Ching Shih, a.k.a. Cheng I Sao, 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 – 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. She is widely considered to be the most successful pirate in history, based on the fact that she commanded the largest crew ever assembled, and that she died in her own bed as a free woman.