Asia As A Global Economic Player

1607 words - 6 pages

In today’s world Asia is an economic power house due to the two largest and most populated countries in the world, China and India. “In the thousand years from 500 to 1500, Asia was an astonishing, connected and creative place. It had the five largest cities in the world, all at the heart of great empires. A few, such as Delhi, Beijing and Istanbul remain major cities today” (Gordon. Pg. Vii). The history shows that these two countries have always been the centre of attention and desired by many invaders for wealth and power. This essay will give a rough idea about how these countries came to be but the major theme will be “The Silk Road” and how it connected Asia with the rest of the world, Mediterranean to northeast Africa and Europe. This essay will briefly explain how these “interconnectedness” between different parts of Asia influenced each other economically, religiously, politically and culturally.
Asia produced money and credit that traders knew and accepted from the Middle East to China. The Silk Road got its name from the famous Chinese silk trade among its major trading partners. A few centuries before Buddhist monk Xuanzang’s arrival at Issy Kul (now Kirghizstan), silk had became a universally accepted currency between China and the nomads west and north of the great wall. Silk was so important, because of the ecological differences between agriculture of China and the grasslands of the nomads to the west. The steppe nomads raised horses and their cattle were constantly demanded by the Chinese elites; China raised grain and only China produced silk. These four items became the main reasons for war between these two regions. China wanted horses and cattle and nomad wanted grain and silk; so they constantly raided each other. China occasionally tried to stop these raids by marriage alliance, silk and grain formed dowry. The Silk Routes became the most important paths for technological, cultural, and commercial exchanges between China and India.
The Silk Road enabled people to transport goods, luxuries such as grain, silk, slaves, spices, medicines, technology and perfume. In the West, silk was considered more precious than gold and it remained very rare and expensive. The trade on the Silk Road was a significant factor that helped developing the great civilizations of China and India. This road helped exchange art, ideas and innovations between different cultures. An example of this would be the second Tang embassy’s visit to India that brought back sugarcane and technology to press it. These mutual trades shaped the economy and culture of both India and China greatly. When the Han dynasty collapsed in the third century, the trade between east and west was reduced to a minimum. But that was not the end of The Silk Road. When the Tang (618-907) dynasty reestabilized China, the long-distance trade route was reanimated. The Silk Road not only promoted commodity exchanges but also cultural. Buddhism was one of the...

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