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n South African Journal of Cultural History - Early encounters between China and Africa : myth or moment?

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Abstract


Hierdie artikel gee 'n oorsig van die historiografie, asook die geskiedenis, van die vroegste moontlike maritieme kontak tussen Sjina en Afrika. Terwyl daar heelwat spekulasie oor die aard en datum van die eerste ontmoeting tussen hierdie twee kontinente is, is daar beperkte bewyse om voor-sestiende eeuse Sjinese ekspedisies in die suidelike Afrikaanse omgewing te substansieer. Ten spyte hiervan, het Sjinese Westerse navorsers respektiewelik vanaf die eerste eeu nC en die twintigerjare van die 20e eeu, aansprake oor Sjinese kontak met die suidelike en oostelike Afrikastreek gemaak. Sjina het weliswaar 'n hoogs ontwikkelde skeepsboukapasiteit gehad lank voor die begin van die eeu van wêreldwye Westerse ontdekkingsvaarte. Argeologiese opgrawings bevestig die gesofistikeerdheid van die Sjinese maritieme tegnologie. Hierdie artikel fokus op die seetogte van die legendariese Groot Eunug, Admiraal Cheng Ho, wat tydens die Min-dinastie in die vroeë vyftiende eeu onderneem is. Die moontlikheid dat hierdie onderneming die suidelike punt van Afrika bereik het, is hoogs waarskynlik. Sjinese teen-ekpansionisme het Sjina na 1433 van hierdie oorsese belange, en dus ook van kontak met suidelike Afrika onttrek. Die Sjinese sou eers weer na die vestiging van 'n verversingstasie aan die Kaap deur die Verenigde Oos-Indiese Kompanje in die middel van die sewentiende eeu terugkeer - toe egter in baie klein getalle.

This article presents an overview of the historiography, as well as the history, of the possible earliest maritime contact between China and Africa. While there is much speculation as to the nature and date of the first encounter between these two continents, there is limited evidence to substantiate claims of pre sixteenth century Chinese expeditions in the southern African region. Despite this, since the first century AD and the 1920s, Chinese and Western scholars have respectively made claims about Chinese arrivals in the southern and eastern African region. China did indeed have a highly advanced ship building capacity long before the dawn of the West's global age of sail, and archaeological evidence bears testimony to the sophistication of Chinese maritime technology. The article also focuses on the voyages of the legendary Grand Eunuch , Admiral Cheng Ho, undertaken in the Ming dynasty in the early fifteenth century. The possibility of this venture reaching the southern tip of Africa is highly probable. However after 1433, Chinese anti-expansionism withdrew China from the overseas realm and hence contact with southern Africa. The Chinese were not to return until after the Dutch East India Company established a refreshment station at the Cape in the mid-seventeenth century, and then they were only present in extremely small numbers.

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/content/culture/17/1/EJC30579
2003-06-01
2016-12-03
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