No Knife on my Silk Road

NO KNIFE ON MY SILK ROAD


A pictorial presentation
by Helene Chung



Images by Helene Chung unless indicated otherwise
May 2019 unless indicated otherwise

© www.helenechung.com

Pronounced He-LANE Chung as in HUNG
Singing Sand Dunes, Gansu
(Chinese photographer)

China’s Silk Road from Xian (Changan) to Kashgar

Centre of Xian, capital of Shaanxi Province
Bell Tower Hotel, Bell Tower 

Population 9 m
Formerly called Changan
Xian = Western Peace
Capital of 13 dynasties
Including Qin (Chin), Han, Tang

Under Tang Dynasty (618 – 907)
Changan a cosmopolitan
leading world city

Bell Tower

Welcome to foreigners at South Gate, September 2017

Red carpet entrance to South Gate, September 2017

Approach to South Gate, September 2017

Crossing the moat, September 2017

Video: Re-enactment Silk Road traders and camels on South Gate, Xian, September 2017

Hui Muslims at prayer at the Great Mosque, Xian, June 1984
Islam introduced to China by Arab traders in 7th c

Imam Ma Liangji with John Martin, Helene Chung and ABC interpreter Old Fan (sunglasses) watch a gongfu tournament at the end of Ramadan, Xian, 1 July 1984 (Willi Phua)

Muslim Street, Xian: Entrance, cakes, shish kebabs, pomegranates, September 2017

Big Wild Goose Pagoda for Buddhist scriptures brought back from India by 7th c monk Xuan Zang

Buddhist worshippers among temple visitors

Buddhism introduced 1st c AD
Mahayana Buddhism 
Gautama
‘merely one reincarnation

in a vast series of Buddhas’

In 65 AD Emperor Han Mingdi dreamt of a divine being
Sent an envoy west 
He returned with Sanskrit texts

Translated at Louyang

(CP Fitzgerald, China)

First Emperor Qin (reign 221 BC – 207 BC)
His protective army of Entombed Warriors

Qin formerly spelt Chin
Defeated all rival kingdoms
United China named after him
Completed building Great Wall of China

Burial mound of Emperor Qin: vendors at the base, men under pomegranate tree, June 1984 (John Martin)

Terracotta army of soldiers and horses in pit 1
8 m visitors in 2018

Warrior with horse and middle ranking officer displayed behind glass

Archaeologists at work in pit 1
Estimated total 6,000 – 8,000 figures

Site of discovery by farming brothers
digging a well in 1974

Surviving farmer Yang Zhifa autographs a book
Sits for photograph with purchaseSeptember 2017 (Helene Chung, Chinese photographer)

Huaqing Palace site of XIAN INCIDENT, Christmas 1936
Nationalist Generalissimo CHIANG KAISHEK kidnapped by subordinates
Released when he agrees to cease fighting Communists and join ZHOU ENLAI in a United Front against Japan
Did Xian Incident change the course of history? Might Chiang Kaishek have defeated Mao Zedong?
(1984, John Martin)

Negotiations assisted by 

Australian William Henry Donald

(EA Selle, Donald of China 

Portrait by Time)

Chiang Kaishek in 1935        

(Jonathan D Spence, Search for Modern China)

 

Zhou Enlai at Yenan

(Jonathan D Spence, Search for Modern China)

 
Subordinates 
Young Marshall Zhang Xueliang
(50 years house arrest before USA)
Yang Hucheng (executed)
(Wikipedia)

Travel by fast train Xian to Lanzhou – 3 hours

Lanzhou, capital of Gansu Province           

Gansu, narrow Hexi (West of Yellow River) Corridor to Xinjiang

Lanzhou population 4 m 
400,000 – 500,000 Muslims 

 White Pagoda Park with a mosque below

Iron Bridge across Yellow River Renamed Zhongshan Bridge after Sun Zhongsun (Sun Yatsen)

Roadside stop at fruit stall on 2.5 hour drive from Lanzhou to boat for Bingling Grottoes

Liujiaxia Reservoir, Bridge and Park enroute to Bingling Grottoes

Motor boat to cross Yellow River to Jishi Mountains where café manager presents
Eight treasures tea: date, lychee, longan, red berries, chrysanthemum, rose buds, sugar, green tea leaves
Guide Lydia shows how to drink from three-storeys cup 

Approach to Bingling Buddhist Caves is over a bridge with lotus pillars
Despite its muddy roots a blooming lotus represents purity and enlightenment

Also called Thousand Buddha Caves
Grottoes carved into 
60 m high cliff face 
of a gorge of Yellow River

Seated Buddha

Buddha in lotus posture

Stupa and background including apsaras (flying angels)

Apsaras (flying angels) in Grotto 10, Tang Dynasty (618 – 907)

Tang Dynasty crowned Bodhisattva
(holy person who has not yet reached or has delayed nirvana through compassion)

Artist painting outside cave         

View from doorway into cave 

A niche at Bingling Caves and details of niche

Grotto 134 Buddha with two Bodhisattvas, Northern Zhou Dynasty (557 – 581)

Seated Giant Buddha 27 m, the Maitreya (Future) Buddha of all encompassing love, Tang Dynasty (618 -907) 

Giant Buddha with niches and other caves in cliff wall, seen from opposite bank

Grotto 16 Sleeping Buddha 8.64 m, Northern Wei Dynasty (386 – 557)
Sakyamuni in Nirvana

China’s Silk Road from Xian (Changan) to Kashgar

Labrang (Tibetan: Labuleng) Civil Aviation Hotel, Xiahe County, Gansu Province

Morning yak yoghurt offered outside Labrang Tibetan Monastery, Xiahe

Pilgrims and tourists outside Labrang Monastery (at far left edge)

Labrang Tibetan Buddhist Monastery, founded 18th c Formerly held up to 4000 monks

A young Tibetan asks for a family portrait 

Small Tibetan windows to preserve warmth
Inside the Yak Butter Temple
(only temple in which photographs may be taken)

Philosophical, Xiahe-born lama in Butter Temple

 What is being? What is I?
Is there a place for visitors to meditate?
What is meditation?
Do you see yourself as Tibetan or Chinese?
What is Tibetan?

The Dalai Lama visited this Labrang temple in 1941

His Holiness the Dalai Lama 
on his first visit to Australia 
interviewed by Helene Chung for ABC TV
Melbourne, 8 August 1982 (John Martin)

Stupa at Labrang Monastery

Tourists among boots shed by monks 
before they attend a lecture 

Tibetans in Labrang County

Oh, what shall I wear? How should I have it tailored?

Labrang Monastery as dusk descends

Tibetan prostration around Labrang Monastery

Turning the world’s largest corridor of prayer wheels, 3.5 k around the monastery

So, is the table booked?

5-hour fast train northwest from Gansu Province capital Lanzhou to Jiayuguan

Military re-enactment with canon at entrance to Jiayuguan Pass

Jiayuguan Pass at western end of the Ming Dynasty Great Wall (Judi Taylor)

East Gate against Heavenly Mountains

Visitors to Jiayuguan

Jiayuguan Museum: Multicultural society of peaceful coexistence 

From Jiayuguan along Gobi Desert to Dunhuang Hotel

 Dunhuang = Grandeur and Glory 

 View of Singing Sands from room

Entrance to Singing Sands, Gansu

Singing Sands (Judi Taylor)

Camel riding with sand boots

Camel trail (Chinese photographer)

Children of the dunes

Crescent Lake – in the midst of sand dunes
A wonder of the Gobi Desert

Ladies of the lake

Departure Singing Sands for a courtyard lunch

A short drive from Jiayuguan to Dunhuang

Dunhuang Grottoes Visitor Centre 

Unrenovated Mogao Caves as shown in Dunhuang Museum
The caves carved for Buddhist meditation and sometimes monks’ habitation

Mogao Caves: Caves of a Thousand Buddhas with 735 caves carved into cliff wall, May 2019
1st cave built in 366 by wandering monk who dreamt of thousand rays of light (Eastern Jin Dynasty)

Taoist priest Wang Yuanlu 
(Dunhuang Museum) 

Born Shanxi Province c 1848
Died Mogao Caves, Gansu, 1931

Credited with discovery of Mogao Caves
Became self-appointed guardian

In 1900 in Cave 16 he discovered a hidden door that led to another cave: Cave 17, the Library Cave crammed with perfectly preserved manuscripts

Hungarian-born naturalised British archaeologist Sir Marc Aurel Stein (1862 – 1943)
Discovered Mogao Caves in 1907
Removed 24 cases of manuscripts and 4 cases of paintings and relics
including the Diamond Sutra
Knighted in 1912
(Cambridge Biographical Encyclopedia, Wikipedia)

As depicted in gallery of foreign exploiters of China
(Gaochang Museum)

Chinese Copy of the Diamond Sutra

Its teachings will ‘cut like a diamond blade through worldly illusion to illuminate what is real and everlasting’

Dated 868 (Tang Dynasty)

‘This copy of the Diamond Sutra is the world’s earliest complete and dated, printed book.’ (British Library)

Diamond Sutra made in 7 sections
Each printed from a single block
Stuck together to create
A scroll over 5 metres long

Paul Pelliot 1878 – 1945
A French Sinologist and linguist 

Unlike Stein, Pelliot’s expertise enabled him 
to recognise the most valuable documents
 
Wang Yuanlu agreed to Pelliot’s price of 500 taels 
(worth about AU$17,000 today)
  
Pelliot’s self-portrait in Library Cave 
in 1908
(Wikipedia)

Dunhuang guide at entrance to Cave 16 and ‘Hidden Cave’ No 17 in May 2019
No photographs inside caves allowed

Entrance to Cave 257
Maitreya (Future) Buddha
(Dunhuang Academy website)

Ancestor portraits of Yin family

Walkway and stairs by Yin family portraits

Entrance to Cave 96: Big Buddha, 35.5 m high

Big Buddha is housed in a 9-storey pagoda

Section of Big Buddha, early Tang Dynasty 618-705 (David Tansey, Wikipedia)

Entrance to Cave 148: Nirvana (Sleeping) Buddha

Sleeping Buddha as shown on a Dunhuang Caves poster

Gobi Desert as seen from car driving from Dunhuang to Liuyuan train station

Wind power farm and Black Mountains (Heshan)

Liuyuan in the Gobi Desert

Helene Chung and Judi Taylor farewell Dunhuang driver Li and guide Spring over lunch

Liuyuan train station and entrance to Safety Check
Leads to confiscation of 12-year internationally-travelled Swiss Army knife (like this)
From checked-in airline case that has passed numerous checks on this trip

Confiscation of penknife
A reminder of request for fruit knife at Holiday Plaza Hotel Jiayuguan

Presented with flimsy plastic knife encased in cellophane
So now must continue with
No real knife on my Silk Road

Gansu Province borders the strategic and volatile Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region

Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region
Population 23 m – 13 main ethnic groups
60% Muslim: 9 m Uighurs

Xinjiang rich in oil, minerals and natural gas
Vital conduit of Belt and Road Initiative

On sensitive border of Russia, Mongolia and
former Soviet areas now independent states – the Stans
fuelling Uighur nationalism in Xinjiang

Also includes disputed area claimed by India
Over millennia controlled by many warlords, kingdoms and empires
Including Iranian, Mongolian, Tibetan and Chinese 
(Anders Corr, 9-part series on Xinjiang, ucanews.com, March 2019)
Emperor Qianlong (reign 1736 – 1795)
Portrait by Guiseppe Castiglione
(Dragon Emperor
National Gallery of Victoria, 1988)

In 1759 Qing Emperor Qianlong conquers and incorporates
Western Regions into China, so doubling the size of China
‘Qianlong’s most important achievement’
Western Regions later renamed Xinjiang = New Territories
(Jonathan D Spence)

Qianlong’s Fragrant Concubine
Uighur Xiang Fei, buried in Kashgar
In 1793 Qianlong rebuffs
King George III’s Emissary, 
Lord Macartney:
‘We have no need 
for your country’s manufactures’
Portrait (New World Encyclopedia)
After decades of tension in Xinjiang
Uighurs explode onto world stage 
Suicide car crash in Tiananmen Square 
November 2013
 
Blamed on Muslim Uighur separatists who seek independence from China 
3 occupants of SUV 
and 2 bystanders killed
Uighurs claim:
Rather than jihadism, violence is driven by cultural repression, corruption and police abuses
 
(AFP, 11 December 2013)

Internment camps holding 1 million Uighurs

(China’s Hidden Camps, BBC, 24 October 2018)

Chinese Communist Party Secretary, Xinjiang
Chen Quanguo
Transferred from Tibet 2016
To Sinicise Xinjiang
(FollowCN.com)
Amnesty International  2 November 2018

China claims the camps are ‘vocational training centres’ 
This rejected by Amnesty International  2 November 2018

ABC Four Corners on how Australian Uighurs are caught in Xinjiang’s prison system
15 July 2019

Local Han Chinese repeat official policy
Even if only to protect themselves

‘Yes, some Uighurs are sent to classes
Maybe for up to a year

It’s educational
It’s to stop extremism – terrorism

We support the government policy

‘Cameras and surveillance are a nuisance but they make us safe’
But most usual response is:
‘This is a sensitive subject

We can’t talk about this’

Concourse outside Turpan train station, Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region

Need for passport and police check and to be photographed
No pictures of police or police centre allowed

Entrance to courtyard of Silk Road Lodges, run by Muslins in the centre of a Uighur village
Security from inside looking out (Judi Taylor)

Chinese flags denote patriotism – love of Motherland of China
Western books on shelf

The Taming of the Shrew – Are Uighurs being tamed?
The Statue of Liberty – Crushed in Tiananmen Massacre 

Goddess of Democracy
being built 
before crushed in Tiananmen Massacre June 1989

Breakfast in dining room – home with President Xi Yinping and the Chinese flag
Xi Jinping plate (Judi Taylor)

Four police checks within first hour of first full day in Xinjiang
Police check point at tourist Tuyu Uighur village car park

Model policeman a reminder of police presence at Tuyu Uighur village car park
Surveillance camera outside police centre and car park

Tuyuq Uighur Village: c 2013 – 65 households, 370 people but rather quiet today
Traditional painted double doors

German brewery heir and archaeologist Albert le Coq lived here
in Tuyuq Village while exploring Turpan

Plundered case loads of artefacts and carvings from Xinjiang
Some relics destroyed by British bombs in World War II
Portrait (Wikipedia)

Abandoned mosque opposite fruit and nut stall

Mosque and passer-by against Flaming Mountain

Mosque viewed from car park and police centre

Bread oven

Bed for sleeping outdoors during hot weather

Hanging gourds, sultanas and other dried fruit

Guide Wendy at basket stall

Muslim elder in skull cap, boy with dried plum, girl with bread

Police fly the flag

Forecourt Gaochang (Qocho) Museum
Xuan Zang 7th c
Tang Dynasty Buddhist monk
His travel from Xian to India for Buddhist scriptures part-funded by Qocho

Xuan Zang’s travels to 
28 cities took 17 years

This led to 
Wu Chengen’s novel
Journey to the West
Pagoda built to house the scriptures in Xian (Changan) 

Gaochang (Qocho) Museum

Video: Musician 

Uighur Manager

Gaochang District 30 km southeast of Turpan 

Gaochang (Khoko) City ‘the power centre of the central government to control the Western Regions’

Gallery of foreign rogues, Gaochang Museum
19th – 20th c Russian, German, English and Japanese explorers and exploiters
‘They ransacked the cultural relics violently … Qocho City suffered an unprecedented catastrophe’

Shuttle bus from Gaochang Museum to Gaochang Ancient City

(Judi Taylor}

Gaochang Ancient City Built 2nd c BC – 14th c AD

Tang Dynasty control 7th – 9th c Uighur Kharakhoja Kingdom 9th – 14th c

Multi-ethnic population c 30,000
Walls 11.5 m high and thick Square outer city 5.4 k long 9 city gates Rectangular inner city 3 k long

(Professor Robert D Fiala Concordia University Nebraska orientalarchitecture.com}

Gaochang the site of numerous temples and monasteries c 3,000 monks and priests
 
Travelling Buddhist monk Xuan Zang taught here enroute to India
 
Confucian college of classics Manichaeism (Christian+pagan) Islam
Much inter-religious destruction
 
(Professor Robert D Fiala)

Gaochang Ancient City Rammed earth temple of Manichaeism from Uighur Kingdom (12th – 13th c)

Café for a tasty shish kebab break on way to tombs of Astana

Stairs to Tang Dynasty tomb 73T

Astana Cemetery for the deceased Chinese of Gaochang 4th – 8th c 

Bodies placed in wooden coffins with food, money and models of objects such as garments and jewellery for the afterlife

Mummies preserved by extremely dry climate

Male and female mummies of a couple

Side view of encased male mummy

Flaming Mountain, Turfan, where temperature has reached 49.60 c

Car park at entrance to Bezeklik Caves – Thousand Buddha Caves

A windy day at Bezeklik Caves, in a gorge of Flaming Mountain

Bezeklik Thousand Buddha Caves
Bezeklik = Place of paintings in Uighur Art created 5th – 14th cen

Photographs inside Bezeklik Caves not allowed
These images are from Gaochang Museum
The jewels themselves were taken by foreigners
‘I had to go to Berlin’ laments Gaochang Museum manager

From reproductions in Le Coq catalogue of East Turkestan findings: originals destroyed in World War II (Wikipedia) 

Cave 9: Two Buddhist monks Central Asian monk with young East Asian monk?

Cave 20: Kneeling devotees pray before Buddha

Gaochang Museum

During the Yuan, Ming and Qing Dynasties, the people living in Turpan were always loyal to the central government, and many inspiring figures merged.

For example, Prince Emin Hoja supported the central government to resist the rebellion of Junggar (Dzungar) noble [Mongols] and safeguarded the unity of China, making prominent contributions.

In the 1750s Uighur Emin Khoja sought Qing protection from Dzungar Mongols
He supported the Qing in their victory over the Mongols and conquest of Xinjiang
His second son, Suleman honoured his father by building the Emin Minaret/Tower
(Wikipedia/TravelChinaGuide)

Emin Tower also called Sugong Ta
Su = Suleman
Gong = duke
Ta = tower

Emin Minaret stands next to this near deserted Turpan mosque

Jiaohe Museum with Turpan guide Wendy

Zhang Qian (164 – 114 BC)
Han Dynasty explorer and diplomat
Early official Chinese contact between East and West
Early official Chinese on the Silk Road


Despatched by Emperor Wudi to Central Asia in 138 BC
Captured for 10+1 years by enemies, Xiongnu
Returned with 1 of 100 soldiers


First to provide reliable account of Central Asia to Chinese court

Led to introduction into China of superior horses ‘that sweat blood when they perspire’ and new plants including grapes and alfalfa
(CP Fitzgerald, Encyclopaedia Britannica)

Emperor Wudi farewells Zhang Qian as he set forth from Xian (Changan) to Central Asia
Mogao Cave 323 (Wikipedia)

Flying Horse of Gansu represents the ‘heavenly’ and ‘blood-sweating’ horses recommended by Zhang Qian as important in warfare
One hoof of the racing horse lightly touches a swallow that looks up amazed
(Gansu Provincial Museum, Lanzhou, image Wikipedia)

Jiaohe, a ruined earthen city

Jiaohe

Administrative and military centre to control Western Regions
Tang Dynasty ruins 7th – 8th c
c 7000 population 

Stairs lead to Tang administration centre below ground

Karez is an underground water channel

Lin Zexu, whose destruction of illegal British opium in Canton in 1939 led to the Opium
Wars, was transferred to Turpan
He marvelled at the Karez and extended it throughout Xinjiang

A model on location by the Karez

Turpan Museum

All ethnic groups have left a legacy of their unique sites, cultures and creation
Today all our ethnic groups like Uighur, Han, Hui, Kazak … continue to promote great unity Let us inherit the great cultural heritage enhance the unity and harmonious relationships between different ethnic groups to achieve an even more beautiful future

Drive from Turpan across desert to Xinjiang capital, Urumqi, then flight to Kashgar

Kashgar Airport: in van with revolutionary red flags
5-star Chinese flag for Communist Party ruling workers, peasants, artisans, traders
Hammer and sickle, communist symbol of union between workers and peasants

Shish kebab lunch: restaurant and waiters
Lamb in butcher’s stall, Tajik guide Luik with driver Corban, Paris place mat

An entrance to Kashgar Market
Surveillance cameras
Rugs airing

Nuts and dried fruit

Shirts

Junction of renovated Old Kashgar
Wide straight streets easy to navigate and locate people and places
Unlike narrow weaving paths with hidden private spots

Paintings of old times adorn Kashgar’s new housing blocks 

Remains of actual Old Kashgar in process of redevelopment, May 2019

Kashgar crafts and traders horseshoe maker earthenware pots amid flag spice trader with cumin

Family home-turned hotel

Faces of Kashgar: elegant elder, red beauty, smiling Buddha

Xinjiang region famous for fruit, especially melons

A hundred year-old tea house and regular patron

Inside the tea house

Tea and dancing on the verandah

Surveillance cameras operate as craftsmen work: coppersmith and bamboo basket-maker

Id kah the largest mosque in China: houses 10,000 on Fridays, can hold 20,000 
Built in 1442, incorporating sections from 996 
1933 Chinese Muslim General Ma Zhancang kills Uighur leader Timur Beg: his head displayed at mosque
1934 General Ma demands Uighur loyalty to Republic of China (Kuomingtang in Nanjing)
2014 Imam Jume Tahir is stabbed to death before morning prayers
(Wikipedia, edited 20 April 2019)

A quiet Friday at Id Kah, deserted interior and grounds, 24 May 2019
No call to prayer
 
Id Kah Square transformed into Xi Dada Square

President Xi Jinping offers hope

A good life enjoyed by the loyal

Video: Police on every corner – there for your protection, there to help you
 
 129-year old elm tree on site of former British Consulate
Now a restaurant rear of Qinibagh Hotel Kashgar
Inside former British Consulate in Xinjiang Reception and ornately panelled hall
A banquet with lamb off the bone
Qinibagh Royal Hotel
Qinibagh Hotel Room 2218 and view over city with minaret under construction 
Sickening odour from drains
After move to sister hotel, a compensation fruit platter
On request for knife to cut mango from market
‘You don’t need a knife. Enjoy this. It’s all cut for you.’
Fruit platter next morning
From Kashgar’s gleaming airport
Multiple security checks and pat-downs 
A 10-Yuan massage
And views of snow-capped Heavenly Mountains
Return to Xinjiang capital, Urumqi
Yilite Hotel, Urumqi, capital of Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region
Hotel as portrayed on its website ‘24-hour front desk and a concierge service, along with free WiFi’
Not stated: this applies only to phones with Chinese sim cards
Hotel Manager: ‘Otherwise, we don’t know what you’re doing/searching for on your phone.
You can come to the foyer and use my sim card if you wish.’
Urumqi Grand Bazaar Largely new
Unlike Kashgar Bazaar

Video: Dancing at entrance to Urumqi Grand Bazaar
Invitation by young girl to join her

Flags fly in Urumqi

Faces of Urumqi on a Sunday

Urumqi Museum

Xi Dada foyer

Xinjiang’s dry saline environment has preserved human remains for thousands of years
One of the world’s largest collections of mummies


Different nationalities lived and mixed together, creating the splendour of different cultures

A solid foundation for multi-ethnic habitation, multi-religious co-existence cultural integration and plurality

Examples of mummies at Urumqi Museum: adult female, adult female, male with tattoos, infant

Tarim Basin is the site of ancient cemeteries with numerous preserved mummies

Loulan Beauty European/Caucasian

Parcel of wheat
Feathered hat Woven wool shroud
c 1800 BC

Artist’s Impression

Loulan Beauty: when first discovered in 1970s Uighurs considered her their ancestor
They believed this gave them priority to the region over Han Chinese who arrived about 2,000 years later
(Victor H Mair, ‘Ancient Mummies of the Tarim Basin’, Expedition Magazine 58.2_2016)

Unfortunately, the Uighurs themselves did not arrive in the Tarim Basin
until nearly a millennium after the Han Chinese
 (Victor H Mair)
 
Evidence of Han Chinese in Tarim Basin in 2nd c BC
(CP Fitzgerald, Anders Corr)
 
Uighurs resettled from Mongolia to the Tarim Basin in 840 
(Wikipedia)
 
Loulan Beauty remains a mystery
Neither Sinitic-speaking Chinese nor Turkic-speaking Uyghur
What language did she speak?
Evidence suggests she may have spoken Tocharian,
the second oldest (after Hittite) Indo-European language
 (Victor H Mair)
 

Departure Urumqi Museum
Investigator clay figurine and painted clay tomb guardian Tang Dynasty (618 – 907)
Unearthed from Astana cemetery, Turpan

End of Silk Road adventure
Flight Urumqi to Chengdu, capital of Sichuan Province

Overnight in Chengdu
Before return via Hong Kong to Melbourne
Panda province hosts Australian wine promotion

Fruit knife and fork in hotel room – normality

No Knife on my Silk Road

Yet a glimpse into China from Imperial to Communist era
First Emperor Qin to today’s President Xi Jinping

  • Ancient cities and cultures
  • Buddhist art and history
  • Foreign exploitation of China
  • Glories of Tang Dynasty
  • Promotion of nationalism
  • Security and surveillance
  • Sinicization of Muslims – traditions outlawed
  • Taboo of freedom of speech
  • Modernisation from east coast extended to far west
  • Complexities of history, ethnic origins and government

NO KNIFE ON MY SILK ROAD


A pictorial presentation
by Helene Chung



Images by Helene Chung unless indicated otherwise
May 2019 unless indicated otherwise

© www.helenechung.com

Pronounced He-LANE Chung as in HUNG
Singing Sand Dunes, Gansu
 (Chinese photographer)