Xi'an is a massive city half a world away from England. It seems bizarre to think that folk from the Dark Ages were connected. This ancient city's name means 'Peace in the West'.
For Xi'an, the effects of the trade route were immense and immediate. New products from the west arrived such as grapes, pomegranates and horses. The western cultural influence can be seen through art, architecture, industry and farming that changed radically as soon as trading began. With the establishment of the prosperous Tang Dynasty (618–907) the Silk Road flourished and reached its peak. So for China and Xi'an in particular, the Dark Ages was actually a Golden Age.
In 751 the method for making paper made its way to the west. What more can I say?