Chinese exploration

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**Land Exploration**:
– Zhang Qian explored beyond the Tarim Basin in the 2nd century BC.
– Emperor Wu of Han expanded territories into the Western Regions.
– Gan Ying reached the Persian Gulf in 97 AD.
– Xuanzang’s pilgrimage to India increased knowledge of Buddhism in China.

**Maritime Exploration – South China Sea**:
– Seasonal monsoon winds controlled navigation before the 11th century.
– Chinese navy of the Qin dynasty period assisted invasions.
– Ancient shipyard in Guangzhou dated to the early Han dynasty.
– Chinese merchants explored Southeast Asia in the 15th-18th centuries.

**Maritime Exploration – Indian Ocean and Beyond**:
– Chinese envoys sailed into the Indian Ocean from the 2nd century BC.
– Chinese sailors visited ports in Southeast Asia, India, Sri Lanka, and beyond.
– Admiral Zheng He led expeditions to the Indian Ocean from 1405 to 1433.

– Sa`d ibn Abi Waqqas introduced Islam to China in 650.
– Chinese exploration led to exchanges with various cultures.
– Tang and Song dynasties were significant periods for exchanges.
– Chinese Muslims and foreigners played roles in cultural exchanges.

**Technological Advancements**:
– Invention of stern-mounted rudder in 1st century AD in China.
– Ma Jun built the first south-pointing chariot incorporating a differential gear.
– Shen Kuo described the magnetic needle-compass in 1031–1095 AD.
– Zhu Yu described the use of separate bulkhead compartments in Chinese ships.

Chinese exploration includes exploratory Chinese travels abroad, on land and by sea, from the travels of Han dynasty diplomat Zhang Qian into Central Asia during the 2nd century BC until the Ming dynasty treasure voyages of the 15th century that crossed the Indian Ocean and reached as far as East Africa.

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