The voyages of zheng he
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The Voyages of Zheng He. Dennis Rees Teacher-Consultant Arizona Geographic Alliance. From 1405 until 1433, Admiral Zheng He made 7 voyages.

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The Voyages of Zheng He

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The voyages of zheng he

The Voyages of Zheng He

Dennis Rees

Teacher-Consultant

Arizona Geographic Alliance


From 1405 until 1433 admiral zheng he made 7 voyages

From 1405 until 1433, Admiral Zheng He made 7 voyages.


The voyages of zheng he

The purpose of the voyages was to establish trade and diplomatic relations between China and nations in Southeast Asia, South Asia, and the Arabian Peninsula.


The voyages of zheng he

The fleets ranged in size from 48 to 317 ships carrying 27,000 to 30,000 sailors, soldiers, merchants, and scholars.


The voyages of zheng he

The ships used maps, star charts, and compasses to navigate the open seas. It is the first fleet in history to not hug the coast as a means of guidance.


The voyages of zheng he

They took silk, porcelain, and copper coins to trade for spices, gems, fragrant woods, animals, textiles, and minerals.


The voyages of zheng he

Throughout each voyage, detailed maps were made, information gathered on the climate and cultures encountered, and plant and animal specimens were collected.


The voyages of zheng he

The first voyage, 1405-1407, visited Champa (central Vietnam), Java, Sumatra, Malacca, Ceylon, and Cochin and Calicut in India.


The voyages of zheng he

Impressed with China’s wealth and power, local rulers sent ambassadors back with the fleet to pay tribute (money and goods) to the emperor. Also on the way home, Zheng He’s fleet destroyed the pirate fleet in the Strait of Malacca, thus restoring safe passage to all ships in the region.


The voyages of zheng he

The second (1407-1409) and third (1409-1411) voyages returned to the same areas and to some new ones, including Siam (Thailand). Ambassadors were returned home, and diplomatic and trade relations strengthened. During the third voyage, when the king of Ceylon attacked the fleet, Zheng He defeated and captured him.


The voyages of zheng he

It was also on the third voyage that Zheng He erected this tablet in Ceylon honoring Buddha. The inscription is written in Chinese, Tamil, and Persian.


The voyages of zheng he

The fourth voyage, 1413-1415, reached Hormuz and Aden on the Arabian Peninsula. These two ports controlled the rich trade routes of the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea. He returned home with riches from Arabia and Africa, and more ambassadors.


The voyages of zheng he

The fifth voyage, 1416-1419, returned to the places in Southeast Asia, Ceylon, India, Hormuz, and the Arabian Peninsula that had been visited before. The fleet also sailed down the east coast of Africa making stops at Mogadishu and Malindi. He returned home with exotic animals and African ambassadors.


The voyages of zheng he

So many exotic animals were arriving in China due to the voyages that the emperor created a special garden to house them, China’s first zoo.


The voyages of zheng he

The sixth voyage, 1421-22, returned ambassadors to various countries, but concentrated on the Arabian Peninsula and East Africa.


The voyages of zheng he

Emperor Zhu Di died shortly after this voyage. His son decided to suspend the voyages during his brief reign.


The voyages of zheng he

The next emperor, Zhu Di’s grandson, decided to resume the voyages. He called upon Zheng He to once again lead the fleet.


The seventh voyage 1430 1433 revisited champa java sumatra malacca ceylon calicut and hormuz

The seventh voyage, 1430-1433, revisited Champa, Java, Sumatra, Malacca, Ceylon, Calicut, and Hormuz.


The voyages of zheng he

In Hormuz, Zheng He split his fleet. Part of it continued on to Aden and then the Red Sea port of Jiddah. From Jiddah, a delegation traveled to Mecca. Another part sailed down the east coast of Africa. The remainder returned to China. On the way, Zheng He died and was buried at sea.


The voyages of zheng he

With Zheng He’s death, the voyages ended and the fleet was dispersed. Over the course of 28 years, they had restored China’s diplomatic and trade relations, freed the ocean routes from Asia to India and Arabia of pirates, and established Chinese communities that exist today in many of the places they had visited.


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