Hong-wu: Year 4, Month 9, Day 22 (30 Oct 1371)
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The Emperor held an audience at Feng-tian Gate and instructed the Secretariat, Military Commission and Censorate officials saying: "Of the man and the yi countries abroad, there are some which are dangerous to China. They must be subject to suppression. However, we should not quickly raise troops against those which are not dangerous to China. The ancients had a saying: `Expanding territory is not the way to lasting peace. Troubling the people is the road to disorder.' For example, Emperor Yang of the Sui dynasty raised troops and subjugated Ryukyu, killing the yi people, burning their palaces and houses and taking several thousand persons prisoner. He obtained the territory, but it could not provide even its own needs. He obtained the people, but they could not be employed. He merely longed for a name. Thereby, he brought disorder to China and was derided in the various subsequent history books. I feel that as the various small man and yi countries are obstructed by mountains, are across the seas or are secluded in some corner, they do not pose a danger to China. I will certainly not attack them. It is only the hu and the rong of the North-west who have for generations posed danger to China. We must carefully guard against them. Ministers, you must bear my words in mind, so that you will know my will."
Tai-zu: juan 68.4a-b Zhong-yang Yan-jiu yuan Ming Shi-lu, volume 3, page 1277/78
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Preferred form of citation for this entry:

Geoff Wade, translator, Southeast Asia in the Ming Shi-lu: an open access resource, Singapore: Asia Research Institute and the Singapore E-Press, National University of Singapore, http://epress.nus.edu.sg/msl/entry/840, accessed August 28, 2014.

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