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Zheng He (1371-1435) was a famous Chinese admiral and explorer from the Yunnan province. Emperor Zhu Di ordered his admiral to lead seven expeditions between 1405 and 1433 to the Pacific Ocean, the Indian Ocean, the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf. One expedition is said to have counted more than 300 ships carrying around 30,000 men. The ships used were so-called 'treasure ships' that measured 150 metres and had 9 masts. The purpose of the trips was to catch a rival to the emperor's throne, and to further trade and diplomacy.