According to ancient Chinese legend, Daoist monk, Zhang Sanfeng was meditating in the Wudang Mountains when he saw a fight between a snake and a sparrow. He was intrigued by the way the animals moved, their incredible grace and precision inspired him to create the Taijiquan style of Wushu, a Chinese martial art. Legend has it that practicing Wudang Wushu helped him live for 300 years. To this day, monks in the Mountains preserve the art, which remains imbued with philosophy, and pass it on from generation to generation.
A group of journalists travel across China, following the famous and ancient old Silk Road to witness the trading link’s revival. The route that originated in this country once connected Europe to Asia. Now, under the “One Belt, One Road” initiative, the Chinese government is seeking to recreate a modern-day “New Silk Road”. Key industrial centres are undergoing an economic boom and major megacities, and their residents are seizing the opportunity to develop new business and contribute to the cause.
China is among the world’s fastest developing countries and much of its success is rooted in a unique brand of socialism, which encourages a market economy allowing private business to flourish within a state-dominated system. State owned businesses and self-starting entrepreneurs are enjoying new opportunities for international growth as the nation embarks on a mission to revive the ancient Silk Road trade routes.
As China is setting a course to revive the Silk Road with its ‘One Belt, One Road’ initiative, we visit the key cities on the renowned ancient trade route. Learn the story behind the discovery of the famous terracotta army in Xi’an, visit Lanzhou for a traditional tea ceremony, and find out what ailments are treated with acupuncture in Ürümqi.
From Nizhny Novgorod, Aleksey manages to catch a ride to Cheboksary, where he decides to splurge on a motel after two days with almost no sleep. Meanwhile, back in Khabarovsk, Marina has lunch with a girlfriend, who raises doubts about her prospective husband.
Modern China is a unique mix of cutting-edge technology and centuries-old tradition. It takes pride in its booming economy and rich cultural heritage. In many ways, China owes its complexity and versatility to the Silk Road, an ancient trade route established in the 2nd century BC that for hundreds of years initiated cross-cultural interaction between Eurasian civilisations.