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Fernao Pires de Andrade

Captain Fernao Pires de Andrade (also spelled as Fernao Perez de Andrade) was a Portuguese merchant and official under the explorer and Malacca governor Alfonso d'Albuquerque. His encounter with Chinese Ming Dynasty marked the start of European connection to China in near-modern times. He was referred to as (佛郎機) in Ming history. (Franques 佛狼機 was a generic name the Muslim called European in general, the Muslim sailors were the guides and interpretors during Fernao's first encounter with China.)

After the conquest of Malacca in 1511, not only did the Portuguese monopolizise the European spice trade, but also they met Chinese merchants. D'Albuquerque sent Jorge Alvarez[?] to explore northward, sail along the coast of Guangdong in 1513 and hoist a flag on "Tuen Mun island", (see History of Hong Kong).

King Manuel I authorized a trade mission in 1517 when de Andrade set sail with 7 cannon-armed merchant vessels with an interpreter on June 17, 1517. They appeared at the Pearl River[?] estuary on August 15 and negotiated with Chinese officials for possible silk and porcelain trade at Canton (today Guangzhou). Nevertheless, on the one hand the Portuguese sailors, who were requested to stayed ashore, conflicted with and killed some local villagers on Tuen Mun but eventually outnumbered and defeated by local stationary troops; on the other hand none of the Chinese archives and records that the Chinese officials relied so heavily on to deal with unknown foreigners showed nothing about the Portuguese. Ming government denied the trade request but allowed de Andrade to sell all his goods on hand in Canton before leaving.

See also: History of Macau

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