Maritime Ambitions of China

The String of Pearls is following oil & trade routes

Before the 15th century China was a seafaring nation, with advanced shipbuilding and navigation skills. After the famous voyages of Admiral Zheng He during the Ming period which demonstrated what a powerful naval fleet could achieve, an eccentric emperor did a complete volte face, banned all maritime activity, and systematically dismantled its sea power, going to the extreme of destroying all important mariners’ records and shipbuilders’ texts in a medieval version of the Cultural Revolution.1 This effectively blocked China from becoming a seafaring nation for centuries.

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