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YearIssue
Issue 06, 2017

Contents:

This issue is proofread by Cheng Long and Terry Boyd-Zhang.
Introduction to Our Cover

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The Sense of Joy Derived from the Silk Road

From the Editor

The Sense of Joy Derived from the Silk Road

By Liu Jing, Editor in Chief
Photograph by Yang Hong

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From “Sina”, “Cathy”, to “China”

Idioms

From “Sina”, “Cathy”, to “China”

By Cheng Long
Photograph by Huang Bin

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Five Misconceptions about the Silk Road

Opening

Five Misconceptions about the Silk Road

By Shan Zhiqiang
Translation by Nick Angiers

Ever since the proposal of the “Silk Road” concept, countless literary works and archaeological projects on this incredible trade route have been performed, and later analyzed. How exactly did this route extend? Was it really only related to silk? And among our knowledge of the Silk Road, what kinds of misconceptions still exist?More>>

"Squares" and "Circles" of Xinjiang's Ruins

Overland

"Squares" and "Circles" of Xinjiang's Ruins

By Nan Xianghong
Translation by Pavel Toropov

A visitor who comes to explore Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, would certainly not fail to be impressed by the sheer number of ruins and ancient towns dotted around in the desert and sheltered in the green sanctuaries of oases. Their history, should the visitor inquire about it, would further impress him with its richness and length. The ruins of ancient settlements here in Xinjiang are diverse—More>>

The Road of Openness

Overland

The Road of Openness

By Zheng Xiaofeng
Illustrations by Meng Fanmeng, and as credited
Translation by Pavel Toropov

Hexi Corridor (in today’s Gansu Province) is a natural route from what is now Xinjiang to the Central Plain. During the Han (202 BC—AD 220) and the Tang (AD 618–907) dynasties, this section of the Silk Road was a hub of Eurasia commerce. It also prospered, bustling with every type of commerce and trade, home to objects and crafts of every origin imaginable. The key locations in the corridor—today’More>>

The Dance of the Silk Road

Overland

The Dance of the Silk Road

By Miao Zixi
Photographs by Nan Xi
Translation by Nick Angiers

Along the Silk Road of the Han (202 BC–AD 220) and Tang (AD 618–907) dynasties, aside from tangible treasures such as splendorous jewels and mesmerizing fragrances, many forms of exotic dance also made their way to China. Consequently, the rapid spins and bold dance steps, together with the extravagant costumes and makeup that went along with them, quietly became a part of the ancient country of CMore>>

Introduced Foods of the Central Plains

Overland

Introduced Foods of the Central Plains

By Li Genpan
Photographs by Geng Yi, and as credited
Translation by Trevor Padgett

Prior to the Warring States Period (475–221 BC), the diet of the people of China’s Central Plain was very simple, consisting mainly on the staples of soybeans. In the years that followed this gradually changed, and the revolutionized culinary traditions that took over have persisted and carried through to modern day China. Not only did the types of food change, but how meals were consumed and the More>>

The Silk Road: Extending from Land to the Sea

Maritime

The Silk Road: Extending from Land to the Sea

By Xiao Chunlei
Translation by Paul Stephen

For more than 2,000 years, the importance of the Silk Road and the “Maritime Silk Road” rose and fell along with China’s fortunes. The treasures, technologies, and culture that flowed through China’s two Silk Roads—and the influence of China’s merchant clans—advanced a profound transformation of China’s economy and civilization. But what factors lead to the rise and fall of these two Silk Roads?More>>

Shipwrecks: Witnesses to China’s Grand Era of Maritime Navigation

Maritime

Shipwrecks: Witnesses to China’s Grand Era of Maritime Navigation

By Situ Shangji, Xu Lu and Zhong Yan
Photographs by Li Bin, and as credited
Translation by Bruce Humes

Due to the dispersal, neglect and even willful destruction of large amount of ancient data, historians often lament the “loss” of China’s maritime past. In recent years, however, marine archaeology has pried open the ocean’s grand portal. Like a set of precious keys, many ancient shipwrecks slumbering on the seabed have emerged to unlock treasure chests filled with long-lost evidence of China’s glMore>>

Civil Heroes of China’s Ancient Maritime Silk Road

Maritime

Civil Heroes of China’s Ancient Maritime Silk Road

By Xiao Ming
Illustrations by Meng Fanmeng
Translation by Nick Angiers

In many people’s opinions, China is a country which lacks maritime culture, but this lack may not only be due as much to the limitations of deep-rooted agricultural civilization, but also from restrictions implemented by the ruling classes. In fact, along China’s lengthy coastline, there have been many people who sought to explore the world even under oppression of their rulers. One civil hero aftMore>>

The South-faring Minanners

Maritime

The South-faring Minanners

By Gao Weinong, Hong Ying, Zeng Xiaoxia
Photographs by Ma Hongjie, and as credited
Translation by Nick Angiers

The “South Seas” was the Sinocentric name used in Ming and Qing China (1368–1912) to refer to the region of Southeast Asia, including the Malay, Philippine and Indian archipelagos, as well as the Indochina and Malay peninsulas. Historically, when the Chinese travelled to this area to make a living, it was called “traversing the South Seas” or “south-faring”. Among the hundreds of thousands of natiMore>>