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Cheng-hua: Year 14, Month 3, Day 26

28 Apr 1478

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Li Hao, the king of the country of Annam, memorialized: "The Champa chieftain Bo-long-a-ma previously was on good terms with our country. In the 11th year of the Cheng-hua reign (1475/76), he obtained forces from a sea-going ship from the country of Ryukyu which had been blown there by the wind, and led them in invasion and plunder. They were defeated by our border troops. My attendant minister Li Hong-yu has now returned from the Heavenly Court and I have respectfully received the Imperial orders of instruction, castigating me for occupying Champa's land and changing it into subprefectures and counties. I must earnestly state the facts in detail to show why we certainly cannot have done this. The land with which Champa has been enfeoffed has no fertile soil. The homes there have few animals and little stored grain, the countryside lacks mulberry and jute, and the mountains have no gold or precious stones, while the seas lack fish and salt. They only have elephant tusks, rhinoceros horn, ebony and gharu wood. However, my country produces much more of these than we need. How could we consider them things of value? If we obtained their land, we could not live there; if we obtained their people, we could not employ them; if we obtained their goods we would not be enriched by them; and if we obtained their power, we would not be strengthened by it. It would also be very difficult for us to guard it and we would obtain little benefit from it. Losses would be great and the advantages minimal, calamity would be certain and the reputation thus gained would be empty. These are the reasons we have not occupied Champa and changed it into subprefectures and counties. Now the Court has again instructed me to return their land, so that the ruling family line is not brought to an end. I respectfully suggest that the Imperial envoy, in his haste, found it difficult to conduct detailed enquiries, and that Champa people who were avoiding the chaos and who hate our country gave him this information. Their words cannot be trusted. It is humbly hoped that a Court envoy will be especially sent to make arrangements in their territory and to restore the broken line, so that Champa is at peace both above and below and my country's borders can see respite. Champa will then be a screen for China and the arrangements will be of benefit to the distant peoples. These are my great hopes and I am respectfully sending the attendant minister Ruan Da-ji to advise of them." The Emperor sent the memorial to the relevant office.

Xian-zong: juan 176.11a-b

Zhong-yang Yan-jiu yuan Ming Shi-lu, volume 46, page 3185/86

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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/reign/cheng-hua/year-14-month-3-day-26, accessed November 17, 2018