Meaning of CHENG CHIH-LUNG in English

born 1604, Nan-an, Fukien Province, China died Nov. 24, 1661, Peking Pinyin Zheng Zhilong Chinese pirate leader who achieved great power in the transitional period between the Ming (1368-1644) and Ch'ing (1644-1911/12) dynasties. As a boy, Cheng found employment with the Europeans in the Portuguese settlement at Macau, where he was baptized and given the Christian name of Nicholas Gaspard. After leaving Macau, he joined a pirate band that preyed on Dutch and Chinese trade. In 1628 he was induced by the government to help defend the coast against both the Dutch and the pirates. He soon acquired great wealth and power. When the capital of the Ming dynasty at Peking was captured in 1644 by the Manchu tribes of Manchuria who founded the Ch'ing dynasty, Cheng set up the Prince of T'ang, or Chu Y-chien, in Fukien Province in South China as the claimant to the Ming throne. Two years later, when the Manchu army achieved a sweeping victory in central China, Cheng again changed sides and was given titles and high office by the Ch'ing government. But Cheng's son, Cheng Ch'eng-kung (also known as Koxinga), the famous pirate leader who controlled the island of Formosa (Taiwan), refused to surrender to Ch'ing forces. As a result Cheng was imprisoned and stripped of all rank in 1655. He was executed in 1661 for his son's stubborn refusal to surrender.

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