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Ching Shih

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An illustration of Ching Shih

Ching Shih (1775 – 1844), also known as Cheng I Sao, was a Chinese pirate during the early 18th century.


Ching Shih was a former prostitute who married the infamous pirate Cheng I. After the death of her husband in 1807, Ching took command of all his operations, becoming the most important pirate in China.

Ching eventually married her lieutenant, Chang Pao, and turned her piratical enterprises into a ruthlessly effective organization. Following several unsuccesful attempts by Cantonese officials to end her rule, Ching negotiated an amnesty and retired from her pirate career in 1810.


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