A piece of Fujian history in the Pirates of the Caribbean 3 - The Movie

Updated: 2009-02-12
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Sao Feng (Chow Yun-Fat) negotiates with Captain Barbossa (Rush)

and Captain Jack Sparrow (Depp) in the Pirates of the Caribbean (The Movie)


Cheung Po Tsai was a famous Hong Kong pirate who was the inspiration of the Sao Feng character played by Chow Yun-fat in Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End.


He was born a fisherman's son who lived in Xinhui, Jiangmen, in Guangdong, but was kidnapped by the pirate Zheng Yi and his wife Ching Shih when he was 15. He was adored by the pirate king and queen and became a lover to them both. The kidnappers also adopted him as their son.


After Zheng Yi died, he married his adoptive mother, Ching Shih, and was made her lieutenant. When she died, he took control of the pirate empire of 50,000 men and 600 ships. In 1810, Cheung Po Tsai worked with the Chinese government and became a captain in the Qing imperial navy.



Sao Feng (Chow Yun-Fat)


Cai Qian (1761-1809) commanded a fleet of more than 1,000 ships and an army of 25,000 pirates off the coast of Fujian and Guangdong. He married an English-speaking wife who was able to deal with the English and he bought many foreign guns and became a weapons expert. Cai reportedly buried much of his treasure on Matsu Islands, but this bounty has never been found.


Lai Choi San (Mountain of Wealth) was another well-known female pirate who commanded a fleet of junks in the area of Macao and the South China Sea during the 1920s and 1930s. According to American journalist Aleko Lilius, who traveled with her, the crew was "all fearsome fellows, muscular bare-chested men who wore wide-brimmed hats and tied red kerchiefs around their necks and heads".


Zheng Zhilong was a 17th century pirate who later became an admiral for the Ming government.


From Macao, he started to build his pirate empire, which grew to more than 800 ships. He was later appointed by the Chinese imperial family as "Admiral of the Coastal Seas", and defeated Dutch East India Company vessels in 1633.


Zheng Jing was the grandson of Zheng Zhilong and after the conquest of Taiwan in 1661 by his father, he controlled the military forces in Xiamen and Jinmen. Zheng later became the king of Taiwan.


Lin Feng invaded the northern Philippine Islands in 1574. He built up a fierce reputation for his raids on ports in Guangdong, Fujian and southern China. He twice attempted, and failed, to overthrow Manila in 1574.


Shap-'ng Tsai commanded a fleet of about 70 junks in the South China Seas in the mid 1800s. Chinese naval ships that pursued this pirate were captured and their officers taken captive and held for ransom. Tsai was credited for sinking a United States' ship and three British ships carrying opium in the spring of 1849.


SOURCE: China Daily


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