Maritime legacy continues to extend to distant shores
BEIJING, Nov. 6, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — A report from China Daily: At Zheng He Park in Taicang, Jiangsu province, a replica of famed Chinese navigator and explorer Zheng He’s large ship is anchored near the shore of a lake.
Setting sail from Taicang, Zheng had led a fleet of ships on seven voyages during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). The voyages took the fleet to destinations in Southeast Asia and South Asia, and as far away as Africa, and the mariners visited more than 30 countries and regions.
Zheng’s voyages propelled the ancient maritime Silk Road forward. The fleet brought to its destinations Chinese silk, porcelain and tea, and it shared knowledge of farming, textile production and fishing techniques with local people, forging friendly relations wherever it went.
In return, Zheng’s fleet brought back treasures such as jewels, spices, medicinal herbs and exotic animals.
On Oct 27, as part of the 2023 Hi Jiangsu Media Trip, foreign journalists visited the Zheng He Memorial Hall in Taicang, delving into the city’s cultural traits of peace, cooperation and openness.
The media trip, co-organized by the Information Office and Foreign Affairs Office of Jiangsu’s provincial government and China Daily, brought together journalists from countries including Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, the United Arab Emirates, Thailand and Vietnam, all of which are involved in the Belt and Road Initiative.
The journalists visited the cities of Nanjing, Yangzhou, Lianyungang and Taicang from Oct 22 to 28 to learn about Jiangsu’s deep integration into the development of the BRI over the past decade.
Jiangsu sits at the intersection of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, which together form the Belt and Road Initiative. Over the past decade, Jiangsu has actively leveraged its geographical advantages and played a vital role in the BRI.
The media trip included stops at the Nanjing International Rail Freight Express, the China-Kazakhstan (Lianyungang) logistics cooperation base and Taicang Port. The visits offered firsthand insights into Jiangsu’s efforts to promote connectivity and trade among countries participating in the BRI.
Abdul Wajid Khan, a research scholar and journalist at Independent News Pakistan who participated in the media trip, said, “Jiangsu will further increase its trade and economic relationship with countries involved in the BRI.” It will also help them “modernize industrial sectors with the help of its high-tech industrial capacity”, he added.
Meanwhile, though the replica of Zheng He’s ship may never set sail, the explorer’s legacy continues with the ports of Taicang and Lianyungang, which remain bustling as they facilitate the transportation of goods and spread the principles of peaceful cooperation and mutual benefit to distant shores.