From Our Archive
The classic Western view of China's historical merchant fleet generally resembles this junk, contrasted with the USS Bon Homme Richard (CVA-31) in the Gulf of Tonkin in 1969. As archaeologists reveal more about the ships of the great 15th-century Chinese admiral Zheng He, the picture of the small, frail coastal vessel may be supplanted with a technological marvel. His baochuan , or treasure ships, are reported have reached some 600 feet in length and ranged the world. (See Soft Power at Sea by Dr. James R. Holmes and Dr. Toshi Yoshihara, p. 34.)
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