Jonathan Mirsky

How the Ming fleets missed Manhattan

Gavin Menzies declares, he does not claim, that between 1421 and 1423 the Chinese discovered Australia, South and North America, and nearly reached the North Pole – in short, the world. He is ‘certain’ that if there hadn’t been a disastrous fire in Peking’s Forbidden City, killing the favourite imperial concubine and causing the emperor to lose interest in long-range exploration, ‘China, not Europe, would have become the mistress of the world’.

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