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Cheng-hua: Year 17, Month 6, Day 9

5 Jul 1481

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Imperial orders were sent to Li Hao, the king of the country of Annam. The orders read:

"I have respectfully taken on the mandate of Heaven and assumed the Heavenly throne. I look on all under Heaven as a single family and see the myriad peoples as one. In my words and actions, I have never gone against Heaven. Although your country is a different land 10,000 li away, I have not neglected you on account of the distance. Last year, it was heard that you, king, had raised troops and attacked and engaged in killing in Laos and that you intended to advance against Ba-bai. I note that the reason that you, king, had been able to follow Heaven is that your literature and ideas of propriety and righteousness are the same as China's. How could you have done such things? I was doubtful and thus ordered the defence officials to send a despatch to you. Now I have read your memorial saying that you had sent chieftains to pursue and arrest the border chieftain Qin Gong and so on, but that you had certainly not attacked or engaged in killing in Laos. You also said that you did not know the whereabouts of Ba-bai territory and asked how you could thus be intending to attack it, and advised that the claims made against you were all mistaken.

Still, I need to explain a few things to you. Does not the `Book of Documents' say: `According with right brings good fortune, while violating it brings calamity'? There is a mutual exchange between Heaven and man, and good fortune and calamity are respectively inherent in according with right and violating it. The Jiao people are Heaven's people and the people of Laos are also Heaven's people. If what has previously been claimed does in fact occur and, without cause, Heaven's people are massacred, such actions will be going against Heaven. Since ancient times, have there been any who have gone against Heaven and been able to protect themselves from calamity? From now on, king, you must maintain peace and order, respectfully stand in awe of the Way of Heaven, reverently maintain the ways of a feudatory minister and sincerely maintain good relations with neighbouring lands. It is not only Laos with which you should maintain good relations. You, king, must maintain good relations with all those who border your country. If troops are employed to seize a country's wealth or to infringe its borders and attack it, Heaven will see and hear its people and its response will be immediate. You, king, should consider this carefully."

Previously, Hao had personally led 90,000 yi troops through the mountains along three routes. They destroyed Ai-lao and then attacked Laos' territory, killing the pacification superintendent Dao Ban-ya Lan-zhang and two of his sons. His youngest son Pa-ya Sai then sought protection from Ba-bai. The Pacification Superintendent Dao Lan-na sent troops to escort him to the area of Jing-kan. Then Hao again collected grain and trained troops and promulgated false Imperial orders to the Che-li Pacification Superintendency, requiring it to join the attack on Ba-bai. Several thousand of their troops then died a sudden death, and it was said that they had been struck by lightning. Ba-bai thereupon sent troops to cut off their escape and attacked them, killing 10,000 troops. The Jiao people were greatly defeated and withdrew. Dao Lan-na reported this to the Qian-guo Duke Mu Cong and other defence officials in Yun-nan. Cong and so on thus memorialized: 

"In the past, Hao annexed Champa, but the Emperor leniently tolerated this and hoped that he would repent his errors. However, Hao is still engaged in dissolute evil and recklessness. He is tyrannical and without benevolence. With the excuse of trying to capture Huang Zhang-ma, he attacked and pillaged the villages and stockades of Zhen-an. Then, on the pretence of handing over Guan Zheng and others, he engaged in spying on the border situation in Lin-an, and then dared to send a military commissioner and stationed troops in the area of Meng-zi. On the pretence of capturing Qin Gong, he attacked and killed the ruler of Laos and his sons. It is requested that orders of severe castigation be sent to him. Also, Dao Lan-na has demonstrated his abilities in protecting the people and has defeated the Jiao bandits. It is requested that Imperial orders be conferred upon him and that he be rewarded for his loyalty and righteousness. In addition, as an expression of sympathy, Pa-ya Sai, the son of the Laos ruler, should be especially permitted to inherit the post of ruler. Further, separate Imperial orders should be sent to the native officials of Che-li, Yuan-jiang, Mu-bang, Guang-nan and Meng-gen, requiring them to coordinate in the provision of defence."

When the memorial arrived, it was commanded that the Court officials be assembled to deliberate upon it. They advised:

"It is appropriate to approve the memorial. Dao Lan-na should be given 200 liang of silver and four biao-li of variegated silks from the Yun-nan Provincial Administration Commission as his reward. Also Pa-ya Sai should be sent urgent orders conferring upon him permission to inherit his father's post, and exempting him from sending tribute for a year. It is also appropriate to confer orders upon Mu Cong and the others, encouraging them in their defence of the area."

The Emperor approved their deliberations. Further, headwear, a belt and variegated silks were conferred upon Pa-ya Sai as an expression of sympathy, and Imperial orders were sent to Hao.

Xian-zong: juan 216.2b-4a

Zhong-yang Yan-jiu yuan Ming Shi-lu, volume 48, page 3750/53

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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-17-month-6-day-9, accessed November 18, 2018