Serica was referred to as the land of Seres (or the land of silk) by the Ancient Greco-Romans. Most modern geographers believe that the position of Serica would nowadays be situated in Northwestern China

The Asian part of the Silk Road was initiated around the 2nd century BC by the Han Dynasty. In 138 BC, the Han court dispatched a delegate headed by Zhang Qian (張騫) to the Western regions. Thirteen years later, including ten years being captured by the Xiongnu (匈奴), Zhang Qian returned in 125 BC with detailed news of the Western regions for the Han Emperor, showing that sophisticated civilizations existed to the West, with which China could advantageously develop relations. Zhang Qian’s efforts resulted in several trade missions to the Western regions and led to trade between China and Persia.

Following Zhang Qian's embassy and report, commercial relations between China and Central/Western Asia flourished, as many Chinese missions were sent throughout the end of the 2nd century and the 1st century BC, initiating the development of the Silk Road. China sent a mission as far as to Parthia. The Roman historian Florus described the visit of the Seres (Chinese) envoy to the first Roman Emperor Augustus, who reigned between 27 BC and 14 AD.

Zhang Qian was knighted Bowanghou (博望侯) for his great achievements by the emperor. Subsequent ambassadors to the Western regions frequently carried the title of Bowanghou (博望侯) to capitalize on Zhang Qian's goodwill and legacy.

We take Bowang (博望) as our Chinese name in remembrance of Zhang Qian and his legacy in the development of the Silk Road.