zheng he

China’s Rise: A Quest To ‘Hug The World’?

In a series looking at China’s expanding reach in the world, NPR’s Morning Edition goes back in history to look at China’s goals and motivations in undertaking global explorations under Admiral Zheng He (Listen...

Europe’s Plagues Came From China, Study Finds

New research indicates that the three waves of plague that struck Europe, the first in the 6th century, all originated in China, the New York Times reports: The great waves of plague that twice devastated Europe and changed the...

China, Kenya to Search for Ancient Chinese Wrecks

From the Associated Press: An agreement was signed for a three-year project funded by China’s Commerce Ministry to explore waters near the popular tourist towns ofMalindi and Lamu, the official Xinhua News Agency reported...

Hero of the Ming Dynasty: The man who mapped the world – Clifford Coonan

From The Independent: A Mongolian Muslim who was castrated as a boy became one of the most intrepid explorers in history. As China prepares to celebrate the 600th anniversary of his first voyage, Clifford Coonan in Beijing tells the extraordinary story of Admiral Zheng He. [Full text] Read more about Zheng He.

Beware fleets of fantasy – Geoff Wade

From The Australian (link): On Friday evening, the University of Melbourne intends to give its imprimatur to history of the most fanciful kind. It is precisely the wrong way to put Australian history on the map. And indeed, it is the historical mapping of Australia that is at stake. Throughout 2006, geographers, cartographers and historians […]

Who Discovered America? Zheng Who? – Joseph Kahn

From the New York Times: A prominent Chinese lawyer and collector unveiled an old map on Monday that he and some supporters say should topple one of the central tenets of Western civilization: that Europeans were the first to sail around the world and discover America. The Chinese map, which was drawn in 1763 but […]

China beat Columbus to it, perhaps – Economist

From The Economist: THE brave seamen whose great voyages of exploration opened up the world are iconic figures in European history. Columbus found the New World in 1492; Dias discovered the Cape of Good Hope in 1488; and Magellan set off to circumnavigate the world in 1519. However, there is one difficulty with this confident […]

China’s empire of exploration – Attilio Jesus

From Le Monde Diplomatique: China is celebrating the 600th anniversary of the amazing voyages of Admiral Zheng He, as great a navigator as Captain Cook or Columbus, and of his contribution to Chinese curiosity about the world.

In Asia’s Chinese diaspora, are loyalties divided? – Michael Vatikiotis

From the International Herald Tribune: In a world gripped by the rise of China, it is not surprising that the exploits of a Chinese Muslim eunuch whose armada of ships ranged as far as the coast of Africa 600 ago draws attention. But for millions of ethnic Chinese living in Southeast Asia, the anniversary this […]

China’s Cautious Pride in an Ancient Mariner – Wang Gungwu

From YaleGlobal: Six centuries ago, Chinese Admiral Zheng He embarked on the first voyage of a career that encompassed destinations as far as India, Persia, Arabia, and Africa. Though his achievements were forgotten for centuries, a re-emergence of interest in his story coincides with China’s dramatic rise. As historian Wang Gungwu notes, it also coincides […]

The man who beat Columbus – Steven Ribet

From the Weekend Standard: ‘There would be no Bruce Lee and no David Beckham,” said the old lady. “If it weren’t for Zheng He, you wouldn’t have our kung fu and we wouldn’t have your football.” Well, maybe. And maybe it wouldn’t matter all that much. Still, the old woman speaking at a Shanghai celebration […]

Richard Spencer: China’s warring Sinbad reinvented as good neighbour

From The Telegraph: China is rewriting history to play down the martial past of its most famous seafarer, a maritime hero said to be the original Sinbad the Sailor. Zheng He sailed the Indian Ocean with huge warships and armies as far as Africa. According to one recent book, he also discovered America and Australia. […]

China Daily: Is this young Kenyan Chinese descendant?

From The China Daily, via China Economic Net: Nearly 600 years ago, 20 Chinese sailors swam ashore an island off Kenya’s east coast, having escaped from a shipwreck. They went on to marry local women and convert to Islam. Now a 19-year-old girl who claims to be one of their descendants has come to China […]

Sonia Kolesnikov-Jessop: Did Chinese beat out Columbus?

From The International Herald Tribune: Did Chinese sailors really discover America before Columbus? A new exhibition sets the scene, presenting new evidence that lends support to the assumptions made in “1421: The Year China Discovered America” by Gavin Menzies. “1421: The Year China Sailed the World,” in Singapore in a special tent near the Esplanade […]

Frank Viviano: China’s Great Armada

From National Geographic Magazine: Viewed from the rocky outcropping of Dondra Head at the southernnmost tip of Sri Lanka, the first sighting of the Ming fleet is a massive shadow on the horizon. As the shadow rises, it breaks into a cloud of tautly ribbed sail, aflame in the tropical sun. With relentless determination, the […]

Xinhua: Chinese sailboat trace journey of ancient navigator

From Xinhua – English: Grand ceremonies were heldhere Saturday to welcome a sailboat that has accomplished a 23,150-km voyage tracing the journey of a prestigious Chinese ancient voyager. The sailboat named “Phoenix” which set out from Taicang in eastern China’s Jiangsu province on August 8 last year, under a TVfeature program initiated by the Hong […]



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