Map of the world may prove the Chinese beat Columbus to America

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Could it be that America was discovered, not by Columbus, but by a Chinese admiral who was not only a eunuch and a Muslim but also a confidant of the Emperor during the Ming dynasty?

A map will go on display on Monday in Beijing which is already revolutionising thinking about 15th-century world history. The map is a copy made in 1763 of a chart dated 1418 which appears to prove claims that it was Admiral He, whose fleet sailed the oceans between 1405 and 1435, and not Christopher Columbus some 71 years later, who discovered the New World.

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