Renowned Kazakh sinologist Klara Khafizova shares on Silk Road development and Sino-Iranian relations at HKBU Belt and Road Public Lecture Series
30 Oct 2017
HKBU invited Academician of Kazakhstan Academy of Sciences Professor Klara Khafizova to deliver two Belt and Road Public Lectures and share her insights on the Silk Road and the Sino-Iranian relations on the Silk Road.
In the first lecture entitled Silk Road: Myths and Reality held on 24 October, Professor Khafizova said that the history of the Silk Road could be dated back to two millennia ago. Myths and reality of the Silk Road have formed an integral part of Chinese civilisation and influenced the role of China globally.
She said that there are many dimensions in studying the development of the Silk Road, ranging from economics, culture, politics and military. In the discussion, she mainly focused on three aspects of the Silk Road.
First, the majority of research showed that the idea of the revival of the Silk Road and its spirit appears in China and is connected with China. Professor Khafizova attributed this to both economic and strategic factors.
Second, a vital source of revitalisation of the Silk Road is a combination of idealistic and pragmatic ideas, based on historical information on the Silk Road in China. The flourishing of the Silk Road in the Middle Ages was the result of the interaction of the Chinese, nomadic and Islamic civilisations.
Finally, Professor Khafizova presented the problems and prospects of the modern Silk Road. She said that the modern Silk Road connects all countries along the Belt and Road. The modern Silk Road is reflected in advanced infrastructure such as gas pipelines, high-speed railways, fibre-optic and satellite communications that have crossed Kazakhstan and Central Asia, and crystallised into the megaproject “Belt and Road Initiative”.
In the second lecture entitled China and Iran on the Silk Road held on 26 October, Professor Khafizova said that the interaction of the civilisations of China and Iran along the Silk Road formed the backbone of Sino-Iranian relations. She said that the establishment of diplomatic and cultural ties between the two countries gave a powerful impetus to their technical and economic exchange and development.
According to Professor Khafizova, the two civilisations represented two poles of human civilisation connecting other parts of the world: the Middle East was connected with Greece and Rome, and China with the Asia-Pacific Region. These poles pulled Central Asia through the Silk Road into their orbit.
She said that China and Iran established diplomatic relations in 1971 and have since been developing bilateral trade. Nowadays, Iran remains a key partner of China. On foreign policy, China highlights the civilisations of ancient China and Iran and the “common destiny” and “common goals” of the peoples of the two countries.