Recent studies in China on Admiral Zheng He's navigation

Much research has been done into life and times of the great Chinese navigator, Zheng He, who extended and promoted China’s official maritime trade during the Ming dynasty. Countries that Zheng He visited include: Myanmar, Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei, the Philippines, the south Asian sub-continent, as well as Arabia and Africa. However, the bulk of research efforts has focused on Chinese sources and materials and discuss and review the historic geography, including place names and the routes that Zheng He followed. Other research has focused on the development of navigation and shipbuilding techniques, identifying how sails and monsoon winds were harnessed to travel east and west, and how instruments were developed to, for example, aid navigation and measure distances. Comparative research into non-Chinese materials on other contemporaneous navigators, e.g. Vasco da Gama is recommended for a more comprehensive history of navigation at this time.

Related Information

  • Author(s):
    Liu Yingsheng
    15th century AD
    Language of article:

    International seminar on Silk roads: Roads of dialogue, Malacca, Malaysia. January 4, 1991


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