Ching Shih

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Ching Shih (Chinese: 鄭氏; lit.: 'Madame Ching') (born Shih Yang (Chinese: 石陽; 1775–1844), a.k.a. Cheng I Sao (Chinese: 鄭一嫂), was a Chinese pirate leader who terrorized the China Seas during the Jiaqing Emperor period of the Qing dynasty in the early 19th-century. She commanded over 300 junks (traditional Chinese sailing ships) manned by 20,000 to 40,000 pirates 71—men, women, and even children. She entered into conflict with the major nations, such as the British Empire, the Portuguese Empire, and the Qing dynasty.

Ching Shih and her crew's exploits had since been featured in numerous books, novels, video games, and films about piracy, pirates and their way of life in China as well as worldwide. Based on her tremendous influence and achievements as a pirate and commanding the vast fleet of around 1500-1800 ships manned by 80,000 sailors during her peak, she is widely accepted to be the most successful pirate in history.