Zheng He

An Explorer of Oceans

Zheng He Biography

Zheng He, born in 1371 was an admiral in the Chinese navy who made seven voyages to southeast Asia, India, and Africa to explore and trade. Raised a Muslim He was quite familiar with distant lands, and therefore developed a consuming curiosity about the outside world. Zheng He was captured by Ming Dynasty forces during their military cleansing of the remnants of the Yuan Dynasty in 1279-1368 and was taken to Nanjing, where he was castrated and entered into imperial service under Zhu Di. During Zheng He's time in the palace, his brilliance and loyalty won him Zhu Di's trust. As a result, the prince chose Zheng He to serve as his personal bodyguard during his quest to become emperor. He was instrumental in Zhu Di's seizure of imperial power. His illustrious career was made possible in part by his unique background. Zheng He is China's most famous maritime explorer. Between 1405 and 1433, Zheng He led seven great western maritime expeditions, traversing the South China Sea and the Indian Ocean into the Persian Gulf and Red Sea, and reaching as far west as the east coast of Africa. Zheng He visited roughly over thirty African and Asian countries and regions. He supposedly died in 1433 at the end of his last voyage and was buried at sea.



His Accomplishments

Zheng He was very famous for his travels and how he travelled but his great accomplishments was all of the many spices, trade routes, alliances, and wealth he brought to China. When he returned he was praised for what he did for his country, and the populace built many statues and monuments to his honor.


Ships - Zheng He

Zheng He's Impacts on Society Then and Now

Then: To undertake the journeys of which Zheng He took He needed a massive fleet but in order to do have one you must use large amounts of wood. The amount of wood it took to produce his fleet was depleting China of their forests very fast so the Emperor put a stop to the production and began an era of seclusion. On the other hand because of these voyages Zheng He Provided many alliances and spices and wealth to the country.

Now: Because of his explorations we can learn of how to better use Maps today. We can also learn of the history between countries of the time and the diplomacies of their relations.



1. Zheng made his first trip in 1405

2. He built a storage complex near the Strait of Malacca for storing products.

3. Zheng He was gifted a giraffe on his voyage to an African ruler.

4. That same giraffe was sent to the Imperial court and greeted as a Unicorn.

5. His Real name is Cheng Ho.