Sunday, August 15, 2004


In the early years of his reign, he seems to have been fascinated by the regions beyond China's southern borders, perhaps in part because of rumours that the emperor Chu Yün-wen had escaped overseas. In 1403 the Yung-lo emperor sent out three fleets under eunuch commanders to proclaim his accession throughout Southeast Asia as far as Java and southern India. More vigorously


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