Ching Shih – from Prostitute to Pirate Lord

Ching Shih – from Prostitute to Pirate Lord

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Negotiations between Chang Pao and official Zhang Bai Ling hit a deadlock, though. The Chinese government wanted the pirates to kneel before them, and there was disagreement as to what would happen with the reserves of loot. Ching Shih took matters into her own hands, and walked into Zhang Bai Ling’s office unarmed, accompanied by 17 illiterate women and children. Ching Shih and Zhang Bai Ling concluded negotiations. Ching Shih was permitted to keep all of her loot. To settle the kneeling deadlock, Zhang Bai Ling agreed to witness the marriage of Ching Shih and Chang Pao, for which the two had to kneel before Zhang Bai Ling in thanks. At this point, Ching Shih ended her career as a pirate, and had a son with Chang Pao. When Chang Pao died, Ching Shih returned to Canton and opened her own gambling house. She remained in Canton until she died in 1844.

The story of Ching Shih is classic rags to riches tale. Through her strength and courage she became a powerful female pirate, in charge of a large fleet and a massive crew. As time went on she became more and more powerful, and her reserves of loot grew until she saw the opportunity for amnesty. Through tough negotiations, Ching Shih was able to walk away with everything she desired, and the amnesty she hoped for.

Featured image: Ching Shih, the pirate queen of China ( vesselfinder.com)

Sources:

The Female Prostitute That Rose to Become One of the Most Powerful Pirates in History and Whose Armada Took on the Chinese, British, and Portuguese Navies… and Won – Today I found out. Available from: http://www.todayifoundout.com/index.php/2012/06/the-female-prostitute-that-rose-to-become-one-of-the-most-powerful-pirates-in-history-and-whose-armada-took-on-the-chinese-british-and-portuguese-navies-and-won/

Ching Shih – Wikipedia. Available from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ching_Shih

Ching Shih (1775-1844) Princess of the Chinese Seas – Rejected Princesses. Available from: http://www.rejectedprincesses.com/princesses/ching-shih/

Zheng Shi, Pirate Lady of China – About Education. Available from: http://asianhistory.about.com/od/modernchina/p/Zheng-Shi-Pirate-China.htm

By M R Reese

Comments

The story of Ching Shih is one of the reasons why I enjoy history. I get a thrill out of hearing about women in power, even if they aren't viewed as darlings. It's amazing that Ching Shih was able to have such force and influence during the time she lived. I'd love to see a film interpretation of her life.

Its not that people didnt consider her a "darling" because she didnt meet conventional standards of awoman- its that she wasnt. Yes, its great she was a woman in a position of leadership, but dont forget she was a brutal mass murderer too.

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