The Silk Route is an ancient route, which provided a connection between the Eastern and the Western countries, this route maintained the business interactions as well as the cultural link between the countries in the east and the west. This route was established during the Han Dynasty, which is about 207 BCE to 220C by Zhang Quian who was a Chinese official and diplomat. The name of the road has been derived from the valuable silk, which was carried by the merchants through this route. The route stretched from the China to Mediterranean. The valuable fabric of silk was produced in China at that time. The Silk Route or Road now connects the countries of China, India, Persia, Arabia, Greece and Italy. Other important trade items like spices, fruits, grains and handcrafted items were also traded through this route.
The Silk Road stretches across a huge area covering several countries in Eurasia; the road has different types of climate and vegetation and all sorts of terrain (Alavidze). Before the advancements in technology and science, the physical features of an area or country used to determine the location of the people. The modern states have created the boundaries, which did not exist at that time (Li). The most important feature of Eurasia is the vastly spread landmass which is about 7500 Km in length from the Mediterranean to the China Sea and 500 Km from Indian Ocean to Arctic Ocean. This means the climate of the region can extend from very hot to very cold, there is lack of moisture in the landmass as the water bodies are far away from the landmasses, and thus the temperature of the land cannot be moderated as it is far away from the sea (Lim). The location of human beings along the Silk Road can be determined with the availability of water in the region. The regions which are far away from the ocean are drier in climate than those which are near the sea.
The vast areas of the inner regions inside Asia is made up of deserts and mountains, there are some of the highest mountains present in those regions (Rastogi). During the year 400 there was a Chinese monk named Faxian who had travelled to India by crossing the Karakorum Range and he recorded the dangers which he saw during his travel. According to his records, “The snow rests on them both winter and summer (Laruelle). There are also among them venomous dragons, which, when provoked, spit forth poisonous winds, and cause showers of show and storms of sand and gravel. Not one in ten thousand of those who encounter these dangers escape with his life”.
According to the observations of Franciscan, John of Plano Carpini the Gobi desert is a vast desert containing mostly gravel and is situated in the Central Asia. He said that “In some parts the country is extremely mountainous, in others it is flat, but practically the whole of it is composed of very sandy gravel...[and] is completely bare of trees. Not one hundredth part of the land is fertile, nor can it bear fruit unless it be irrigated by running water....” (Callaghan and Hubbard). Most of the inner regions consist of deserts and arid areas as this places are far into the lands. The most dangerous desert in that region is Taklamakan, this place is considered to be very dangerous and the people who go in there does not come back they either die or get lost in the desert (Castillo et al.). The pilgrim monk of 7th-century Xuanzang's biographer in his records captures the harsh and perishable climatic conditions: "Time seems to stop..For four or five days, the pilgrim and his horse struggle westward. Not a drop of water anywhere. His mouth, lips, and throat are parched by the burning heat. The evening of the fifth day the horse and rider fall down exhausted....." .
China has been recently proposing an idea to revive their old trading route with the help of The Silk Route the idea is “One Belt One Road” initiative and it is still in its primitive stage. In the year 2015 China declared their 160 billion USD project infrastructure plans in collaboration with the AIIB (Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank), it provides the financial background for the “One Belt One Road” initiative. A total amount of 4 to 8 trillion USD and more is expected o be used for the project and it can even get higher in amount in the future. The projects such as the “China-Pakistan Economic Corridor” and “Zhejiang to London freight train” have already been completed and thus emphasizing on the fact that China is really serious about uplifting their economic conditions in the parts of Central and South Asia and parts of Southeast Asia. The USA continuously keeps on aiding countries like Pakistan primarily through the help of the defence system of the nation, China seems to be the only nation offering practical investment, which could go a long way towards strengthening China's role in the global economy.
Alavidze, Zemphira, et al. "Silk route to the acceptance and re-implementation of bacteriophage therapy." Biotechnology Journal 11.5 (2016): 595-600.
Callaghan, Mike, and Paul Hubbard. "The Asian infrastructure investment bank: Multilateralism on the silk road." China Economic Journal 9.2 (2016): 116-139.
Castillo, Cristina Cobo, B?r?nice Bellina, and Dorian Q. Fuller. "Rice, beans and trade crops on the early maritime Silk Route in Southeast Asia." Antiquity 90.353 (2016): 1255-1269.
Laruelle, Marlene. "The US Silk Road: geopolitical imaginary or the repackaging of strategic interests?." Eurasian Geography and Economics 56.4 (2015): 360-375.
Li, Peiyue, et al. "Building a new and sustainable “Silk Road economic belt”." Environmental Earth Sciences 74.10 (2015): 7267-7270.
Lim, Tai Wei. "The One Belt One Road Narratives." China and the World Ancient and Modern Silk Road 1.01 (2018): 1850007.
Rastogi, Cordula, and Jean-Fran?ois Arvis. The Eurasian connection: Supply-chain efficiency along the modern Silk Route through Central Asia. World Bank Publications, 2014.