Op/Ed By Chris Devonshire-Ellis
As our Silk Road Project team arrive in Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang, it is pertinent to note the long held the fascination this most Western of Chinese Provinces has held over the exotic-minded businessman. Fabled for its association with the ancient Silk Road and Western legends through the travel exploits of Marco Polo, as well as with Chinese mythology through the epic classic “Journey to the West” mixed together with more recent shades of Britain and Russia playing out their “Great Game.”
Op/Ed by Chris Devonshire-Ellis
It remains unknown whether any Chinese official, upon hearing of the One Belt, One Road idea asked the Chinese President Xi Jinping what to call the Caspian Sea part. The Belt refers to the maritime section of the project, encompassing much of South-East Asia then eventually washing up at Piraeus Port in Athens,while the Road follows the overland route -the section the New Silk Road Project team are tackling. One almost wishes for a Pythonesque, Chinese civil servant to have piped up and said "Yes but what about the Caspian? It's not a Road and it's not part of the Belt. Shall we call it the Gusset?" Alas we will never know the answer.