Tech­nol­ogy helps remap orig­i­nal Silk Road route

China Daily (Canada) - - SHANGHAI - By WANG HONGYI in Shang­hai wanghongyi@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Us­ing mod­ern tech­nol­ogy, Chi­nese schol­ars have re­traced the an­cient Silk Road to show for the first time the ex­act trade route that con­nected China to the Mediter­ranean Sea thou­sands of years ago.

The his­tor­i­cally im­por­tant in­ter­na­tional trade route started at to­day’s Xi’an, the an­cient cap­i­tal of China, and ended at the east­ern shore of the Mediter­ranean Sea, cross­ing fields, deserts, grass­lands and moun­tains. Since silk was the ma­jor trade prod­uct along the road, it was called “the Silk Road”.

“Based on the stud­ies of his­tor­i­cal ma­te­ri­als as well as on­site ex­pe­di­tions, our his­tor­i­cal ge­o­graphic in­for­ma­tion sys­tem has ac­cu­rately pre­sented the line of the Silk Road for the first time and re­stores its gen­eral route,’’ said Pro­fes­sor Hou Yang­fang, pres­i­dent of the In­sti­tute for Syn­er­getic De­vel­op­ment of Fu­dan Univer­sity and the Gansu Silk Road Eco­nomic Belt.

Hou and his re­search team have made a se­ries of ex­pe­di­tions through the Pamir Moun­tains try­ing to map the an­cient Silk Road.

“We ex­pect that the pre­cise po­si­tion­ing and restora­tion to the sec­tion of Hexi Cor­ri­dor will be fin­ished within a year and a half,” said Hou. ”If ev­ery­thing goes well, all projects will be fin­ished in three or four years.”

The in­sti­tute will work with the cen­tral gov­ern­ment and pri­vate en­ter­prises to trans­form the re­sults of its stud­ies into prac­tices, with the de­vel­op­ment of tourism ex­pected to be first, ac­cord­ing to Hou.

“The Hexi Cor­ri­dor is one of the most beau­ti­ful and the most in­ter­est­ing parts of the whole Silk Road. Tourists can feel its his­tor­i­cal attractions, and also en­joy un­prece­dented nat­u­ral land­scapes,” he said.

The In­sti­tute for Syn­er­getic De­vel­op­ment of Fu­dan Univer­sity and the Gansu Silk Road Eco­nomic Belt were es­tab­lished in Zhangye City, Gansu prov­ince in Au­gust 2014. As a post­doc­toral base for the stud­ies of syn­er­getic de­vel­op­ment of the Silk Road eco­nomic belt, the in­sti­tute aims to be­come a key re­search plat­form of Fu­dan Univer­sity for its Silk Road eco­nomic-belt strat­egy and western de­vel­op­ment within two to three years.

The in­sti­tute has formed a strate­gic part­ner­ship with Ruinan Group to bet­ter in­te­grate onand-off-cam­pus strate­gies and pol­icy re­sources, and to form a multi-dis­ci­pline pol­icy and aca­demic re­search plat­form. The part­ner­ship will soon es­tab­lish the Silk Road schol­ar­ship, the first of its kind among Chi­nese univer­si­ties.

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