The Protectorate of the Western Regions
Contributed by David Verne
Under the command of the general Ban Chao, the Han Dynasty has established control over the Western Regions, a group of small nations in modern day Western China. Ban Chao has spent the past 30 years fighting the Xiongnu, a nomadic people from Mongolia, and he has consistently defeated armies that are much larger than his. As a reward for his service, Ban Chao was awarded the title of Protector General of the Western Regions.
My Take by David Verne
The Western Regions were important because many of the trade routes that made up the Silk Road ran through the area. The Chinese established outposts and patrolled the roads to protect the trade that flowed between the Roman Empire and the Chinese empire. The two nations were aware of each other but neither had managed to send an official delegation. The Parthian Empire, which sat between the two, tried to prevent either empire from establishing diplomatic relations since they profited greatly from charging exorbitant taxes on Silk Road trade.