Why didn't the East colonise Australia?

Nov 2013
731
Texas
It seems that if the East had the same genius for sailing as the Renaissance west, or even of the Greeks or Phonecians, than the East would have discovered or colonised (mainland) Australia before the west ddi.

But they had it; the Arabs may well have been better sailors in the Indian Ocean (Ibn Majid being a notable example) than they were in the Mediterranean. Even the Ottomans had a few notable Admirals. What Chinese lacked in seamanship they would have made up for in their engineering and their size and excellence as a civilisation. Even the Indians knew a thing or two about sailing. Why didn't they colonise mainland Australia?

Heck, some of the history's best pre-industrial sailors (Polynesians) were easterners unto themselves......so why should it have been so hard for the CHinese or the Indians to discover or colonise mainland Australia?
 

AlpinLuke

Forum Staff
Oct 2011
27,397
Italy, Lago Maggiore
Chinese substantially renounced to explore far seas. It was overall a cultural matter: the Medieval Chinese fleets were absolutely suitable to explore the oceans, but they didn't it.

On the other hand, I would say that Islamic powers showed to prefer a territorial expansion. The Ottoman Empire, for example, totally lost the opportunities of the so called "Age of Explorations".
 
Mar 2019
1,809
KL
Even the Indians knew a thing or two about sailing.
dont find a reason why the westerners thing so little about indian sailing,

indians were the very first people to initiate indian ocean trade probably since bronze age when they initiated sea voyages to mesopotamia, when the rest of the world preferred silk road/land route, infused SEA with indian culture, did the same to africa and gulf arab. arabs probably came three thousand years after indians.

the colonialism was never a thing for indians, or probably any other nation other then western europeans, indians did indianized SEA as far as philippines, probably would have done that to australia as well if arabs had not interrupted or took over indian ocean trade from the indians.

regards
 

MG1962a

Ad Honorem
Mar 2019
2,199
Kansas
Heck, some of the history's best pre-industrial sailors (Polynesians) were easterners unto themselves......so why should it have been so hard for the CHinese or the Indians to discover or colonise mainland Australia?
As with all exploration - Money

The British thought they might leverage an advantage by claiming Australia. Cook noted some extremely tall and straight trees growing on an island. These trees went on to be named Norfolk pine.

Sadly they turned out to be a miserable option for ships masts.
 

specul8

Ad Honorem
Oct 2016
3,481
Australia
It seems that if the East had the same genius for sailing as the Renaissance west, or even of the Greeks or Phonecians, than the East would have discovered or colonised (mainland) Australia before the west ddi.
But people from the east DID discover Australia.
But they had it; the Arabs may well have been better sailors in the Indian Ocean (Ibn Majid being a notable example) than they were in the Mediterranean. Even the Ottomans had a few notable Admirals. What Chinese lacked in seamanship they would have made up for in their engineering and their size and excellence as a civilisation. Even the Indians knew a thing or two about sailing. Why didn't they colonise mainland Australia?
They where too late. Besides, colonizing a place like Australia is very difficult ( distance, location, terrain, resources ) - look at the trouble the British had , they nearly lost it .

Heck, some of the history's best pre-industrial sailors (Polynesians) were easterners unto themselves......so why should it have been so hard for the CHinese or the Indians to discover or colonise mainland Australia?
Well, 'discover' means to sight and chart or to claim, its a far cry from colonizing . Some say Chinese came to or sighted the north coast. And there are some earlier maps around that might suggest others before the British at least knew about it.

Then there is the issue of the correct landing place and currents and wind ... a few landings and reports home of places like this

1560892521730.png

where the 'outback meets the ocean' , would not encourage any ideas of colonization . Coming in through the top, you might get lost in a maze of mangroves and wetlands going far inland , and on the east side there is a dangerous giant coral reef (it did Cook in , ripped a hole in his boat ). Some places in the west you have to get through a coral reef to gain access to a desolate shoreline.
 
Jun 2018
542
New Hampshire
If the Chinese or Arabs were so inclined, they could have easily colonized Australia. The aborigines were not like the Native Americans, and would have been incapable of mounting much of a resistance.
 

MG1962a

Ad Honorem
Mar 2019
2,199
Kansas
where the 'outback meets the ocean' , would not encourage any ideas of colonization . Coming in through the top, you might get lost in a maze of mangroves and wetlands going far inland , and on the east side there is a dangerous giant coral reef (it did Cook in , ripped a hole in his boat ). Some places in the west you have to get through a coral reef to gain access to a desolate shoreline.
It is one of the main reasons the Dutch never showed much interest
 

specul8

Ad Honorem
Oct 2016
3,481
Australia
Nah , not 'easily' at all - see above ^ .

The only resistance the Aboriginals would have had to do would be simply walk away and not help them ... and watch them die slowly from a distance .

Unless you can think of some area that the Arabs or Chinese could have landed and found the resources to colonize ?
 
Jun 2018
542
New Hampshire
Nah , not 'easily' at all - see above ^ .

The only resistance the Aboriginals would have had to do would be simply walk away and not help them ... and watch them die slowly from a distance .

Unless you can think of some area that the Arabs or Chinese could have landed and found the resources to colonize ?
I was primarily referring to military conquest. In a pitched battle the aborigines wouldn't have stood a chance against the well trained, well armed, and highly disciplined Chinese and Arab armies. Heck they wouldn't even have been able to win via gurellia warfare.