The Centuries-Old Silver Jug That Conjures the Mysteries of the Silk Road

Stretching From Rome and Africa to Asia, the Ancient Trade Route Lured Invaders, Migrants, and Merchants—and Left Artifacts Rich With Meaning

As China has promoted its Belt and Road Initiative—an ambitious plan to open new markets for China by building logistics and trade infrastructure from Asia to Europe and Africa—the Chinese government has drawn parallels with the fabled Silk Road, which operated from Africa to Europe and Asia from roughly 200 B.C. to A.D. 1400.

But, as a matter of history, the “Silk Road” was nothing like the Belt and Road Initiative. In fact, in its time, there was no “Silk Road” at all. The Silk Road is actually a modern …

More In: China

The Chinese-Born Doctor Who Brought Tofu to America

Yamei Kin Was a Scientific Prodigy Who Promoted the Chinese Art of Living to U.S. Audiences

On a hot summer day in 1918, syndicated reporter Sarah McDougal paid a visit to an unusual laboratory of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Bureau of Chemistry, a predecessor to …

Move Over, California, China Is Becoming the World’s Environmental Leader

But Can the Planet's Biggest Greenhouse Gas Polluter Replicate the Golden State's Adventurous Approach?

California is in the process of passing the baton of environmental leadership to China. But can it transfer the spirit of Californians as well?

The two of us have been participants …

Can Taiwan Teach California How to Thrive Under an Authoritarian Power?

The Island Nation Knows How to Navigate Beijing's Threats. The Golden State Could Do the Same With Washington.

Is California becoming another Taiwan?

In asking that, I don’t mean that earthquakes will turn California into an island. Instead, what California and Taiwan share is a problem—the predicament of the …

America’s Decline Is Relative but Real—and Potentially Dangerous

The Rest of the World Is Catching Up, and the Nation's Cluelessness About Its Weaknesses Will Accelerate the Trend

Is the United States in decline? The debate on the subject lacks both content and context. To take the conversation about American decline away from arbitrary and subjective claims, we …