XI’AN, China, May 21, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Central Asian leaders arrive Xiancapital northwest China Shaanxi Provinceto attend the China-Central Asia Summit with President Xi Jinping, the city shines ever brighter as the starting point of the ancient Silk Road and at the center of the modern Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) cooperation.
With the opening of flights between Xian AND Dushanbecapital TajikistanThursday, Xian has direct flights to all five Central Asian countries.
The choice is not accidental Xian as the host city of the China-Central Asia Summit. Opening the world map, the Eurasian steppe leads to one of the most famous and oldest trade routes in the world: the Silk Road.
“For a long time, it was generally accepted that the western capital of the world was the city Rome, Italyand the eastern capital of the world was now the city of Chang’an Xian” XianGao Jianqun, a historian and writer from the Silk Road, told the Global Times.
This last city, once the capital of the province chinese The Tang Dynasty (618-907) and the beginning of the Silk Road, was a meeting place for different cultures, styles of art and literature from all over the known world thanks to its historical role as a trading center where Westerners and Easterners settled and communicated for more than 1000 years ago.
Today, BRI connects Asia With Europe and on along the trade routes of the ancient Silk Road, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Xian flourished during the Han and Tang dynasties. Today, the city seizes the opportunity by playing a key role in the BRI to recreate its former glorious prosperity and beyond, conducting economic exchanges with BRI countries and organizing a number of international activities.
In April last year, the general meeting of the Alliance for Cultural Heritage took place Xian. The Assembly issued the Xi’an Declaration, a pivotal document that aims to provide solutions for the protection of the world’s cultural heritage from the perspective of Asian countries. The city then returned to the world’s spotlight by hosting the China-Central Asia Summit, a major diplomatic event hosted by China in 2023
“Once again, it shows its status as an important hub city for external exchange both in the past and present,” said Sun Haoqi, Xianculture expert.
This is not the first “Xi’an Declaration” issued to external exchanges. Already in 2013, in line with the Silk Road Economic Belt, Xian signed a co-development agreement with a dozen cities along the traditional Silk Road for exchange in the fields of culture, tourism, education, science and technology. The agreement became known as the Xi’an Declaration.
Cultural exchange center
Be careful when construction is taking place in Xian. Sun noted that as the ancient capital of the 13th Dynasty, the city has numerous cultural relics buried underground.
In the city, traces of its role as a cosmopolitan metropolis where merchants following the Silk Road gathered everywhere.
In a densely populated main urban area and suburbs Xiancovering a total area of about 827 square kilometers, archaeological ruins are scattered here and there, including the well-known Epang Palace ruins and the Daming Palace ruins.
Many ruins are still being excavated. Over the past few decades, a steady stream of new discoveries has painted a picture of a diverse ancient society Xianknown in ancient times as Chang’an.
For example, at an archaeological site a kilometer from the ancient city walls of Xi’an, experts recently discovered a number of cultural relics representing a distinctive Buddhist artistic style.
“Many of the Buddha statues we found were covered with colored paint, and some of the ceramic Buddha statues were also decorated with gold paste. These arts and crafts styles clearly came from the Tang dynasty. Han Jianhuaan archaeologist working on the site told a local Xian information point.
Ancient records indicate that there was a Buddhist temple nearby, prompting researchers to theorize that the two sites were connected, Han added.
In addition, relics such as warehouses and wells were found at the site, and objects with elements of Western culture were unearthed, as experts believed that they showed a rich and diverse social life.
Above ground, majestic sites and historic sites bear the marks of the clash of ideas and cultures over the millennia. The Buddhist scriptures now kept in various temples testify to the spread of religions and ideas that later spread to the Central Plains and Southeast China With Xian as a transit hub.
The Dayan Pagoda, or Big Wild Goose Pagoda, located in the center of the city, is a symbol Xian. This is the most direct example of the mixing of cultures that has taken place in this capital.
“After the cultural envoy of China Zhang Qian went to the western regions during the Han Dynasty (206 BC-AD 220) and established the Silk Road as an official channel of trade, the prominent Tang Dynasty monk Xuanzang went to India in the year 629 to obtain Buddhist scriptures. He brought 657 Buddhist scriptures ChinaGao noticed.
His later Great Records of Tang for the western regions became an important learning material for future generations, allowing them to learn about history and geography China AND Central Asia.
To protect Buddhist scriptures and imported Buddha statues IndiaThe Giant Wild Goose Pagoda was built in the western courtyard of Daci’en Temple, which has now become a must-visit attraction for tourists.
Covering the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st century Maritime Silk Road, the BRI replaced traditional camel caravans with modern freight trains that facilitated trade between China and Central Asian countries.
“As the starting point of foreign exchange, the city xian connects BRI countries with chinese interior,” said the cultural expert Yang Yong.
Shaanxi data from the provincial government show that in 2022 alone, the province imported 174 cultural and tourist events, including dance performances in Parisacrobatic shows about Chang’an and exhibitions of Terracotta Warriors and Terracotta Horses in Japan.
To better implement the ‘culture first’ principle, xian founded organizations such as the Shaanxi Silk Road Cultural Exchange Center to foster communication in the arts, film, education, and traditional Chinese medicine.
“We are a platform that helps with this practice,” the center’s correspondent Ji Wenbo told Global Times.
According to the center, it has cooperated with many countries, including Bulgaria, Brazil AND Turkey in the art exchange since the center was established in 2016.
As a representative of the border xian and cultural ambassador for Central Asia“we still need to find ways to highlight Xi’an characteristic of these activities” Xu Chuncurrent Vice-President and General Secretary of the Turkish Chamber of Commerce in Chinasaid the Global Times.
Many BRI activities have been carried out over the past few years, including the Turkish Art Festival. While the arts and education were the main targets, “we also brought Shaanxi distinctive waist drums and traditional Chinese calligraphy and overseas paintings,” Xu added.
It’s getting brighter
From the General Assembly of the Alliance for Cultural Heritage in Wr Asia was held in xian in April, a great show was held at the Yongning Gate of the ancient city walls of Xi’an. Guests from over 20 countries came for the special occasion.
As the drawbridge of the Yongning Gate slowly descended, the “Golden Armored Warriors” crossed the bridge and greeted the distinguished guests from afar with the highest etiquette of the Tang Dynasty.
The state-level show, the Grand Tang Dynasty Welcoming Ceremony, became the showpiece xian.
xian continues to bring to life the greatness of the ancient capital of the Tang dynasty, presenting its uniqueness in a surprising way to international visitors and tourists. Taking full advantage of social media, the city has become a leading tourist attraction China.
“The Tang dynasty’s revival of prosperity is one of the city’s most popular cultural displays. You can sometimes see international tourists wearing traditional Chinese clothing, such as hanfu, strolling along the boardwalks,” says Datang employee Everbright.
Here, at the intersection of ancient and modern, electronic billboards stand tall, welcoming the arrival of international visitors from across the continent for business, friendship and mutual prosperity.
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SOURCE Global Times