Hexi Corridor: China’s Wild West

The Hexi Corridor is an epic docu-drama series about Chinese ancient history.

Focused around the Hexi Corridor, a pivotal landmark intersecting the most important route from North China to the Tarim Basin and Central Asia for traders and the military, the series leads us on a 700 year ancient journey through ancient Chinese history.

The Hexi Corridor connects the east and west through the Silk Road. Whoever controls it dominates the biggest source of wealth and power.

Episode 1: Envoy

Episode 1: Envoy

Episode 1 starts in 138 B.C. where the famed imperial envoy Zhang Qian is dispatched to survey the lands outside of China by Emperor Wu of Han.

It is a very crucial time and there are no other choices; the Han dynasty is being surrounded and attacked by the Xiongnu. So, Zhan Qian has to travel across the Hexi Corridor towards the Western Regions to seek military assistance and alliances. It was through Zhan Qian’s efforts that the Han Dynasty gained significant intelligence on Central Asia and found the Hexi Corridor.

Episode 2: Passage

Episode 2: Passage

Episode 2 focuses on the Hexi Battle which happened in the Hexi Corridor in 121 BC.

Zhang Qian’s newly attained information of the Western Regions further strengthened the determination of Emperor Wu of Han to open the Hexi Corridor.

Led by the young general Huo Qubing, the Han cavalry would launch three attacks against the Xiongnu army and ultimately succeeded in breaking through the Hexi Corridor within a year.

From then on, the Hexi Corridor was included into the territory of the Han Dynasty.

Episode 3: Posthouse

Episode 3: Posthouse

In 111 B.C., after Xiongnu was repelled by the Han forces, four commanders were appointed by the imperial court of Han empire to rule over the Hexi Corridor: the Jiuquan, Zhangyi, Dunhuang and Wuwei.

The administrative and courier systems spread all over the Hexi region. The sphere of influence of the Han Dynasty also expanded to the Western Regions through the Hexi Corridor.

Through the introduction of Xuanquanzhi, a posthouse in Dunhuang Commandery, and the Han bamboo slips unearthed there, episode 3 brings alive the history during which Marquis Changluo Chang Hui made outstanding achievements in the Western Regions. The Hexi Corridor played a significant role in Han’s management of the Western Regions as a strategic channel.

Episode 4: The Roots

Episode 4: The Roots

Episode 4 is told from the perspective of the Confucian culture and history.

It tells the story of how the Hexi Corridor sheltered and protected those migrant Confucian scholars with its relatively stable political environment when the Central Plains fell into chaos during the Wei and Jin dynasties.

Since then, the Confucian culture had taken root in the Hexi Corridor.

Afterwards, it spread eastwards to return to the Central Plain and became the important source of the Sui and Tang dynasties’ culture and political system.

Episode 5: Statue Making

Episode 1: People of the Clouds

During the age of the Three Kingdoms, where China was separated into the three states of Wei, Shu, and Wu, the Buddhist culture from the Ganges River started to enter China through the vast Hexi Corridor.

The Buddhists were represented by Dharmaksema and Kumarajiva who spread Buddhism through translating scriptures and building statues.

They initiated the localization process of Buddhism in China and left precious Buddhist heritage in the Hexi Corridor.

Episode 6: The Silk Road

Episode 6: The Silk Road

During the Wei, Jin and Southern and Northern dynasties, the Central Plain fell into chaos and the Hexi region was ruled by the separatist regime. As a result, the Silk Road was obstructed.

Merchants from the Western Regions all stopped in the Hexi Corridor, making it the de-facto international trade center in the early Sui Dynasty.

In AD 609, Emperor Yang of Sui led troops to attack the Tuyuhun forces that invaded and harassed the Hexi Corridor and held a diplomatic and trade alliance meeting in Zhangye.

Since then, the Silk Road connecting the Central Plain with the west had become unimpeded again. As the golden section of the Silk Road, the Hexi Corridor also embraced its golden age.

Hexi Corridor: China’s Wild West
  • Info
  • Release date2015
  • Full runtime
  • Director(s)Brian McDairmant
  • Also known asHe xi zou lang
  • Production companyBeijing Bojing Media