Zheng He in the Headlines Again
Posted by MyLaowai on Tuesday, December 25, 2007
Zheng He Banner Under North Pole
A Chinese Xia class submarine, on an expedition below the Arctic, has found a banner, attributed to the historical Chinese fleet admiral Zheng He. A spokesman of the Chinese foreign ministry says this is proof that China has had rightful claims on the Arctic for almost 600 years. He also accused the Russian submarine expedition crew of August 2 of having stolen two further Zheng He banners from the same place where they had put the Russian flag. This had been a futile attempt to manipulate world opinion against China’s rightful claims on the Arctic, but the Russian explorers had fortunately overlooked a third Zheng He banner there, thus making their vain expedition a complete and disastrous failure.
A renowned Chinese academic explained that the banner has now been examined by his academy and found to be genuinely Zheng He-made. The banner was made of rust-proof titanium steel and has therefore remained well-preserved under the Arctic for ever since 1425. Along with it, today’s Chinese expedition found some waterproof documents written by Zheng He, saying that the Arctic was really China’s, and that the Russians and Japanese should just shut up. In one of these documents, Zheng He also called on all brave and patriotic Chinese students of later times in history to stand up to faked claims on Chinese Arctic territory, promulgated by foreign imperialist powers.
Taking questions from an extraordinarily convened press conference on this topic this afternoon, the foreign ministry spokesman pointed out that China has always known how to make rust-proof titanium banners, and that this was just another proof of the authenticity of the Zheng He flag. He also made it clear that China has known how to build submarines through all ages, and has always sailed the underworld of the Arctic.
Who was the great ‘Chinese’ ‘Man’, Zheng He? A good question…
Zheng He was born in 1371 of the Hui ethnic group [descended from Arab and Persian Muslim traders] and the Muslim faith in modern-day Yunnan Province [now part of China], one of the last possessions of the Mongols. According to his biography in the History of Ming, he was originally named Ma Sanbao. His family name “Ma” came from Shams al-Din’s fifth son Masuh (Mansour). Both his father Mir Tekin and grandfather Charameddin had traveled on the hajj to Mecca. Their travels contributed much to the young boy’s education. In 1381, following the fall of the Yuan [Mongol] Dynasty, a Ming [Chinese] army was dispatched to Yunnan to put down the Mongol rebel Basalawarmi. Zheng He, then only a young boy of eleven years, was taken captive by that army and castrated, thus becoming a eunuch. He soon became a servant at the Imperial court. The name “Zheng He” was given by the Yongle emperor for meritorious service in the Yongle rebellion against the Jianwen Emperor. He studied at Nanjing Taixue (The Imperial Central College).
Zheng He led seven expeditions to what the Chinese called “the Western Ocean” [which we know as the Indian Ocean]. The latest ‘view’, advanced by Gavin Menzies, suggested Zheng’s fleet had travelled every part of the world. However, virtually every authority in the field denounces Menzies’ claims as baseless. According to Menzies [whose ‘researches’ are funded by the Chinese Communist Party], Zheng’s fleet explored virtually the entire globe, discovering West Africa, North and South America, Greenland, Iceland, Antarctica and Australia (except visiting Europe). Menzies also claimed that Zheng’s wooden fleet passed the Arctic Ocean. However none of the citations in his book 1421 are from Chinese sources and even scholars in China do not accept Menzies’s assertions.
At the beginning of the 1980s, his tomb was renovated in a more Islamic style, although he himself was buried at sea. The government of the People’s Republic of China uses him as a model to integrate the Muslim minority into the Chinese nation.
- Source: Wikipedia