City of Charm
A port city along the ancient maritime silk road develops in the new era
ARoman glass bowl, an Indian crystal necklace, green glazed pottery made in Parthia—modern-day Iran—all serve as proof of Beihai’s importance as a port city on the ancient maritime silk road. Dating back 2,000 years, the trade route connected China with other countries in East Asia, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Europe.
At the Han-cultural Museum of Hepu County in Beihai, south China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, a bronze kettle covered with verdigris and decorative design sits in a glass box. Unearthed from a tomb in April 1986, the kettle is identified as a treasure from China’s Eastern Han Dynasty (25-220).
A museum docent told Beijing Review that there’s still liquid inside the kettle which, according to archaeologists, is most likely wine from some 2,000 years ago.
Such cultural relics show not only traces of the daily life of ancient China, but also signs of trade and people-to-people exchanges between Beihai and other regions along the ancient maritime silk road.
Building on its historical assets and unique features, Beihai has recently been exploring new drivers of development, such as tourism and the electronics and information industry.
According to official data, the city’s fiscal revenue exceeded 20 billion yuan ($3 billion) last year, up 20.1 percent year on year, ranking first in Guangxi.
Beihai Mayor Cai Jinjun said that the city will further improve its business environment and provide quality services for investors and entrepreneurs.
Welcoming the world
This year, Beihai was selected as a City of Charm for the 15th CHINA-ASEAN Expo (CAEXPO), an event featuring a host of exhibitions, forums and exchange programs that aimed at facilitat- ing CHINA-ASEAN trade and increasing bilateral cooperation.
The 2018 CAEXPO was held in Guangxi’s capital city of Nanning on September 12-15 with the theme Jointly Building the 21st-century Maritime Silk Road, Forging the CHINA-ASEAN Community of Innovation.
Since the Second CAEXPO in 2005, China and the 10 ASEAN countries have adopted a system whereby each chooses one city or region as a City of Charm to promote the development and business opportunities in that area in terms of trade, investment, culture, tourism and science and technology.
Beihai was chosen for several reasons. In 1984, it became one of the first coastal cities in China turning to embrace the world. Since the Belt and Road Initiative was proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013, the ancient gateway to Southeast Asia and Africa has focused on enhancing maritime connectivity,
Cultural relics preserved at the Han-cultural Museum of Hepu County, Beihai, south China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region