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I recently read through a book entitled Men, Ships and the Sea - a
National Geographic Society publication - the 'Cheng Ho' reminded me of
it - here is some of the data I find regarding Chinese sea activity.
Relative to reaching America in early times it only says "A
tradition - doubted by most scholars - tells of a junk's being driven
eastward by a storm to a mysterious land called Fu-Sang, possibly
1. An expedition is recorded in 219 B.C. to the "Isles of the Blest",
2. In the early 15th century the Ming Dynasty, embarking on naval
expansion, dispatched spectacular armadas, manned by 30,000 men, into
the Indian Ocean. They crushed Malay pirates, overawed kings. Envoys
and tribute streamed to the Dragon Throne from 70 states. Chinese goods
filled Asian and African marts. The Imperial Navy came to number 3100
warships, 400 armed transports, and 250 nine-masted treasure ships,
about 300 feet long and 150 feet in beam (junks were beamier then). No
European power had anything to rival this.
This may not be a 'discussion topic' but since the Chinese thing
came up and I had been so impressed with this information (things I
didn't know (or suspect) I thought that there might be others like me
who would appreciate knowing some of the "things" people accomplished
long before our time.
The photographs in this book are fantastic.
Neil (Nova Scotia)