|The impact of Zheng He’s expeditions on Indian Ocean interactions / Tansen Sen.|
Extract from: Bulletin of SOAS, 79, 3 (2016), 609–636. © SOAS, University of London, 2017.
This article examines the consequences of the Ming maritime expeditions
led by Admiral Zheng He (1371–1433) in the early fifteenth century on
Indian Ocean diplomacy, trade, and cross-cultural interactions. The presence
of the powerful Ming navy not only introduced an unprecedented
militaristic aspect to the Indian Ocean region, but also led to the emergence
of state-directed commercial activity in the maritime world that
extended from Ming China to the Swahili coast of Africa. Additionally,
these expeditions stimulated the movement of people and animals across
the oceanic space and might eventually have facilitated the rapid entry
of European commercial enterprises into the Indian Ocean region during
the second half of the fifteenth century.
Keywords: Indian Ocean, Zheng He, Ming Dynasty, Cross-cultural interactions,
Chinese navy, Circulations of animals
Added keywords: Indian Ocean, Chinese navy, naval affairs and military actions, African contacts, giraffes and exotic animals, tribute states, Ming exploration.
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