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Genghis Khan held responsible for globalisation

Written by: Staff
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BEIJING, June 5 (Reuters) Genghis Khan, better known for rampaging across much of Asia, Europe and the West Asia to create one of the world's greatest empires, is also considered the founder of globalisation, Chinese state media said today.

''We think of globalisation as selling Coca-Cola in Calcutta or Starbucks in Shanghai,'' the China Daily said.

''But researchers claim the process dates back 800 years, to the time when Genghis Khan was building his empire.'' Genghis Khan founded the ''largest contiguous land empire in history'', encouraging trade and cultural interaction in a manner that compared to today's concept of globalisation, the paper said, quoting experts at a symposium yesterday to commemorate the 800th anniversary of the founding of the Mongol Empire.

It did not say anything about his reputation as a ruthless, bloodthirsty conqueror.

''Economic and cultural exchanges became possible to the maximum extent and previously isolated civilisations became linked,'' Hao Shiyuan, of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, was quoted as saying.

''This is what globalisation features: shrinking space, shrinking time and disappearing borders.'' A Mongolian academic said Genghis Khan, who made Mongolia the centre of his empire, promoted globalisation ''as has no ruler before him''.

More than 50 experts and researchers from China, Mongolia, Russia, Japan and the United States attended the symposium.

REUTERS SI VA RN1049

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