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Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies


This project aims to describe the dynamics of long-distance trading networks connecting China to markets in West Asia and Arabic-speaking countries. It is part of a European Research Council-funded project, led by Professor Magnus Marsden, entitled ‘Trust, Global Traders, and Commodities in a Chinese International City’, documenting the trading networks and activities centred on the city of Yiwu in south east China. The focus of this work, which is also supported by the Centre of Islamic Studies, is on the history of trading routes between China and the Arab world, the social dynamics and identities, and forms of trust/mistrust underpinning these long-distance trading networks.

Dr Anderson has presented on this theme at several events including:

  • Aleppo in China, China in Aleppo: Seminar, Department of East Asian Studies, University of Cambridge, 31 May 2017
  • “A New Silk Road?” Festival of Ideas talk, University of Cambridge, 22 October 2016
  • “How Syrian merchants negotiate identity and difference in extraordinary times”: Global Muslim Encounters Conference, Centre for Research in the Social Sciences and Humanities, University of Cambridge, 9-10 December 2016.
  • “Wartime transformations of Yiwu-Syria  connections: a preliminary account”: Presentation at the TRODITIES research workshop, University of Copenhagen, 20 January 2017.

Faculty Researchers