The Japan Times
August 27, 1999

Chinese may have gone to Americas 3,000 years ago

BEIJING (AFP-Jiji) New evidence showing similarities between ancient native markings in Central America and ancient Chinese characters has added fuel to theories that Chinese arrived in the Americas as early as 3,000 years ago, Chinese state press reported Thursday.

Nearly 300 ancient Central American native markings collected by an American researcher show great similarities to ancient Chinese characters inscribed on animal bones or tortoise shells, known as "jiaguwen," from the Shang Dynasty 3,000 years ago, Xinhua news agency reported.

Mike Xu, a researcher at Texas Christian University, collected the samples from native pottery, jade and stone items and announced his findings at a just-concluded symposium on the discovery of jiaguwen, which represent the oldest Chinese characters, the report said.

The markings showed "great similarity" to Chinese characters expressing the concepts of the sun, sky, rain, water, crops, trees and religion and astronomy, it said.

"The similarity is not an isolated and single phenomenon," said Fan Yuzhou, history professor at Nanjing University. "It shows a possible relationship between ancient American culture and Chinese culture, as different cultures cannot create the same characters independently."

Legends of the Shang Dynasty say that following its collapse, its king led the remaining people on a journey to the east, with some scholars believing that the journey took them across the Bering Strait to North America.