There was no single "Silk Road," but scores of trading posts that formed an overland trade network that linked China, Central Asia, and Europe. The current "Silk Road" received its moniker from German scholar Baron Ferdinand von Richtofen in the mid-19th century, when the Chinese section of the route stretched to Xian in Shaanxi Province. After passing through the famed Jade Gate, which divided China from the outside world, it webbed out in three directions to several key cities in Xinjiang: Ürümqi in the north, Korla in the center, Hotan in the south, and Kashgar in the west.
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