China's relations with the world overseas

Surviving Chinese maps and manuals for navigators show that between the 15th and 17th centuries Chinese sailors knew the Asian seas from the East African littoral to Timor, and from the straits of Hormuz to the port of Kobe. Chinese merchants were particularly active in southeast Asia.

Sources: Caroline Blundin and Mark Elvin, 'The Land and its people', "Cultural Atlas of China", Checkmark Books, 1998, p.38-39.

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