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The Hunt for the Dragon by Chao C. Chien

The Hunt for the Dragon

by Chao C. Chien

188 pages
Lost Chinese ex-Ming Dynasty emperor fled across the globe.

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Category: History
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About the Book
At the end of the early Chinese Ming Dynasty civil war the defeated emperor vanished. History generally intimates that he had died; burnt in a palace conflagration. However, the victorious incoming Emperor was of a different mind. He sent out agents to scour the country for any trace of the fugitive. At sea, he built a large ocean fleet with over 200 ships and 30,000 troops to plough the oceans, and that is the famous Seven Voyages of Admiral Zheng He, the commander of the enterprise and close confidante of new Emperor Chengzu.

The disappearance of Ming Emperor Jian-wen is one of the most intriguing mysteries of Chinese history. Speculations on the fate of the ousted emperor abound. This present research looks into each and every bit of evidence and fully analyzes its scientific significance. For instance, due to a lack of substantive information, Zheng He’s voyages through the ages have been billed as one of goodwill ambassadorship and commercial shuttle diplomacy. However, the timing of the project belies the true purpose of the program. Zheng He went to sea in 1405. However, the fleet and its support facilities took 3 years to complete. That puts the date of the decision to go to sea in 1402, the year Emperor Chengzu defeated his nephew Emperor Jian-wen and ascended the throne. The new emperor was not preoccupied with diplomacy at this fateful moment. He was obsessed with his nemesis’ whereabouts.

With the true motive of the Ming expeditions known, it is a matter of tracing Zheng He’s sea routes for the escape of the disgraced ex-emperor. Although Chinese documents only mention Zheng He’s activities about the Indian Ocean, European records show the Chinese active in the Atlantic in early 15th c. There were sightings of Chinese diplomats in the Papal court, and sailors in North Atlantic. There were sightings of ship-wreck debris. Most important, European maps of the time featured geographical and cultural elements that were distinctly Chinese and landmarks before they were known to European explorers.

These records—contemporary geographical names, Chinese writings, and Matteo Ricci’s famous early 17th c. world map, no less—further strongly suggest that the Chinese, including the deposed emperor, had crossed the Atlantic and reached the American Continents. Descriptions of the New World before their time are too uncanny to be dismissed.

Although the research is inconclusive on the fate of the ex-emperor, the records are clear that this unlikely episode of Chinese real-life derring-do of a grand scale ushered in the Age of Discovery. The young Portuguese Infante Enrique was spurred on to his now historically celebrated maritime program. He is now known as Henry the Navigator. Columbus, Magellan, and others were all inspired to go to sea. Eventually Europeans came to dominate the world, while the Chinese wallowed in the ignorance of their own achievements.

To date, the mystery of the disappearance of Emperor Jian-wen remains an unsolved mystery.

 

 

About the Author
Chao C. Chien a graduate of the U. of Michigan School of Engineering, once senior analyst at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and computer consultant, Chien is now a full-time researcher in ancient history of questionable veracity. His works on the Age of Discovery have cast doubt on what is now taught.n

 

 

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