Cheng ho
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Cheng Ho. Chinese Exploration. What do you remember about China during the 1300-1500’s?. One of the most powerful empires. The emperor of the Ming Dynasty had Cheng Ho lead a series of expeditions to ports all over the Indian Ocean

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Cheng Ho

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Cheng Ho

Chinese Exploration

What do you remember about China during the 1300-1500’s?

  • One of the most powerful empires

  • The emperor of the Ming Dynasty had Cheng Ho lead a series of expeditions to ports all over the Indian Ocean

  • He had diplomatic, scientific, and commercial goals, while traveling farther than any other admiral in history at the time

Treasure Ship

  • Studies reveal the fleets could make a formation resembling a flying swallow. Each voyage consists of about 200 ships with a crew of more than 27,000 in his Grand Fleet

  • The largest vessels were the treasure ships, each 444 ft. in length - more than all of Columbus’ ships put end to end

  • By his last voyage, Cheng had been to east Africa, the Persian Gulf, Egypt, and Ceylon (modern day Sri Lanka)

  • Almost 30 countries sent envoys back to China to give homage to the emperor, and all of the countries eagerly welcomed Cheng and traded for Chinese goods.

  • He set up diplomatic relations in all the countries he visited and received tribute from most rulers that he met

Temples have been built to enable people to worship him as a deity by not only the Chinese but also other ethnic groups. One reason is that he was a Muslim and he distinguished himself by not imposing his own religious persuasion on people of other faiths. Cheng Ho built many temples especially Mazu ( 妈祖 Goddess of the Sea) temples.

China vs. European Exploration

  • Cheng’s voyages not only established Chinese trade routes throughout Asia and Africa, but also established China as the dominant power in the known world.

  • China was far more technologically advanced than any other culture on the planet, even those in Europe.

  • It had no contact with Europe, but none of the European fleets could have successfully challenged China’s authority

  • When the emperor who helped Cheng Ho died China again banned all naval expeditions.

  • Future emperors practiced strict isolationism and burned all records of Cheng Ho’s voyages.

  • Chinese influence on the world ceased, thus opening the door for the rise of European superpowers .

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