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China Daily / 2021-05 / 22 / Page017

Biography of Zhang Qian (164-114 BC)

China Daily | Updated: 2021-05-22 00:00

Whose courtesy name was Zi Wen, Zhang was born in Chenggu county of Hanzhong city in Shaanxi province. He was one of the greatest diplomats, envoys and adventurers in ancient China.


138 BC: Zhang Qian was assigned by Liu Che, an emperor of the Western Han Dynasty (206 BC-AD 24), to lead a team of about 100 people to seek a military alliance with a country named Darouzhi in the west. During a journey that lasted 13 years, Zhang was captured twice by Xiongnu, a powerful tribal nomadic group on the then-border of northern China. This trip marked the opening-up of the ancient Silk Road and strengthened cultural exchanges between China and other countries.

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