East of the Cape of Good Hope but also in and beyond the straits of Magellan, those of the aforementioned Company shall be allowed to enter into agreements and contracts with princes and potentates in the name of the States-General of the United Netherlands. They may also build fortresses and strongholds, appoint governors, armed forces, officers of justice and officers of other necessary services in order to preserve these places and maintain them in good order.
Van der Chijs, Geschiedenis der stichting van de Vereenigde O.I. Compagnie, 130.
This statue of Zheng Chenggong was erected by the Fujian government in 2004.
Statue of Zheng Chenggong
Photograph by Xing Hang.
His strength and power is greatly enlarged and he is dominant along the seacoast. . . . He seeks in all ways to become master over the trade and to create a monopoly. To this end, he sends many trading junks to Japan, Tonkin and other profitable places.
Coolhaas, Generale Missiven, 3:55.
The Dutch East India Company (VOC) and the Zheng organization were two formidable maritime enterprises that competed to dominate the sea-lanes of East and Southeast Asia. They co-existed uneasily for decades but after the Zheng invasion of Taiwan in 1661 they came into direct conflict with each other. Although these organizations were very different, they shared similar ambitions which made confrontation inevitable.