Seafaring technology had greatly improved in China. This allowed them to explore distant lands, much as the Europeans were beginning to do in the same time period. Costly expeditions were sent to India, and even as far away as Africa.
From 1405 to 1433, the Emperor Yongle sent out seven separate exploration expeditions, led by explorer Zheng He. Later Ming Emperors did not see the value of these expeditions, and stopped funding them.
I have had more trouble with myself than with any other man I have ever met.