Cheng-hua: Year 23, Month 10, Day 13

29 Oct 1487

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At this time, in Guang-dong, Gu-lai, the son of the king of the country of Champa, was enfeoffed as king, and escorted back to his country. Also, the country of Annam was ordered to return to him the land it had occupied. Formerly, the Supervising Secretary Li Meng-yang and the Messenger Ye Ying were sent as chief envoy and deputy envoy to go to Champa and carry out enfeoffment.

Before they arrived, Gu-lai was attacked by Annam and thus, leaving his country, he sailed to Guang-zhou, intending to lay plaint to the Court. The grand coordinator and censor-in-chief advised of this. Tu Yong, censor-in-chief of the right in the Nan-jing Censorate, was sent to Guang-dong with instructions to deliberate on the most appropriate actions. After Yong arrived, he memorialized, saying:

"According to Gu-lai, the country originally consisted of eight subprefectures (州) and 25 counties (縣), but they were all swallowed up by Annam. During the Cheng-hua reign (1465-1487), Champa went to lay plaint to the Court and only then were four subprefectures and five counties, including Bang-du-lang and Ma-na-li, returned to them. Subsequently, the Champa chieftain Ti-po-tai rebelled and attached himself to Annam. Annam then gave him one of the subprefectures and three counties, leaving Champa with only three subprefectures and two counties. Now, Ti-po-tai is dead and Annam has again forcibly seized his offspring (生身), and intends to establish Ti-po-tai's son as king of Bang-du-lang and other areas. However, Gu-lai's son Su-ma and the chieftain Wan Ren have put up a strong defence against them. Gu-lai wishes to be enfeoffed in Guang-dong and has requested that troops escort him back. He has also requested a despatch specifying his borders, so that he can be secure. We feel that his request should be approved, that Meng-yang and so on should carry out the enfeoffment here and that in the winter military officials be sent to escort him back to his country. Meng-yang and so on need not personally accompany them. It is also requested that Annam be Imperially ordered to return the land it has occupied."

The Ministry of War re-submitted the memorial and it was approved. Accordingly, Imperial orders were conferred upon Li Hao, the king of the country of Annam. The orders read:

"Recently, the defence officials of Guang-dong have jointly memorialized that Gu-lai, the son of the king of Champa, has laid plaint claiming that their country originally consisted of eight subprefectures, including Ban-zhe-ban-cheng and 25 counties, including Da-ya (Alt: Da-yao). In the seventh year of the Cheng-hua reign (1471/72), your country raised troops and occupied the afore-mentioned areas. In the third month of the 13th year (Apr/May 1477), you returned four subprefectures and five counties, including Bang-du-lang and Ma-na-li. Subsequently, you gave one subprefecture and three counties, including Mai-da-li and Ben-di-ba-di to the rebellious chieftain Ti-po-tai to control and later you secretly ordered Ti-po-tai to raise troops to seek out and kill Gu-lai. This resulted in Ti-po-tai being killed by forces subordinate to Gu-lai. You also sent chieftains leading troops to seize Ti-po-tai's offspring (生身). This resulted in Gu-lai being in dire straits and, bringing his family, he came far across the sea to lay plaint.

In previous years, you memorialized that Champa's land had all been divided up and occupied by contending local chieftains of that country. Now, on examining Gu-lai's plaint, it appears that your country occupied the land and drove them away. Otherwise, why would Gu-lai have found it necessary to leave his home and how could the situation have come to this? However, your country has long claimed to act in accordance with propriety. How could you have been willing to conceal your evil and pretend to be virtuous, have covered up your own faults, failed above to have the loyalty of one who serves the superior and failed below to maintain good relations with neighbouring countries? Perhaps you, king, did not know of this and it is the result of border chieftains acting disobediently, inducing enmity and concealing their trickery and evil. The Guang-dong Provincial Administration Commission has already sent a despatch to your country, but has not yet received a reply to it. Now, as your envoy is returning, I am especially conferring orders of instruction on you king. You must be determined to avert calamity and relieve distress, accord with the Court's great wish to revive the severed line of succession, and sternly warn those people protecting the borders that they must not use their strength to oppress the weak and must not act in ways which are evil or criminal. You are to return to Gu-lai all of the eight prefectures and 25 counties beyond the Mao Range (茅嶺) and maintain good relations with him so that you can both enjoy great peace. This is not only the case in respect of Champa. The defence officials in Yun-nan repeatedly memorialized that Dao Zhu, a member of a native-official ruling family in your country, had occupied Man-mei and other stockades in the Five Territories, falsely declared himself magistrate and lord (主人) of Ning-yuan Subprefecture and harassed our border peoples. He has already been driven off by the border troops. However, his ambition has not been quelled and he certainly has thoughts of returning.

You, king, should devote special attention to investigating this and send people to detain and imprison Dao Zhu and all of his family members. They must be subject to the law and their crimes are not to be covered up. If he continues to engage in secret occupation and assumption of false titles, it will bring discredit to your loyalty and righteousness and will result in great troubles for you. You are to swiftly memorialize on these matters so that your loyalty can be observed. If you continue in pretence and in deceit, be warned that the Way of Heaven brings prosperity to those who are good and calamity to those who are evil. You, king, should note this well. It is thus Imperially instructed!"

Xiao-zong: juan 4.13a-14b

Zhong-yang Yan-jiu yuan Ming Shi-lu, volume 51, page 0079/82

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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-23-month-10-day-13, accessed December 01, 2020