Paper: A Look at the Age of Exploration and the Major Explorations of the Time

China was already familiar with European and Western Cultures. China traded silk, porcelain, and metals as far west as Africa. (http://www.omart.org/itoc/reference/chinaworld.html). It was fairly easy to communicate and transport things from China to the West. The Chinese used two routes for access to the west. One, was the desert or silk road in the north. This route was across land and could be taken far distances. An ambassador one time, took the silk road all the way to Paris. The other route is the sea route through the Indian Ocean and South China Sea. The Chinese did not use this route as often because they did not have great aquatic skill. They took the desert many more times and although the sea route was not fully developed, it would eventually come into use. China, like all other countries, wanted to explore. So in the 15th century, they took their knowledge and built many ships. These ships were built to be used on extravagant explorations. The goal of these explorations was to spread Chinese beliefs, and hopefully find some money on the trips as well. Zheng he was the head of all these trips. They were called the maritime expeditions. They were very large missions, with up to 70 ships on just one trip. And in all there were a total of seven trips. These trips gave China a good feel for the rest of the world, and let them see what was. happening outside of China. Eventually these trips ended due to lack of money, but what China obtained during these trips, greatly expanded their knowledge and feel for the earth. As you can see, exploration has played a pivotal factor in Chinese history. Without it, China would never have made their maritime expeditions, and they would never know what the world was really like. So European exploration helped the Chinese in a way that nothing else could. It gave them the slight edge they needed to explore, and become intelligent about the seas, and the earth....