advertising cultural also as people-to-people exchanges among relevant nations by means of joint cooperation, frequent development and regional integration. All nations along the Maritime Silk Road are welcome to plan, develop and benefit with each other in the initiative.

Since the initiative was initial raised, quite a few countries have actively supported and engaged themselves in the development in the or the Silk Road Financial Belt (the "Belt and Road" for quick) or both.

On Oct. 24, 2014, twenty-first Asian nations signed the Memorandum of Understanding on Establishing the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) in Beijing, aiming to finance and facilitate infrastructure constructions for Asian countries along the "Belt and Road".

The MOU specifies that the authorized capital of AIIB is 100 billion U.S. dollars and the initial subscribed capital is anticipated to become around 50 billion dollars. The paid-in ratio is going to be 20 %.

The 21 nations are Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, China, India, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Oman, Pakistan, the Philippines, Qatar, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Uzbekistan and Vietnam.

At the APEC Summit 2014 held in Beijing in November, 2014, China announced to contribute US$40 billion to set up a Silk Road Fund to provide investment and financial support to carry out infrastructure, resources, industrial and financial cooperation as well as other projects connected to connectivity for countries along the "Belt and Road".

With much more support from other countries and wider coverage across the region, the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road has come to be an initiative not for one country but for all countries who welcome and support the initiative and are operating together closely with one another for economic and social advancement at the same time as for the welfare of their peoples. The 21st Century Maritime Silk Road has always been and can nevertheless be open to all countries along the road.


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