The Silk Road derives its name from the lucrative trade in silk carried out along its length, beginning in the Han dynasty in China (207 BCE–220 CE). The Han dynasty expanded the Central Asian section of the trade routes around 114 BCE through the missions and explorations of the Chinese imperial envoy Zhang Qian. The Silk Road trade played a significant role in the development of the civilizations of Asia, the Indian subcontinent, Europe, the Horn of Africa and Arabia, opening long-distance political and economic relations between the civilizations. Though silk was the major trade item exported from China, many other goods and ideas were exchanged, including religions (especially Buddhism), syncretic philosophies, sciences, and technologies like paper and gunpowder. So, in addition to economic trade, the Silk Road was a route for cultural trade among the civilizations along its network. In today’s China, President Xi originally announced the strategy as the "Silk Road Economic Belt" during an official visit to Kazakhstan in September 2013. One Belt One Road” is a global infrastructure development strategy adopted by the Chinese government to invest in nearly 70 countries and international organizations.
In June 2019, I walked along the ancient "Silk Road" to experience the true meaning of the "Road". I traveled through the ancient trading hub of Central Asia - Samarkand in Uzbekistan, and the Turkish famous city-Istanbul, connecting major cities in Asia and Europe. Starting from Istanbul, I continued to explore the Greek port of Piraeus-the first port owned by a Chinese company overseas. Finally ended up my "Silk Road" expedition in Rome, Italy.