Zheng He Voyage Analysis

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During the 1405-1433, Ming dynasty of China under the ruling of Yongle appointed Zheng He to go on a voyage to reestablish trade route. This is an important event in term of trading because the Black Plague of the 1300s caused the global trade to be halted. Zheng He's expedition shows China's effort to reenter this global trading system. Many accounts of Zheng He's voyage comes from novels and secondary resources, and these sources exaggerated many aspects of the expedition such as the size of the "Treasure Ship". One of the most accurate accounts of the voyage comes from Ma Huan's "Ying-Yai Sheng-Lan - The Overall Survey of the Ocean's Shores". Ma Huan is a eunuch appointed to go on the voyage with Zheng He and he is known to be a precise…show more content…
In Ma Huan's account on Champa, he vividly described the different levels of punishment executed to people who breaks the law. The punishments are ranked from thrashing on the back for light offences, to cutting nose or hand for serious offences, to burning a scar on the face for adultery, and lastly to sitting on a boat that will protrude from the criminal's mouth for heinous offences (Ma, 119). The punishments reveal the strict enforcement of law as a sign to impose fear to scare people from committing crimes. Furthermore, the treatments of the criminal reflect that the sense of humanity and human rights are not as strong because brutality toward the criminal is allowed. Furthermore, the punishment enforced in Calicut is very similar. For light offences, "they cut off a hand or sever a foot; if it is serious, they impose a money-fine or put the offender to death; and if it is very heinous, they confiscate his property and exterminate his family"(Ma, 125). Additionally, if there is an unjust circumstance the criminal is brought to the king and he can testify by frying his fingers in hot oil. If his finger is fine two days later then he is release, else he is put to death (Ma, 126). The Calicut's punishment is overall more brutal than Champa's punishment, but Calicut give a way for people to escape death
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