Beijing ends 500 years of tradition as it sends the navy out to attack pirates

Dec. 28, 2008 — (TIMESONLINE) /SNIP/ The last time a Chinese military fleet set sail for anywhere as far afield as Africa with the prospect of a fight at the other end, the ships were 400ft (122m) wooden junks and the commander was a Ming dynasty court eunuch called Zheng He. Full Report

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