After enjoying a history of about 1600 years, the Silk Road had lost out to the Southern Ocean Corridor connecting Europe and Asia. But now there are signs that the old Silk Road is being revived.
The Silk Road refers to the historical network of trading routes that connected Asia with the Middle East, North Africa, and Europe. Actually there were two major Silk Roads. The Northern Silk Road began from the present day Xian in China, which branched further west into two routes which converged in Kashgar, in what is now the largely Muslim Xinjiang province of China, before continuing on.
There was also the less well-known Southwestern Silk Road (SSR) which began in the Yunnan province of China. Bin Yang, a historian at the National University of Singapore, has noted that the SSR had four sections: the Sichuan-Yunnan-Burma-India Road which began in Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan, and then proceeded to Kunming and Dali in Yunnan province before entering Burma and India, the Yunnan-Vietnam Road, the Yunnan-Laos-Thailand-Cambodia Road and the Yunnan-Tibet Road. DP Singhal has, in addition, alluded to trade over two overland routes through Nepal and Tibet to China.
Marco Polo’s Silk Road
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