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Cheng-hua: Year 7, Month 5, Day 27

15 Jun 1471

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The attendant ministers Guo Ting-bao and Ruan Ting-ying, who had been sent by Li Hao, the king of the country of Annam, came to Court and memorialized: "My country is very close to Champa and for a long period, we have been attacked and intimidated by that country. During the Xuan-de reign (1426-35), our four subprefectures of Sheng, Hua (華), Si and Yi were suddenly lost to them and subsequently Hua (化) Subprefecture was surrounded and attacked, resulting in all the people of the area having to run for their lives. I humbly note that my people and land were received from the Court and, carrying on from my forbears, I have long guarded the borders. Now, I have been subject to improper and unrighteous actions, actions which violate orders, go against Heaven and harm the people on the border. There has been no peaceful year. I wanted to marshal the troops to do battle, but was afraid that this would violate the Imperial instructions. I also wanted to patiently bear the suffering and not enter into altercation, but knew that this would go against the obligations of gentleman to always stand up for kindness and righteousness. In a dilemma, I have decided to be patient and am respectfully sending attendant ministers to the Court to memorialize on this." The memorial was sent to the Ministry of War which deliberated and proposed: "Hao is insatiable in his greed and, while covertly planning to annex territory, he is overtly memorializing this request. Imperial orders should be conferred upon him instructing and warning him to cease his evil." The Emperor issued orders which read: "Both you Annam and Champa have received titles and territory from the Court and have for generations carried out your tribute duties and guarded the borders for China. How can you provoke enmity, raise troops and engage in attacks against each other and spend all your time rebuking the worthy. You should look to your own affairs and act reasonably, protect your territory, end your enmity, cease your fighting and do your utmost in maintaining good relations with neighbouring states. Further, you are to prohibit your chieftains who guard the borders from initiating altercations or making trouble in order to gain merit for service. Using this as a pretext for annexing territory will not, I am afraid, be of benefit to your country. You should be very, very careful. As to the Champa situation, I will wait until their envoys arrive and fully investigate so as to ascertain the truth. I will also send them orders of warning. I represent Heaven in governing all things and look on all equally. I cannot bear to see the people of your two countries suffering and being killed through the calamities of war. I am especially sending these instructions of warning to manifest my great concern. You are to respect these orders and not be remiss in their implementation!"

Xian-zong: juan 91.7a-b

Zhong-yang Yan-jiu yuan Ming Shi-lu, volume 43, page 1771/72

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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-7-month-5-day-27, accessed November 17, 2018