Zheng He, Chinese Explorer

Zheng He was a Chinese mariner, explorer, diplomat and fleet admiral, who made the voyages collectively referred to as the travels of "Eunuch Sanbao to the Western Ocean" or "Zheng He to the Western Ocean", from 1405 to 1433.


For 28 years, he traveled more than 50,000km and visited over 30 countries, throughout South Pacific, Indian Ocean, Persian Gulf and distant Africa. Columbus sailed to America in St. Maria in 1492, some 80 years after Zheng's voyages. Life magazine ranked Zheng the 14th most important person of the last millennium. He was buried in Nanjing. Denmark

Zheng He, Chinese Explorer, mariner, diplomat, fleet admiral

Zheng He, Chinese Explorer


Zheng He was born in 1371 in modern-day Yunnan Province, which was at that time the last stronghold of the Yuan Dynasty in its struggle with the victorious Ming Dynasty. Like most Hui people, Zheng He was a Muslim.The term Hui in Chinese refers to the Islamic religion because of its association with the Hui ethnic group.


According to the History of Ming, he was originally named Ma Sanbao and his home was Kunyang, present day Jinning.


In 1381, following the defeat of the Northern Yuan, a Ming army was dispatched to Yunnan to put down the Mongol rebel Basalawarmi. Ma Sanbao, then only eleven years old, was captured and made a eunuch. He was sent to the Imperial court, where he eventually became a trusted adviser of the Yongle Emperor, assisting him in deposing his predecessor, the Jianwen Emperor. In return for meritorious service, the eunuch received the name Zheng He from the Yongle Emperor. 

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