During the campaign to appease the savage Mongolian nomadic tribes, Yongle granted noble titles to the tribal chiefs and gave them Chinese names. His strategy was to divide and conquer.
Many Mongol chiefs were allowed to live south of the Great Wall and in Beijing. The emperor wanted them to be assimilated into the Han culture.
An envoy from Tibet met with Yongle and the emperor established a tributary relationship with Tibet and other nations.
In order to guarantee enough food to feed northern China, a canal was built between Jinan and Ningbo in western Shandong province extending the Grand Canal.
After that extension, about 3000 grain ships traveled north to Beijing annually and returned.
When the construction of the Forbidden City was completed in 1421, the emperor moved the capital from Nanjing to Beijing.
Mandarin with English subtitles
About this time, Yongle’s health started to deteriorate, and his attempt to assimilate the Mongolians failed as the nomadic tribes continued to send large-scale military raids into northern China.
In order to prevent these intrusions, Yongle had no choice but to return to his father’s strategy of reinforcing and rebuilding the Great Wall.
After Emperor Yongle died in 1424, the prosperity and energy of the Ming Dynasty died with him.
Another emperor destroyed most of the records of Admiral Zheng He’s seven voyages and forbid any more explorations at sea and closed China again.
In fact, much of the technology used to build Zheng He’s fleet was lost.
Zheng He’s voyages have not been forgotten and are still celebrated in parts of Southeast Asia where the fleet stopped during the seven known voyages.
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