The Chinese have had historical contact with a lot of different peoples over the centuries, many of whom have arrived overland on the Silk Road. I know there are ancient historical accounts of foreign enclaves in ancient Chinese cities. There were even ones within living memory, like Harbin’s Russians and Taipei’s Japanese. Kaifeng had a historically Jewish community that was only completely absorbed within living memory.
For those of you who’ve traversed the dark murky bottomless depths of Chinese history, were there ever any accounts of ethnic Armenians making their home in Han-majority areas? They seem like a people who would get on well with the Chinese and really enjoy trading with them. They’re a people I could see being absorbed within a few generations, though, so I wouldn’t expect to find any modern day Chinese people who claim Armenian heritage.
The Chinese probably would have called them the Hai people, because that’s what Armenians call themselves.