KUNMING, June 7 (Xinhua) -- It is the fifth year that Muhammad Waseem Ansari, a Pakistani merchant of wooden handicrafts and furniture, has been to China seeking business opportunities.
"China is a huge market. The two countries are reviving the 'Southern Silk Road' together now. I believe we can attract more Chinese businesses and buyers," he said at the second China-South Asia Expo in Kunming, capital of southwest China's Yunnan Province, on Friday.
The "Southern Silk Road" he mentioned is a trade route that linked China's southwestern regions with Southeast and South Asia.
Chinese President Xi Jinping put forward the two concepts of Silk Road economic belt and 21st century maritime Silk Road during visits to Central Asia and Southeast Asia in 2013.
While "Southern Silk Road" contributed much to economic, political and cultural exchanges between China and South Asian countries, new security situations demand regional cooperation into new areas, especially fighting terrorism.
"Terrorism is undoubtedly a challenge," said former secretary of the Indian external affairs ministry Eric Gonsalves when attending the Second China-South Asian Think-Tank Forum Saturday, one of the events held during the five-day expo.
"Without stability, you cannot make progress economically or politically. We must act globally because it involves everyone," he said.
The original route stretched over 2,000 kilometers from Chengdu, capital city of Sichuan Province, through cities in Sichuan and finally took traders to what is now Myanmar by way of Yunnan Province. From there, it extended through to India, Bangladesh and thence to the Middle East.
China and South Asia are home to nearly 2.8 billion people. China's trade with countires in the region has increased from 35 billion U.S. dollars in 2006 to about 100 billion U.S. dollars in 2013.
Fazal ur Rahman, executive director of the Pakistan Council on China, pointed out security is one of the most important aspects of this success.