China National Maritime Day

Last updated

China National Maritime Day, [1] officially referred to as Maritime Day of China, [2] [3] also known as China Maritime Day, [4] Maritime Day in China, [5] Chinese :中国航海日; pinyin :hanghairi, is celebrated July 11, 2005, commemorating marked Zheng He's first voyage. The date marks the 600th anniversary of the ocean voyages of Zheng He, the Ming dynasty (1368–1644) navigator, who went on seven voyages to show China's might to the rest of the world, under the command of Yongle Emperor. These voyages sought to prove to the Chinese people that the usurper Yongle was worthy of the throne and the gods accepted him with the Mandate of Heaven. The celebration's creation honors China's commitment to the International Maritime Organization, of which it is a member.

China State in East Asia

China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia and the world's most populous country, with a population of around 1.404 billion. Covering approximately 9,600,000 square kilometers (3,700,000 sq mi), it is the third- or fourth-largest country by total area. Governed by the Communist Party of China, the state exercises jurisdiction over 22 provinces, five autonomous regions, four direct-controlled municipalities, and the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau.

Simplified Chinese characters standardized Chinese characters developed in mainland China

Simplified Chinese characters are standardized Chinese characters prescribed in the Table of General Standard Chinese Characters for use in mainland China. Along with traditional Chinese characters, they are one of the two standard character sets of the contemporary Chinese written language. The government of the People's Republic of China in mainland China has promoted them for use in printing since the 1950s and 1960s to encourage literacy. They are officially used in the People's Republic of China and Singapore.

Hanyu Pinyin, often abbreviated to pinyin, is the official romanization system for Standard Chinese in mainland China and to some extent in Taiwan. It is often used to teach Standard Mandarin Chinese, which is normally written using Chinese characters. The system includes four diacritics denoting tones. Pinyin without tone marks is used to spell Chinese names and words in languages written with the Latin alphabet, and also in certain computer input methods to enter Chinese characters.


See also

Related Research Articles

Zheng He Chinese mariner, explorer, and diplomat

Zheng He was a Chinese mariner, explorer, diplomat, fleet admiral, and court eunuch during China's early Ming dynasty. He was originally born as Ma He in a Muslim family, and later adopted the conferred surname Zheng from Emperor Yongle. Zheng commanded expeditionary treasure voyages to Southeast Asia, South Asia, Western Asia, and East Africa from 1405 to 1433. His larger ships stretched 120 meters or more in length and carried hundreds of sailors on four tiers of decks.

Yongle Emperor emperor of the Ming Dynasty

The Yongle Emperor — personal name Zhu Di — was the third emperor of the Ming dynasty, reigning from 1402 to 1424.

Shipbuilding construction of ships and floating vessels

Shipbuilding is the construction of ships and other floating vessels. It normally takes place in a specialized facility known as a shipyard. Shipbuilders, also called shipwrights, follow a specialized occupation that traces its roots to before recorded history.

Rowan Gavin Paton Menzies is a British author and retired submarine lieutenant-commander who has written books promoting claims that the Chinese sailed to America before Columbus. Historians have rejected Menzies' theories and assertions and have categorised his work as pseudohistory.

Hongxi Emperor emperor of the Ming Dynasty

The Hongxi Emperor, personal name Zhu Gaochi (朱高熾), was the fourth emperor of the Ming dynasty. He succeeded his father, the Yongle Emperor, in 1424. His era name "Hongxi" means "vastly bright".

Jianwen Emperor Second emperor of the Ming Dynasty

The Jianwen Emperor was the second emperor of the Ming dynasty in China. His personal name was Zhu Yunwen (朱允炆). The era name of his reign, Jianwen, means "establishing civility" and represented a sharp change in tone from Hongwu, the era name of the reign of his grandfather and predecessor, the Hongwu Emperor. His reign did not last long: an attempt to restrain his uncles led to the Jingnan rebellion. The Jianwen Emperor was eventually overthrown by one of his uncles, Zhu Di, who was then enthroned as the Yongle Emperor. Although the Yongle Emperor presented a charred body as Zhu Yunwen's, rumours circulated for decades that the Jianwen Emperor had disguised himself as a Buddhist monk and escaped from the palace when it was set on fire by Zhu Di's forces. Some people speculated that one of the reasons behind why the Yongle Emperor sponsored the admiral Zheng He on his treasure voyages in the early 15th century, was for Zheng He to search for the Jianwen Emperor, who was believed to have survived and fled to Southeast Asia. Some historians believe that the Jianwen Emperor had indeed survived and escaped from Nanjing, but the official histories of the Ming dynasty were modified later during the Qing dynasty to please the Manchu rulers.

Porcelain Tower of Nanjing pagoda constructed in the 15th century during the Ming Dynasty

The Porcelain Tower of Nanjing, part of the former Great Bao'en Temple, is a historical site located on the south bank of external Qinhuai River in Nanjing, China. It was a pagoda constructed in the 15th century during the Ming dynasty, but was mostly destroyed in the 19th century during the course of the Taiping Rebellion. A modern life size replica of it now exists in Nanjing.

Chinese treasure ship large wooden vessel commanded by the Chinese admiral Zheng He

A Chinese treasure ship was a type of large wooden ship in the fleet of admiral Zheng He, who led seven voyages during the early 15th-century Ming dynasty.

Hong Bao Chinese explorer

Hong Bao was a Chinese eunuch sent on overseas diplomatic missions during the reigns of the Yongle Emperor and Xuande Emperor in the Ming dynasty. He is best known as the commander of one of the detached squadrons of Zheng He's fleet during the Seventh Voyage of this fleet to the Indian Ocean (1431–1433).

Long Ya Men

Long Ya Men or Dragon's Teeth Gate, is the name given to a craggy granite outcrop that formerly stood at the gateway to Keppel Harbour in Singapore. The rocky outcrop served as navigational aids to ancient mariners sailing through the swift waters of the narrow channel between them, but was subsequently destroyed by the British in 1848 to widen the channel for larger vessels to sail through. In 2005, a symbolic replica was erected by the Singapore government near its original site to mark the role it played in Singapore's maritime history.

Jiangning District District in Jiangsu, Peoples Republic of China

Jiangning District is one of 11 districts of Nanjing, the capital of Jiangsu province, China. The District has a population of 1,025,000 and an area of 1600 square kilometers. It includes southern and south-eastern suburbs of Nanjing.

The Ming–Kotte War was a military conflict between the expeditionary forces of the Chinese Ming empire with the Sinhalese Kotte kingdom, located in the southern territories of Ceylon. This conflict happened when Ming China's treasure fleet returned to Ceylon in 1410 or 1411. It resulted in the overthrow of the then Sinhalese ruling house for the former royal family.

Jinghai Temple

Jinghai Temple is a 15th-century temple located in Nanjing, Jiangsu, China, to the southwest of Shizi Mountain. It was built to commemorate the voyage of Zheng He in the Ming Dynasty. The terms of the Treaty of Nanking were discussed in the temple. It was destroyed and rebuilt thrice, during the Taiping Rebellion and the Second Sino-Japanese War. In 1988, it was rebuilt on its original site. In 1990, the temple became home to the Historical Exhibition Museum of the Treaty of Nanking. After two expansions in 1996 and 2005, it is now the Nanjing Jinghai Temple Memorial, with material related to both Zheng He's voyage and the Treaty of Nanking. It is a National 4A Level Scenic Spot, as well as part of the National Patriotism Education Base, and the Nanjing Relic Protection Unit.

Chen Zuyi

Chen Zuyi was a 15th-century Chinese pirate from Guangdong, and was one of the most feared pirates to infest the seas of Southeast Asia. He ruled the city of Palembang, and raided the Strait of Malacca to plunder shipping and prey on both native and foreign merchants for several years. His fleet was defeated by the Ming dynasty Admiral Zheng He at the Battle of Palembang (1407). Chen was captured and sent to Chinese capital Nanjing for execution.

Tomb of the King of Boni

Tomb of the King of Boni, built in the early 15th century, is the tomb of Manarejiana 麻那惹加那, ruler of Boni (Brunei), a medieval state on the island of Borneo, considered by some as the predecessor of the present-day sultanate of Brunei. The tomb and associated statuary is located in a park at the southern foothills of Tortoise Mountain (Guishan), about 3 km south of the southern gate of the walled city of Nanjing. The street address is No.9, Weijiu Road of Huacun; this is east of Tiexinqiao Subdistrict, in Yuhuatai District, Nanjing, Jiangsu province, China.

Ming treasure voyages seven Ming-era maritime voyages of the treasure fleet between 1405 and 1433

The Ming treasure voyages were the seven maritime expeditions by Ming China's treasure fleet between 1405 and 1433. The Yongle Emperor initiated the construction of the treasure fleet in 1403. The grand project resulted in seven far-reaching ocean voyages to the coastal territories and islands in and around the South China Sea, the Indian Ocean, and beyond. Admiral Zheng He was commissioned to command the treasure fleet for the expeditions. Six of the voyages occurred during the Yongle reign, while the seventh voyage occurred under the Xuande reign. The first three voyages reached up to Calicut on India's Malabar Coast, while the fourth voyage went as far as Hormuz in the Persian Gulf. Afterwards, the fleet made voyages farther away to the Arabian Peninsula and East Africa.

Diplomacy and commerce during the Ming treasure voyages

The Ming treasure voyages had a diplomatic as well as a commercial aspect.

Xia Yuanji was a Ming dynasty government minister. He was born in Xiangyin County, Hunan Province, which was then part of Huguang Province. His ancestral home was Dexing, Jiangxi. Xia read the Classic of Poetry and became a Xiucai at the age of 23, joining the Guozijian. Early in his career, he saw service under the Hongwu Emperor and Jianwen Emperor. After the Yongle Emperor came to the throne, he was sent to inspect Suzhou Creek. Xia opposed both Zheng He's overseas voyages and the Yongle Emperor's campaigns against the Mongols.

Yongle Tongbao Chinese cash coin

The Yongle Tongbao refers to Ming dynasty era Chinese cash coin produced under the reign of the Yongle Emperor. As the Ming dynasty didn’t produce copper coinage at the time since it predominantly used silver coins and paper money as the main currency, the records vary on when the Yongle Emperor ordered its creation between 1408 and 1410, this was done as the production of traditional cash-style coinage had earlier ceased in 1393. The Yongle Tongbao cash coins were notably not manufactured for the internal Chinese market where silver coinage and paper money would continue to dominate, but were in fact produced to help stimulate international trade as Chinese cash coins were used as a common form of currency throughout South, Southeast, and East Asia.

The Battle of Palembang was a naval battle fought in 1407 between Ming China's treasure fleet commanded by Admiral Zheng He and the pirate fleet of Chen Zuyi at Palembang, Sumatra, in modern Indonesia. The battle resulted in the defeat of Chen Zuyi, who was captured and sent to China for execution.


  1. Zhu, Chengpei; Zhang, Xiaomin (July 13, 2009). "China celebrates Maritime Day in Dalian". China Daily . Retrieved June 8, 2012.
  2. "Maritime Day of China" (in Chinese). Retrieved June 8, 2012. (Official English name is found in the title of the homepage and the flash at the top of the homepage)
  3. "Nanjing to be Main Venue of 2012 Maritime Day of China" (Press release). Nanjing Municipal People's Government. April 29, 2012. Archived from the original on November 30, 2012. Retrieved June 8, 2012.
  4. "China Maritime Day". International Maritime Organization. July 11, 2010. Retrieved June 8, 2012.
  5. Wang, Wenbin; Liu, Xuan (July 6, 2005). "July 11, Weighing Day, designated as Maritime Day". PLA Daily. Archived from the original on December 1, 2008. Retrieved June 8, 2012.