Zheng He Sails to the West SeaEarly Ming dynasty, a Chinese fleet sailed the West Sea 7 times. On these ships were local products from China that were meant to exchange local products from other places on the way. The leader of this Chinese fleet was a eunuch named Zheng He. He served 3 emperors in the Palace and thus was given the nickname "San (which means three) Bao Eunuch).
The emperor Ming Chengzu wanted to enlarge overseas influence, so he appointed Zhange He as the envoy to navigate The West Sea. At that time the West Sea, known to the Chinese, was the water near the bank of Indian Ocean and South Pacific Ocean.
In June of 1405, Zhange He started his first trip to the West Sea. He lead more than 27,000 people who were divided into 62 big seagoing vessels. The biggest vessel could hold 1000+ persons. There were compass and man other advanced nautical equipments on the ship. The fleet sailed to 10 countries and returned two years later. Thereafter, until A.D. 1433, Zheng sailed off for a total of 7 times. In 30 years he had navigated around a lot of places, such as many foreign islands in the South Pacific Ocean, India, Iran and Arab. He reached to the bank of the Red Sea bank and the east bank of Africa. This is the unprecedented undertaking in the history of seafaring, and was more than half of a century earlier than the voyages of European fleets.