China has decided to revive the ancient 'Southern Silk Road' to strengthen its trade ties with South and South-east Asian neighbours. The Silk Route, originating from the Chinese city of Chengdu, wandered through Myanmar and then extended to Bangladesh, India and even the Middle East. In Beijing, a senior government official has said that the Southern Silk Road will be used as an economic corridor
The Silk road will link China with India, Bangladesh and Myanmar. The official also said that Chinese Premier Li Keqiang had discussed the issue with the top Indian leadership during his recent visit to New Delhi. According to him, India, too, is interested in reviving the ancient road. While welcoming the government’s decision, senior researcher with the Development Research Centre of Yunnan provincial government Yang Ye said that the first South Asia Expo has been organised in Kunming to bolster China’s trade relations with the South Asian countries.
He stressed that China would require the help of these countries to revive the Silk Road, as it would not be possible for Beijing to do the job alone. Meanwhile, a senior Chinese Transport Ministry official said that the authorities concerned in Beijing is currently upgrading the 16 existing international transport routes and 7 trunk roads in the region so that these roads could be promoted as high-grade highways in the coming days.
These routes include China-Vietnam Highway, China-Laos-Thailand Highway, China-Myanmar Highway and the China-India Highway.