China’s New Silk Road: Weekly Art & Culture Round Up – May 8, 2020

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China’s New Silk Road: Weekly Art & Culture Round Up
Friday May 8
Op/ed by Chris Devonshire-Ellis

This is our new weekly more personal, culture and travel based round up, an incentive to travel and engage in Belt & Silk Road issues. Just email me if you’d like to be involved or have something to say. Without further ado, here are this weeks musings:

Wade Shepard’s How To Invest In The Silk Road Q&A 
A pretty decent turnout for this, which remains active – so you can ask away. Yours truly took the hotseat, which alone is a pretty good reason to read it LOL. Questions range from building Belt & Road knowledge, to Mongolia, Uzbekistan, and Belarus to some personal anecdotes and why Georgia in Autumn is a cool time to visit. Go for it!

Andre Wheeler: Life In China After Covid-19 Gives New Normal Meaning 
A Channel News Asia commentary from Andre Wheeler, a Silk Road maritime specialist based in Australia. A really good assessment of how social and business interactions are changing the way we work, live and socialize, and how China is leading that innovation.

Tagore – The Belt & Road From India To China and Russia
Meet Rabindranath Tagore, the Indian poet, musician, artist and ayurveda-researcher from Bengal. In 1913 he became the first non-European to win the Nobel Prize in Literature. He also traveled extensively, visiting China and Russia in addition to large parts of Europe. He really was a Silk Road traveler, spreading a very human message. He’s a great inspiration for his love of humanity and the arts. You can check out the spiritual side of Tagore’s message in the Gitanjali, a work that Yeats described as “a work of supreme culture” while some of his paintings can be viewed here

Florian Schneider, A Visionary Of The Trans-Europe Express
Way before the EU even existed, and long before China started sending high-speeding trains to it, one electronic musician decided to envisage what a united European rail journey would sound like. The mechanics of the train, the sights, sounds and the people. That man was Florian Schneider, who died earlier this week aged 73. The band was Kraftwerk, and the song was Trans-Europe Express.

Kraftwerk would go on to have an enormous influence on contemporary dance music. Germany remains a central destination of Chinese trains. A Florian Schneider soundtrack to the Belt & Road would have been neat, but we do at least have the European part to that.

Sri Lanka Lockdown – The Latest 
I hit 60 today the 8th, but due to lockdown issues actually partied a bit on Wednesday. Sri Lanka hasn’t been badly hit by Covid-19, but locked down we have been, except for a few days of the curfew being lifted, or at least from 5am to 8pm. Such was the case on Wednesday. Some cool friends of mine arrived, including a couple of mates who paddleboarded and kayaked from Sri Lanka to India (over ten hours) a couple of months ago, along with hugely expensive black market beers, wines and rums and whisky all got polished off – alcohol hasn’t been on sale for seven weeks, so you can imagine the prices! Monday has been touted as a possible return to some normality. I’m looking forward to the local Lion beer costing 50 rupees instead of the 900 it’s currently going for….

By Chris This Week
The Digital Silk Road Universities In China’s Key Western Cities  

15% Reduced Profits Tax Rates And Preferential Policies Announced For Foreign Investors In China To Support The Belt & Road Initiative 

The Baron’s Friday Cocktail
The Gin & Tonic. A familiar drink, but not many of you will know its association with Malaria, or Ceylon. Click on the title above to read that story, and enjoy a good stiff drink. TGIF!


About Us

Silk Road Briefing is published by Dezan Shira & Associates. Chris Devonshire-Ellis is the practice Chairman. Please contact Chris at or through his Linked In account, or visit the firm at

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