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Cheng-hua: Year 17, Month 9, Day 22

14 Oct 1481

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The Minister of War Chen Yue memorialized: "The country of Annam is secluded in the South-west, 10,000 li away, and it borders Yun-nan and Guang-dong/Guang-xi. During the Yong-le reign (1403-24), the Imperial army subdued it and its land was divided into subprefectures and counties. Subsequently, the defence officials lost control, and it again sunk into its former ways. Now, it has again turned to evil and, through force, it has to the East swallowed up Champa and to the West annexed Laos. It has brought destruction to Ba-bai, sent false Imperial orders to the Che-li Pacification Superintendency and killed envoys from Melaka. We cannot but concern ourselves with this. A few years ago, some border people returned from Annam and claimed that those in that country intended to attack Yun-nan and that they only desisted after being reproved by the king's mother. The Censor-in-Chief Wang Shu claimed that Annam had sent people posing as merchants to come and spy on the situation here. It has also been heard that a Jiang-xi person surnamed Wang fled there and was appointed as a false censor. He makes plans for them and supervises their troops. Every one of the repeated attacks and disturbances has been planned by this person. The envoys from Champa have also said that Annam has prepared 3,000 warships and intends to attack Hai-nan. We must make preparations for this." The Emperor said: "In looking on Annam, I treat it very much like a foreign country. Every time it violates rules or resist orders, I am leniently tolerant towards it. Overtly, they pretend to be loyal and respectful, but covertly they are crafty and cunning. However, their actions cannot be concealed. The Ways of Warfare says: 'Do not assume that the enemy will not come. Rely on your own defences to guard against them'. The defence officials in Yun-nan and Guang-dong/Guang-xi should be ordered to strictly enforce the prohibition against border crossings by people fleeing for their lives. If these prohibitions are violated, troops are to be mobilized to resist the incursions."

Xian-zong: juan 219.5a-b

Zhong-yang Yan-jiu yuan Ming Shi-lu, volume 48, page 3793/94

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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-9-day-22, accessed November 17, 2018