By Du Mingming
People's Daily Online - June 09, 2014
"Iran plays an important role in the two-thousand-year history of the Silk Road, and its unique status remains irreplaceable even today," said Liu Zhentang, former Chinese Ambassador to Iran, at a seminar in Beijing last Tuesday.
The "21st century China-Iran Silk Road Seminar", jointly hosted by the Cultural Counsellorship of Embassy of Islamic Republic of Iran, the Donggan (Hui ethnic group) Central Research Institute at Minzu University of China, Beijing Ethnic Education Association, and Beijing Huimin School, involved nearly 50 experts, scholars, and representatives from China and Iran.
Liu explained his idea as follows:
Firstly, it is commonly accepted that Xi'an was the starting point of the Silk Road, and the end was Rome. Persia was located in the middle, which served as a bridge to link the two sides. A large number of Chinese archaeological discoveries have confirmed this point. More than 95 percent of foreign coins unearthed in China date from Persia's Sassanid Dynasty (3rd century to the 7th century AD).