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Hong-wu: Year 2, Month 12, Day 1

30 Dec 1369

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The Han-lin Compiler Luo Fu-ren and Zhang Fu, a secretary in the Ministry of War, were sent to present an Imperial proclamation to instruct the kings of the countries of Annam and Champa. The proclamation stated:

"I was originally one of the ordinary people. When all under Heaven became disordered, I took up arms to protect the village. I did not expect the heroes to flock around as followers. I commanded them for several years and my territory increased daily, while my troops grew in strength. Then my ministers and the people favored and supported me as ruler of all under Heaven, so that I succeeded to the legitimate rule. This has been so for three years. Of all the foreign lands which have come to offer tribute, the first was Annam, followed by Korea and then by Champa. All have been able to submit memorials acknowledging themselves subjects. This accords with the ancient system and I am extremely pleased. Recently, Champa sent the grand councillor Pu-dan-ma-du to come and offer tribute. He reported that Annam had attacked them with troops and I saw that [report] my heart was not at ease. I bear in mind that your two countries, from antiquity until now, have had a fixed boundary; your two states cannot be made one by force. This is the will of Heaven. Moreover, your lands are separated from China by mountains and seas. The truth of the reported military incursions is thus difficult to immediately assess. It seems to me that you two have maintained your succession for long generations, protecting your lands and caring for your people. You have esteemed the Way of Heaven while respecting and serving China. Your former kings certainly must have left their testamentary injunctions to you, so that you do not need to await my edicts to know how to act. I am the ruler of all under Heaven. I control disorder and assist those in peril. These are things which principle dictates. I am now sending an envoy to examine this matter and to instruct you in the proper way to show your awe of Heaven and to not act beyond your own status. If you take up arms against each other and fight on for years without resolution, it will indeed bring calamity to your people, and the One on High (上帝), who loves life, will indeed be displeased. It is thus likely that, above, Heaven would change its countenance, while below the people would harbour resentment. Thereby, calamity would be unavoidable. Rulers of these two countries, you should both listen to my words, each observing the Way, and be content in your present circumstances. Thus, you and your sons and grandsons will enjoy everlasting prosperity. Would that not be desirable?"

When the proclamations arrived, the two countries heeded them and ordered that the troops cease fighting.

Tai-zu: juan 47.3b-4a

Zhong-yang Yan-jiu yuan Ming Shi-lu, volume 3, page 0934/35

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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/hong-wu/year-2-month-12-day-1, accessed November 15, 2019