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TV Program on Ancient Chinese Navigator to Be Shown

China will entertain its viewers both at home and abroad with an eight-episode program about Zheng He, a navigator who traveled to Southeastern Asia and Africa 600 years ago.

The program, entitled Zheng He Traveling to the West, shot by the Society for the Promotion of Chinese Cultural Exchanges and Cooperation and Jiangsu provincial government, will soon be shown on China Central Television (CCTV) and Taiwan-based and foreign TV stations, said a source with the Society.

The program unveils many secrets, such as the verification that former Indonesian President Abdurrahman Wahid is an offspring of a shipman that worked for Zheng He, the search for the offspring of the Chinese shipmen in eastern Africa, and the relations between the discovery of red wooden ship debris in Australia and Zheng He's trips.

The series was shot in 17 countries including Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia, India, Kenya, the United Kingdom, Spain and Portugal.

Zheng He led seven great naval voyages between 1405 and 1433 into southeastern Asia and westward to India, Persia, Arabia, and Africa. During his journey, Zheng brought along with him silk and many other goods for trading, opening the "Silk Road on the Sea."

(Xinhua News Agency July 16, 2005)

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