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Cheng-hua: Year 7, Month 6, Day 9

26 Jun 1471

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A banquet as well as variegated silks, paper money and thin silks, as appropriate, were conferred upon the attendant minister Ruan Ting-ying and others from the country of Annam. When Ting-ying left to return home, special orders were conferred upon Li Hao, the king of the country, requiring him to forbid the people of the country from crossing the border as bandits. Previously, Lian-zhou Guard in Guang-dong had memorialized that Jiao people had sailed large double-masted ships across the seas, stolen from the pearl-beds and plundered the goods of merchants. Also, the coastal prefectures of Qiong-zhou [Hainan] and Lei-zhou had also both memorialized that pirates had frequently come ashore there, killing and carrying off people and livestock. The Emperor had already sent orders of instruction to Hao requiring him to make enquiries into whether people of his country were engaged in evil and, if so, to punish them in accordance with the law. He was also required to warn his subordinates that in future they were to abide by the rites and laws and not allow mean persons to violate the borders. At this time, as Hao had sent attendant ministers to come to Court to offer tribute, he also memorialized:

"I have respectfully received the Imperial words and was greatly disturbed and unsettled. I thus immediately sent people to widely make enquiries within the borders and gathered together the officials and village elders along the coast to carry out investigations. They all said that the people within their areas would not dare to transgress thus and that no-one has ever sailed across the sea to steal pearls or plunder property. However, the Qing-hua Guard and other guards in my country have reported that over 30 ships of pirates had secretly come to the coast with the desire to steal property and kill people. The border officials then led ships to eliminate or capture them, whereupon the pirate ships scattered and escaped in the distance. Now that Guang-dong has memorialized as it has, I am greatly afraid and dare not be presumptuous."

He also said:

"My country is secluded in a corner of the ocean and the people fish for a living. Sometimes they trust themselves to the winds and waves and take advantage of dangers. When the sea patrols are not prepared, they look for opportunities to pilfer. It is difficult to guarantee that they will not do this. As to them stealing rare things like pearls and me tolerating the evil activities of pirates, I may be extremely stupid, but I am capable of self-scrutiny. I humbly hope that the sagely Son of Heaven in his far-sighted sagacity will condescend to confer Imperial grace and pity, and be compassionate in his investigation."

At this time, further Imperial orders were given to Ting-ying to carry back for the instruction of Hao.

Xian-zong: juan 92.1b-2a

Zhong-yang Yan-jiu yuan Ming Shi-lu, volume 43, page 1774/75

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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-6-day-9, accessed October 23, 2019