Cheng Ho

Cheng Ho

Cheng Ho or Zheng He (both: jŭngˈ ho͝oˈ), 1371–c.1433, admiral, diplomat, and explorer during China's Ming dynasty. At 10 he was captured by Chinese troops in Yunnan, castrated, and sent into the army. He rose in the ranks, became an officer, and in 1404 was named Grand Eunuch by Emperor Yung-lo. The following year the emperor selected him to lead the first of seven epic expeditions (1405–33) that served to expand Chinese political influence and increase its tribute and trade. Sailing to SE Asia (1405–7), he commanded 62 ships laden with porcelain, lacquer, silk, gems, and other luxury goods. Subsequently commanding treasure fleets ranging from about 50 to more than 100 vessels, some of which were 500 ft (153 m) long, he also later sailed to India, Sri Lanka, Arabia, E Africa, and Egypt. On his fourth voyage (1413–15), Cheng returned with envoys from 30 foreign states who rendered homage to the emperor and sailed home on his sixth voyage (1421–23). Although China returned to an isolationist policy after the emperor's death (1424), Cheng made one last voyage (1431–33). A controversial theory posits that Cheng discovered the New World during his 1420s voyage, some 70 years before Columbus.


See L. Levathes, When China Ruled the Seas (1994); G. Menzies, 1421: The Year China Discovered America (2003).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Cheng Ho


Born 1371; died circa 1434. Chinese traveler, naval commander, and diplomat.

Cheng Ho led military and commercial maritime expeditions (1405–07, 1407–09, 1409–11, 1413–15, 1417–19, 1421–22, and 1431–33) to Indochina, Hindustan, the Arabian Peninsula, and East Africa.


Bokshchanin, A. A. Kitai i strany iuzhnykh morei v XIV–XVI vv. Moscow, 1968.
Svet, Ia. M. Za kormo isto tysiach li. Moscow, I960.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Malaysians would be more familiar with him as Laksamana Cheng Ho, as recorded in local history textbooks.
It was visited at least five times in the 15th century by the famous Ming Dynasty Admiral Zhenghe (Cheng Ho) during his legendary seven voyages to the western ocean.
There were also similarities in clashes in the 11th century at Akyab between Chinese and Eastern Ghat sailors and Admiral Cheng Ho's (a Muslim) cleanup of the South China Sea of pirates in the late 14th and early 15th centuries, then peopled and ruled by descendants of migrants from the Eastern and Western Ghats (of present India) during the 1st to the 5th century AD.
Another factor was the numerous visits by the Chinese Muslim admiral Zheng He (who is known as Cheng Ho in Southeast Asia) who helped spread Islam throughout the Malay Archipelago.
The authors have organized the nineteen chapters that make up the main body of their text in six parts devoted to the history of Zheng He (Cheng Ho) and the maritime silk road, the maritime silk road, the overland silk road, region specific case studies, and many other related subjects.
Tarbela Dam General Manager Iqbal Masood Siddiqui, General Manager (Central Contract Cell) Nasir Hanif, Tarbela 4th Extension Hydropower Project Director Sohail Khan, Consultants Acting Project Manager Abdul Majeed, representative of civil contractors namely LingJianke, YungHeyi and Tuo Yu, representatives of electro-mechanical contractor namely Stephen Luis, Cheng Ho Chen and others attended the meeting.
Two exceptions to this absence of seapower: A Chinese admiral, Zheng He (sometimes written Cheng Ho), led several exploratory voyages through the South China Sea and across the Indian Ocean in the fifteenth century.
Despite the differences between Hui and Han and the diversity and mutability of Hui Islamic expression in China, many PITI leaders still construct their own Islamic tradition by linking it with Muslims in China, promoting the history of Cheng Ho, and building a Chinese-style mosque.
Six hundred year ago, China ruled the seas in an armada called the "Treasure Fleet," commanded by the Imperial eunuch, Zheng He, formerly romanized as Cheng Ho.
Emperor Yongle, who started construction of China's Forbidden City, was interested in political and trade missions to the lands that ring the Indian Ocean and sent Admiral Zheng He, also known as Cheng Ho, to explore those shores.
The Yongle reign, incidentally, is best remembered as the period when Admiral Zheng He (or Cheng Ho) embarked on a period of exploration, between 1405 and 1433) that brought hundreds of Chinese ships to Southeast Asia, India, the Middle East and parts of Africa.
The 4th World Peace Forum (WPF) was organized in Bogor by the Indonesian Muhammadiyah movement, a loose social organization which claims more than 40 million members, the Cheng Ho Multi Culture Education Trust of Malaysia and the Centre for Dialogue and Cooperation Among Civilizations (CDCC).