4. Hexi Corridor
The Hexi Corridor is located in the northwestern part of China and is a historical route leading to the Tarīm Basin. The route is sandwiched between the Qilian Mountains, (a mountain range on the northern edge of the Tibetan Plateau), and the Gobi Desert (on the southeastern edge of Mongolia).
Connecting China in the east with Central Asia in the west, the route was dotted with oasis towns and was a main artery for the east-west trade.
From the very early days of the Silk Road during the Han DynastyHan Period, Chinese people began to colonize this area. Dunhuang (05) was the westernmost Chinese city at that time, and north of Dunhuang the remains of the Han-built section of the Great Wall still remains.
The Hexi Corridor now is part of Gansu Province. The origin of the province’s name comes from Ganzhou (present Zhangye) and Suzhou (present Jiuquan).
From each province runs a river: the Ganzhou River (or Zhangye River) and the Beida River. Running north, both rivers flow into the Etsin-Gol River (or Juyan River).
This area has long been a route for those traveling from Mongolia to the Hexi Corridor.
At the end of the route on the side of Etsin-Gol, was the city of Juyan (09), which was established as a base for Chinese colonization during the Han Period. During the Western Xia Period, the city of Khara-Khoto (08) was established here as well.