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1418 Chinese Map drawn by Mo Yi Tong

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  • ghwelker3@comcast.net
    1418 Chinese Map drawn by Mo Yi Tong http://us.a2.yahoofs.com/groups/g_10099551/.HomePage/__sr_/c920.jpg?grLxyBEB1Pj_VquI The whole world owes Zheng He a huge
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 1, 2006
      1418 Chinese Map drawn by Mo Yi Tong


      "The whole world owes Zheng He a huge debt."

      Did the Chinese (Zheng) discover America?


      Source: Aljazeera

      URL Source:


      A Chinese admiral is said to have beaten Columbus
      by 71 years



      World Exploration before Columbus

      1421: The Year China Discovered America?


      Episode One--The first hour introduces the controversial theory of
      British author Gavin Menzies, who has devoted nine years to proving
      that Zheng He and his Ming fleet of more than 100 ships reached
      America before Columbus. This episode investigates what is known
      about the fleet and its historic voyages, and the impact they had on
      the civilizations around the rim of the Indian Ocean. The program
      retraces the armada's journey to far-flung outposts throughout
      China, Southeast Asia, Arabia, India and Africa. Dramatic
      reconstructions using computer graphics bring to life the Ming
      fleet's scale and the unique design of the spectacular 400-foot
      treasure ships within the armada - a nautical achievement never
      surpassed by any other wooden fleet. The program the questions:
      Could the armada truly have sailed around Africa's Cape of Good Hope
      and reach the Americas? And will Menzies' investigations rewrite
      history and change the way people view the world? Episode Two--This
      episode puts Menzies' controversial theory to the test, visiting locations to search for clues and drawing together contemporary historical accounts,
      archaeology and a wealth of evidence from consultations with
      scholars to investigate Menzies' claims. Historians, archaeologists
      and scientists cast major doubts on the claims that the Chinese
      rounded the Cape of Good Hope, that they entered the Atlantic Ocean,
      that they visited or settled in America or indeed produced a Master
      Chart of the World. Menzies claims he can't be proved wrong.
      However, the discovery that led to his investigation has unearthed
      mysteries surrounding both the discovery of America and the true
      nature of the Ming voyages.

      Few history theories stir as much controversy as
      Gavin Menzies' idea that a legendary Chinese
      admiral discovered America, seven decades before
      European explorer Christopher Columbus.

      Although many historians dismiss the former
      British naval officer's theory, including some
      from China, the predominantly ethnic Chinese
      city-state of Singapore may give it a new sheen
      of respectability during a three-month exhibition
      beginning in June.

      Menzies, author of the bestseller 1421: the Year
      China Discovered America, says Admiral Zheng He
      led a fleet of 30,000 men on board 300 ships to
      the American continent in the 15th century to
      expand China's influence during the Ming dynasty.

      Zheng, says Menzies, drew up maps later used by
      Columbus to reach America in 1492 while searching
      for a new route to India.

      Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan also
      sailed with the help of Chinese-drawn maps in the
      16th century, he adds.

      Outdoing Columbus

      "None of the great explorers discovered anything
      new. They all had master maps that were charted
      by the Chinese," said Menzies, a 67-year-old
      former British submarine commander who spent
      about 15 years researching his 490-page book.

      Singapore is to host an exhibition on who
      discovered America

      The government-funded Singapore Tourism Board is
      one of several groups backing the 10 June to 11
      September outdoor exhibit at the Marina
      Promenade, which organisers say will unveil "new
      information and evidence" in support of the
      theory that Zheng landed in America before anyone

      The 1421 Exhibition, organised partly by Menzies
      himself, will also include details of a naval
      base which Zheng is believed to have established
      in Canada at a geographical site known as Nova
      Cataia or New Cathay, said one organiser.

      Pico Art International of Singapore will also
      stage celebrations this year marking the 600th
      anniversary of Zheng's maiden voyage through
      Southeast Asia, when he arrived in the port of
      Malacca, on the west coast of modern-day
      Malaysia, as the Chinese emperor's envoy.

      The festivities will pay tribute to a man
      renowned in Chinese history as the country's
      greatest naval commander.

      Rewriting history

      But whether Zheng - a Muslim eunuch known to have
      sailed as far as southern Africa - beat Columbus
      to America by a comfortable 71 years is bitterly

      "None of the great explorers discovered anything
      new. They all had master maps that were charted
      by the Chinese"

      Gavin Menzies, author

      If true, it would rewrite history books and could
      cause deep soul-searching in American schools.

      "It's rubbish," said Geoff Wade, a senior fellow
      at the Asia Research Institute of the National
      University of Singapore. "There is no evidence to
      back it up."

      Historical records show that from 1405 to 1433,
      Zheng, under the orders of Ming Emperor Zhu Di,
      led China's imperial Star Fleet on seven epic

      Along with its 30,000 men, the fleet, the biggest
      of its time, carried the hopes of an ambitious
      emperor seeking to expand China's influence.

      Historical records show that Zheng, on one trip,
      returned from Africa with a captive giraffe as a
      gift to the emperor.

      According to Menzies, he accomplished far more.
      Menzies says Zheng also took his fleet to America
      and around the globe.

      "There is absolutely no doubt whatsoever that
      Zheng He's fleet did indeed reach both the
      Atlantic and Pacific coast of North and South
      America," he said.

      Some scholars, including Chinese academics,
      reject the idea as hopeful fiction. "I would be
      very delighted if his theory is true but his work
      has got nothing to do with scholarship," a
      Chinese historian with a Singapore university

      "There is no methodology in his research and no
      support for his arguments. He makes conjectures
      and suddenly they become facts."

      Chinese maps

      Menzies, who joined the British navy at 16,
      admits he is no academic but insists on the
      authenticity of his work.

      "It's rubbish. There is no evidence to back it

      Geoff Wade, senior fellow, National University of

      Given China's formidable naval power in the 15th
      century, when some historians say China boasted
      the world's biggest maritime fleets, only the
      Chinese could have charted the master maps that
      led European explorers around the world, said

      Historical records show Zheng He's largest wooden
      junk was 130m long and 60m wide, powered by nine
      masts of sail and manned by at least 500 men.

      That makes it nearly four times bigger than
      Columbus's biggest ship, the Santa Maria.

      Menzies cites research which he says shows the
      DNA of native Americans is closer to that of
      Chinese than Europeans or Africans. This, he
      says, supports his theory that some members of
      Zheng's fleet stayed behind in America and
      started families.

      "The people who live today in places where the
      Europeans found Chinese people in North America,
      those people have essential Chinese DNA in their
      blood," said Menzies.
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