Woodcut of an ocean-going ship from the time of Admiral Zheng He. Ink on paper. From the book Wu-pei chih by Mao Yuan-i, 1626.
Zheng He was a diplomat, explorer, and fleet admiral who, between 1405 and 1433, made seven voyages to the Indian Ocean. His expeditions and four naval and land battles brought more than thirty kingdoms into the Chinese economic sphere.