1421: The Year China Discovered America

On March 8, 1421, the largest fleet the world had

ever seen sailed from its base in China. The ships,

huge junks nearly five hundred feet long and built

from the finest teak, were under the command of

Emperor Zhu Di’s loyal eunuch admirals.

When they returned in October 1423, the emperor

had fallen, leaving China in political and economic


Lost in China’s long, self-imposed isolation that

followed was the knowledge that Chinese ships had

reached America seventy years before Columbus and circumnavigated the globe a century before Magellan.

Also concealed were how the Chinese colonized America

before the Europeans and transplanted to America,

Australia, New Zealand and South America the

principal economic crops that have fed and clothed

the world.