The documentary series "New Silk Road," a joint production by China Central Television (CCTV) and the NHK Television of Japan, will premier on prime-time on CCTV beginning March 10.
Wei Ping, an executive with China International TV Corporation (CITVC), said the 10-part series took two years to complete.
This is the second China-NHK production on the same topic. In 1980, the series entitled "Silk Road" had domestic and international TV audiences riveted, according to Wei.
"This series uses a new approach to telling the story of the ancient Silk Road," Wei Dajun, the documentary's general director, said.
The first series followed the adventures of travelers along the Silk Road. This new series tells the stories of ten selected destinations along the Silk Road, and it examines ruins in the ancient city of Loulan in Hetian County, Xinjiang, and Dunhuang City in Gansu Province.
"The ten places feature different cultures, and they each tell a different story of the Silk Road," Wei said. "Many archeological discoveries and cultural relics which haven't been made public or disclosed in previous documentaries are featured in this series," Wei added, citing newly discovered frescos and grottoes as examples.
The ancient Silk Road, which started in the ancient Chinese metropolis Chang'an, known today as Xi'an, ended in Rome. It traversed 6,440 kilometers through China and central Asia and became the nexus between civilizations in ancient Europe and Asia.
Over thousands of years, scores of nomads, traders, priests, diplomats, soldiers and scholars have left their marks, in some form or other, on the Silk Road.
According to sources with CCTV, both CCTV and NHK have also made their own versions of the story.
The Japanese version has already been aired in Japan, attracting favorable audience ratings, according to the source.
(Xinhua News Agency February 24, 2006)