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Pacific Rim

July 03, 1994

The World Report of June 7 gave readers an excellent review of Pacific Rim trade. While it is true that Rome and China were trading via the Silk Road by 200 BC, seaborne trade also began over segments of the route from Europe to Japan. Trade became a regular activity from the Red Sea and Persian Gulf via the Indian Ocean to India; then, from India to Southeast Asia, and from Southeast Asia north to China and Japan.

In fact, the volume of seaborne trade grew significantly as navigators learnedto make effective use of the monsoons.

Why do politicians and traders look on the Pacific Ocean and Indian Ocean as if they were separated by an impregnable land mass? Through the numerous straits and seas there is a continuous expanse of water. For the various countries and islands these waters represented a superhighway for the exchange of commodities, information and cultures, as well as furnishing a unifying force.

MORROW F. STOUGH

Chula Vista

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