“Chinese pirates are rather amazing; there were hundreds of [famous] Chinese pirates.”
The Chinese emperors often made attempts to curb the piracy along their shores, but were inevitably helpless to stop it. European Powers found themselves dealing with Pirates more readily than governmental powers in China, such as the Pirate King, Zheng Zhilong.
Zheng Zhilong was born in Fujian to a merchant family, he was very well educated at the hands of Portuguese missionaries in Macau in the early 1600s. He was baptized Nicholas Gaspard at the age of 18, helping his family become Westernized in order to trade with the Westerners they were quickly prosperous.
Over the years as China's relationship with the Portuguese became strained, an occasion as predictable as the tide, and the western traders were expelled from Macau, Gaspard relocated to Taiwan, conquering part of the island for China for the first time.
Zheng Zhilong's son, Koxinga is a famous character as well, his actions leading to Zheng's eventual execution, but that is a story for another day...