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Silk Road stories told by Chinese President Xi Jinping

Alwihda Info | Par peoplesdaily - 14 Mai 2017

It was in Almaty that Xian composed his famous works Liberation of the Nation, Sacred War and Red All over the River. He also wrote a symphony Amangeldy based on the exploits of the Kazakh national hero. These pieces served as a rallying call to fight Fascists and proved immensely popular with the local people.

Source: People’s Daily

1. Xian Xinghai Boulevard in Almaty
The ancient city of Almaty is also on the ancient Silk Road. In Almaty, there is a Xian Xinghai Boulevard, which got its name from a true story. At the outset of the Great Patriotic War in 1941, Xian, a renowned Chinese composer, arrived in Almaty after much travail. By then, he was worn down by poverty and illness and had no one to turn to. Fortunately, the Kazakh composer Bakhitzhan Baykadamov took care of Xian and provided him with the comfort of a home.
It was in Almaty that Xian composed his famous works Liberation of the Nation, Sacred War and Red All over the River. He also wrote a symphony Amangeldy based on the exploits of the Kazakh national hero. These pieces served as a rallying call to fight Fascists and proved immensely popular with the local people.
-- Quoted from Xi’s speech at Nazarbayev University in Kazakhstan on Sept. 7, 2013
2.Song Hening (Silence) composed by former Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono
In this connection, I recall the song Hening (Silence) composed by President Yudhoyono. In October 2006, he came to Guangxi, China for the commemorative summit marking the 15th anniversary of China- ASEAN dialogue relations. On the Lijiang River, President Yudhoyono was overwhelmed by inspiration and wrote down these beautiful lyrics. “The beautiful days I spend with my friends have kept recurring in my life.” The mountains and rivers in China deeply touched President Susilo and reminded him of his childhood and hometown. This shows just how strong the bond and affinity are between our two peoples.
-- Quoted from Xi’s speech to Indonesian Parliament on Oct. 3, 2013
3. Silk Road connects culture of China and Western world
In the 2nd century B.C., China began working on the Silk Road leading to the Western Regions. In 138 B.C. and 119 B.C., Envoy Zhang Qian of the Han Dynasty made two trips to those regions, spreading the Chinese culture there and bringing into China grape, alfalfa, pomegranate, flax, sesame and other products. In the Western Han Dynasty, China's merchant fleets sailed as far as India and Sri Lanka where they traded China's silk for colored glaze, pearls and other products. The Tang Dynasty saw dynamic interactions between China and other countries. According to historical documents, the dynasty exchanged envoys with over 70 countries, and Chang'an, the capital of Tang, bustled with envoys, merchants and students from other countries. Exchanges of such a magnitude helped the spread of the Chinese culture to the rest of the world and the introduction into China of the cultures and products from other countries. In the early 15th century, Zheng He, the famous navigator of China's Ming Dynasty, made seven expeditions to the Western Seas, reaching many Southeast Asian countries and even Kenya on the east coast of Africa. These trips left behind many good stories of friendly exchanges between the people of China and countries along the route. In late Ming Dynasty and early Qing Dynasty, the Chinese people began to learn modern science and technology with great zeal, as the European knowledge of astronomy, medicine, mathematics, geometry and geography were being introduced into China, which helped broaden the horizon of the Chinese people. Thereafter, exchanges and mutual learning between the Chinese civilization and other civilizations became more frequent. There were indeed conflicts, frictions, bewilderment and denial in this process. But the more dominant features of the period were learning, digestion, integration and innovation.
--Quoted from Xi’s speech at UNESCO headquarters on March 27, 2014
4. Arab restaurant in Yiwu
The fast growth of China-Arab relations has also brought closer the destinies of ordinary people from both sides. Here, I can give you such an example from the Chinese province of Zhejiang where I once worked. In the city of Yiwu where you can find many Arab businessmen, a Jordanian businessman named Mohanad opened an Arab restaurant. He introduced authentic Arab cuisine to Yiwu, and he has achieved great success in this prosperous city. He married a Chinese girl and settled down in China. This young Arab has woven his life dream into the Chinese people’s dream of a happy life. He has worked hard to live his life to the full and demonstrated a perfect fusion of the Chinese dream and Arab dream.
--Quoted from Xi’s speech at the opening ceremony of the Sixth Ministerial Conference of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum on June 5, 2014
5.China, second hometown of Tagore

Ninety years ago, Rabindranath Tagore, the great Indian poet admired by the Chinese people, visited China and was warmly received there. Upon setting foot on China’s soil, Tagore said, “I don’t know why, but coming to China is like coming home.” Upon leaving China, he said quite sadly, “My heart stays.”

--Quoted from Xi’s speech at the Indian Council of World Affairs on Sept. 18,2014

6. Pakistan’s generous help in Wenchuan earthquake
In 2008, when the devastating earthquake struck Wenchuan, China, Pakistan responded immediately and sent all its transport aircraft to ship its entire reserve of tents to China. The Pakistani medical team on the transport plane had to remove all seats to make room for the tents and sat on the floor all the way to China. Today, thousands of Pakistanis are working side by side with Chinese engineers and workers on projects undertaken by China in Pakistan, and there are many moving stories about their cooperation.
Similarly, whenever Pakistan is in need, China has come to its help. China firmly supports Pakistan's efforts to uphold sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity. When Pakistan was hit by a severe flood in 2010, China provided immediate relief assistance via air and land routes. We dispatched the largest ever medical team and sent a big convoy of vehicles and helicopters to carry out rescue operations, the first time that such an operation was undertaken in the history of China's rescue assistance. Following the terrorist attack in Peshawar at the end of 2014, China invited the students who had been injured in the attack and their family to spend some time in China for recuperation, so the trauma those kids had experienced could be healed with care and love of the Chinese people.
In the most recent evacuation mission in Yemen, the Chinese navy evacuated 176 Pakistanis from the Port of Aden, and the Pakistani navy evacuated eight Chinese students from Mukalla Port. The Pakistani commander gave the order that the ship would not leave until all the Chinese students were on board. His stirring words again show that China-Pakistan friendship is indeed deeper than the sea.
--Quoted from Xi’s speech at the Parliament of Pakistan on April 21, 2015
7.Ancient city that has witnessed China-Japan friendship

More than a week ago, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited my hometown Shaanxi province. He and I traced back the history of cultural communication between ancient China and India. During Sui and Tang Dynasties, Xi’an was also an important gateway for the friendly communication between China and Japan, where many Japanese envoys, students and monks lived and studied. Abe no Nakamaro, a scholar who stayed in China back then, had forged a profound friendship with Chinese poets Li Bai and Wang Wei, leaving a well-known story.

--Quoted from Xi’s speech at China-Japan Friendship Exchange Meeting on May 23, 2015

8.Dream jointly realized by China and Belarus

Belarus has become one of the countries in Eurasian region with whom China has carried out the most big cooperation projects. Both sides have launched dozens of major projects in the fields of telecommunication, transportation, energy and infrastructure, generating favorable economic and social benefits. The products of BELGEE have realized Belarusians’ dream to produce cars; the first hotel named after Chinese capital Beijing has been completed and operated in Minsk, starting serving Belarusian guests; completed rehabilitation projects of Minsk No.2, No.5, Lukomlskoye and Berezovsky power plants have provided power resources for the country’s economic development; the 3 cement production lines constructed by Chinese enterprises in Belarus have greatly improved the country’s cement producing scale and ability. China has also provided Belarus with modern electric trains that are currently running across the broad plain of the country, while China-Belarus Industrial Park that carries the common dream of revitalization of both countries has gradually achieved practical progress.

--Quoted from Xi’s signed article published on Belarusian newspaper on Jan. 21, 2016

9. Full size replica of the treasure boat of Zheng He in Singapore

In the early 15th century, China's great navigator, Zheng He, visited Singapore several times on his ocean voyages. A full size replica of the treasure boat of Zheng He is on display in the maritime museum of Singapore to honor this historic event. In the late Ming and early Qing dynasties, many people from China's Guangdong and Fujian provinces migrated to Southeast Asia, bringing with them Chinese culture and skills, and sowing the seeds of China-Singapore friendship.

In 1978, Mr. Deng Xiaoping visited Singapore, opening the friendly relations and cooperation between our two countries in the new era. At that time, China was embarking on a path of reform, opening up and socialist modernization and exploring the building of socialism with distinctive Chinese features. Here in your country, under the leadership of Mr. Lee Kwan Yew, Singapore succeeded in pursuing a development path suited to its national conditions by combining the Eastern values with an international vision. After seeing first-hand Singapore's economic achievements, Mr. Deng Xiaoping said that China needs to learn from Singapore. China has drawn on the Singaporean practices in addressing tough challenges encountered in its reform and development endeavors. On its part, China's development has also created tremendous opportunities for Singapore's development.

--Quoted from Xi’s speech at the National University of Singapore on Nov. 7, 2015

10. Silk Road that links two great nations
This will be my first trip to Iran, yet like many other Chinese, I do not feel like a stranger in your ancient and beautiful country, thanks to the Silk Road that linked our two great nations for centuries and to the many legendary stories recorded in history books of our friendly exchanges.
Over 2,000 years ago during the West Han Dynasty in China, the Chinese envoy Zhang Qian's deputy came to Iran and received warm welcome. Seven centuries later during the Tang and Song dynasties, many Iranians came to China's Xi'an and Guangzhou to study, practice medicine and do business. In the 13th century, the famous Iranian poet Saadi wrote about his unforgettable travel to Kashgar, Xinjiang. In the 15th century, a renowned Chinese navigator Zheng He from the Ming Dynasty led seven maritime expeditions, which took him to Hormuz in southern Iran three times.
The much-prized Persian carpet is weaved out of a fusion of China's silk and Iran's sophisticated techniques. And the exquisite blue and white porcelain is produced thanks to a mixture of Iran's "smaltum" (a type of material containing cobalt, unique to Iran) and China's advanced skills. Via Iran, China's lacquerware, pottery, as well as papermaking, metallurgical, printing and gunpowder making skills were spread to the west end of Asia, and further on to Europe. And from Iran and Europe, pomegranate, grape, olive, as well as glass, gold and silver ware were introduced into China.
--Quoted from Xi’s signed article “Work Together for a Bright Future of China-Iran Relations” published on Iranian newspaper on Jan. 21, 2016

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