THESIS STATEMENT: The Silk Road where connects China from the rest of the world it also helped in increasing trade, spreading religion, and improving the economic stability of China.
- Silk Road is the busiest and most important trade route for China.
- The route helped in promoting religion
- The Silk Route created job opportunities to the people of China
- Many tourists got access to various parts of the world by using this route.
The Silk Road is the most important and busy trade route between China and the Mediterranean. It was named “Silk Road” in 1877 by a German geographer, Ferdinand von Richthofen because it was initially used for the trade of silk from China to other countries. This road is now a part of World Heritage List of UNESCO. This route is the busiest trade route for the trade of technology and goods. The route that was initially made for the trade of “silk” sooner became a cultural and technological pathway between China and rest of the world. It helped in spreading many religions in China and was used by followers of Buddhism, Islam, and Christianity to spread their religions in the world. Buddhist monks from China traveled to India and Europe to bring back sacred texts. The other religions like Islam and Christianity spread the same way when trade started between Arabia India, Malaysia, and Indonesia. In the past, this route created many job opportunities for both Chinese and people of other countries when the use of silk was introduced to the world. It is even improving relations with countries like Pakistan when the famous CPEC project started in the year 2016. The Silk Road where connects China from the rest of the world it also helped in increasing trade, spreading religion, and improving the economic stability of China.
Silk Road was the busiest and most important trade route for China. The trade with the European countries and South Asian countries opened new and reliable markets of silk and other goods with China. As the world got introduced with silk the trade expanded to Rome and Sri Lanka (Whitfield, pp. 204-205).With the passage of time, other goods were also traded on this route. Both sea and land routes were used for trade of medicines, clothing, minerals, and ivory. The current trade plans that have started on this route for increasing trade like the One Belt One Road, will involve 68 countries which worth more than $900 billion (Tsui, et al, pp. 44). The most commonly used sea routes were Persia and Arabia which mainly traded musk, ivory, and jute from Africa. The reason for why this route was used so commonly was its safety because most countries were benefitting from the trade made on this route (Whitfield, pp. 2). The people who traveled to various countries also brought religion with them that we will discuss in next paragraph.
The Silk Road helped in spreading religion. The Buddhist preachers in 7th century BC started their pilgrimage to South Asian countries on this route to preach religion to other countries. References to the use of this route in different texts can be found in the diary of Xuan Zang’s “Pilgrimage to the West”. Various examples of dissemination of Buddhist religion through Eurasia can be found in Afghanistan and Indonesia (Whitfield, pp. 106). The route also was used by Muslim preachers in early Islamic era when they traveled from Arabia to other parts of the world to spread Islam. Islam was introduced to Indonesia and Malaysia by Arab merchants who went for trade purposes to these countries and introduced Islam to the native population (David, n.p). Next, we will discuss how the route created job opportunities.
The popularity of Silk Road created job opportunities and good relations with neighboring countries. As the concept of silk production got famous and people started to learn the harvesting process of silk, many people in countries got a livelihood. The Silk Road in addition to trade options also traded concepts. Many people who jobless before trade on this route had jobs in production, harvesting, and transportation of goods. Nowadays, this route is providing job opportunities to people of neighboring countries too (Raza et al., pp. 4). The famous CPEC project started by China-Pakistan collaboration is providing jobs to Pakistani people. In addition to trade, this program is also bringing energy production in Pakistan. The Gawadar energy power plant started by China is also a part of this project. This route is also used by tourists since early ages that we will discuss next.
Silk Road also helped in improving tourism. Tourists in the past came from Europe and Russia to the subcontinent and got inspired by the culture and traditions of this location. As this route was safe and secure and countries provided safe passage to travelers, most people used this route to travel to European and South Asian countries (Whitfield, pp. 107). The Chinese government has made agreements with 16 countries to send Chinese tourists to. This initiative increased tourists’ population in African countries by 100 percent. To countries like Afghanistan and Pakistan, in which tourism is a large part of GDP Silk Route is providing opportunities to attract tourists. The Buddhist remains in various countries that were made by preachers of the religion are places of attraction for most tourists in Afghanistan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.
In short, the Silk Route connected many civilizations. It made trade between China and other parts of the world possible and introduced people to new ideas and concepts. It also provided a safe passage to merchants who traded goods from various countries through land and sea. The route helped in promoting the religion of Buddhism, Islam, and Christianity, and people used this passage to introduce their culture and traditions to the outer world. The Silk Route also created job opportunities to the people of China and it is still opening new options for various countries when projects are working to develop this route. The route also enabled tourism and many people got access to various parts of the world by using this route. There are still programs in progress to improve the condition of Silk Road to create more opportunities and benefits.
Lee, David. “Islam and China’s Hong Kong: Ethnic Identity, Muslim Networks and the New Silk Road.” (2015): 117-119.
Raza, Hasan, et al. “CPEC: Pakistan-China Cordial Ties-A Boost to Pakistan’s Economy.” Journal of Accounting, Business and Finance Research 2.1 (2018): 1-6.
Tsui, Sit, et al. “One Belt, One Road.” monthlyreview. org/2017/01/01/one-belt-one-road (2017).
Whitfield, Susan. Life Along the Silk Road. Univ of California Press, 2015.