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Admiral Zheng He, also known as Cheng Ho, was a 15th century CE Chinese Muslim explorer. In 1403, he was sent on a great mission by Ming dynasty emperor Yongle. He was to undertake seven diplomatic missions to increase trade and arrange for tributes (gifts of money) from foreign powers. Over the next 27 years, he commanded seven voyages of huge fleets of ships that were loaded with trade goods and expensive gifts. He went as far as the Persian Gulf, the Red Sea, and East Africa.