Gansu is a province in the North West region of China. Gansu's western frontier thus juts right into the borders of the vast steppes of Mongolia, the unforgiving deserts of Xinjiang and the high mountain wastelands of the Tibetan Plateau.
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Dunhuang is a city on the old Silk Road. It is in Gansu Province in north west China. The city was founded by Emperor Wudi of the Han dynasty in 111 BC at the cross roads of two trading routes on the Silk Road, and the name 'Dunhuang', meaning to 'to flourish and prosper,' gives some indication of the town's prominence in ancient China.
Jiayuguan is a city in Gansu Province. Known as the 'mouth of China' because of its position at the end of the Great Wall of China where it guarded the western boundary of Ming Dynasty China. The narrow river passage heading southeast from here is known as the Hexi Corridor and is nicknamed the 'throat of China'.