I have no sense that there were ever very many such commercial trips. On the Atlantic, it was the explosion of such shipping that made colonization and immigration work at the same time as the native population collapsed. My point though is that there was ample opportunity but scant economic momentum to produce a permanent presence for the Chinese. We forget that the Americas were a long term investment project that never truly rewarded the source countries to the degree justified by the expense.
It was the astonishing huge supply of looted gold and specie that actually jump started the whole enterprise and sustained it through the centuries of hardship. We might still be fighting on the coast otherwise.
We do understand that Olmecs and Chinese did interact and that alone drives the rest. Add in the Atlantean dominence of the Carrib and the Mississippi contemporaneously for the copper trade and perhaps we understand why Chinese interest remained minor.
There were a lot of stray expeditions possible during the past five thousand year and we need to more readily accept direct evidence such as this. It really does not mean a lot in historical impact. I came , I saw, i left.
Chinese Sword Found in Georgia Suggests Pre-Columbian Chinese Travel to North America?
- 62 or 63 baoshan or “treasure ships” were constructed for the first expedition, 440–538 feet long by 210 feet wide, four decks, nine masts, displacing an estimated 20,000–30,000 tons, approximately one-third to one half the displacement of a current large aircraft carrier.
- Machuan or “horse ships,” 340 feet long by 138 feet wide, eight masts, carrying horses, timber for repairs and tribute goods.
- Liangchuan or “grain ships,” 257 feet long by 115 feet wide, seven masts, carrying grain for crew and soldiers.
- Zuochuan or “troop ships,” 220 feet long by 84 feet wide, six masts.
- Zhanchuan warships, 165 feet long, five masts.
- 27,000-28,000 estimated sailors, soldiers, translators, and crew members