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Brief Introductions of Silk Road

Silk Road was a famous trade passageway in ancient times, linking the Roman Empire in the west with the imperial court of China.
Silk Road was first traveled by Zhang Qian when he was sent on a diplomatic mission to the Western Regions in the Han dynasty (206 BC-AD 220) In order to seek allies to against Xiongnu repeated invasion. Although the mission failed in its original purpose because the local rulers were satisfied with their status and refused to ally with Han Empire, the information Zhang Qian conveyed to China about Central Asia made people desire goods produced in the other. The Roams love silk so much that they even exchanged silk for its weight in gold. During the Tang dynasty, thirty percent of the trade on the Silk Road was comprised of silk. Before the discovery of the sea route to the India, the Silk Road had contributed greatly to the exchange and development of ethical and material civilization between the East and West.
The fall of the Han dynasty in the early 3rd century once caused Silk Road trade to decline. However, the rise of the Tang dynasty in the 7th century revived this commerce. By the mid 8th century, the route reached its height. In the early 10th century, the fall of the Tang dynasty gave a deathblow to the trade on the Silk Road and the discovery of a sea route from Europe to Asia in the late 15th century dealt a damaging blow to it again. Since then, the prosperous Silk Road was on its downhill. The bustling streets, wealthy cities and solid ramparts were submerged in the vast desert little by little.
The Silk Road started in Xian (called Chang'an at that time) in the east and ran for 7,000 kilometers through China Shaanxi, Gansu, Ningxia, Qinghai, and Xinjiang. Over the Congling Range (present-day Pamir) and across part of the Commonwealth of Independent States in Central Asia, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq and Syria, it reached the east coast of Mediterranean. The section in China is over 4,000 kilometers long, more than half of the total length. Numerous historic sites, cultural relics, beautiful scenery and colorful folklore are left on the road now. Tourists can travel along the route by air, rail and land, while in the past the camel was a major means of transportation.
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