On 12 May 2021, at the China - Central Asia meeting of the ministers of foreign affairs in Xi'an (China), the State Counselor and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China voiced the proposal of the Chinese side to establish an academic center to study the archeology of the Great Silk Road. Responsibility for this issue was assigned to the Northwest University of China.
The Northwest University is a public educational institution, a multidisciplinary university focusing on international relations founded in 1902. As a member of the Project 211 program, the university ranks as one of the most important educational institutions in China and receives support and funding from the Ministry of Education of the PRC.
As a result of the negotiations, the Northwest University and the International Institute for Central Asian Studies came to an understanding of the need for joint work, which resulted in the signing of an agreement on 10 May 2022 between the Northwest University (Professor Lihong Guo) and the International Institute for Central Asian Studies (Dr. Dmitry Alekseevich Voyakin) to establish a research centre for cooperation in the field of the Silk Road archaeology.
Activities to be carried out under the agreement include, among other things:
-continuation and strengthening of international cooperation and research in the archaeology and the protection of the cultural heritage of the Silk Road;
- joint training of specialised personnel, exchange of students, mutual invitation of academic supervisors;
- joint creation of academic platforms to effectively support joint research and research in the field of the archeology and the protection of the cultural heritage of the Silk Road;
- organisation of regular joint academic conferences.
A big step has been taken towards a more detailed academic study of the history of the Silk Road, as well as the expansion of the horizons of cooperation for the benefit of attracting attention to the cultural heritage of countries along the Silk Road.