China’s Old and New Meet: 21st Century Train and 18th and 19th Century Ships



A few blog posts back I reviewed When America First Met China by Eric Jay Dolin. It is the account of how trade relations between China and U.S. began. Sail boats and clipper ships and later steam ships plied the oceans in search of tea, porcelain, and other goods that were eagerly sought after by America (as well as Britain, Spain, and the rest of Europe). It was a trip fraught with danger and some accounts put such a trip between Spain and China at six weeks.  Trains Magazine, which I subscribe to, recently posted on its news wire that now the trip between these two countries was recently accomplished in just 20 days. The overland route, (8,158 miles or 13,129 km) called the “21st century Silk Road” by the governor of China’s Zhejiang province began in Yiwu,  in eastern China, nearly two hundred miles south of Shanghai , where it then went to Kazakhstan  by way of Russia, onto Poland and Belarus belarus
and ending in Madrid, Spain. For another account of the “new” silk road, see the New York Times 2013 article “Hauling New Treasure Along the Silk Road.”