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Hong-wu: Year 35, Month 9, Day 8

4 Oct 1402

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Envoys who had returned from the yi in the South-east said that many of the fan and yi had fled to reside on the islands in the ocean, and that Chinese military personnel, civilians and vagabonds had secretly joined up with them as pirates. The Emperor sent envoys with Imperial orders of instruction for them. The orders read: "In that they like what is good and detest what is bad, all people are similar in nature. Some people have no alternative but to do evil, even though it is not their basic nature. Formerly, in order to to avoid severe punishments or to escape hunger and cold, you drifted to fan lands and dwelled with the people there. Gradually, you came to engage in robbery with them and lived a reckless and illicit life. The patrolling troops did not show you sympathy or pacify you and instead were more aggressive towards you. I greatly sympathize with you as you have the desire to repent but no way to leave your present situation. I am now sending people with orders instructing all people from fan countries to immediately return to their original territories. Those who wish to come to the Court should have orders conferred upon them and then be sent home. Those Chinese people who have fled and are in hiding in those places are all pardoned their past transgressions, in order that they may take up their original occupations and long remain good people. If they continue to rely on being in a distant place and obstinately pursue their erroneous ways without repenting, then I will order a general to despatch troops to exterminate all of them and it will be too late for regret."

Tai-zong: juan 12A.9a-b

Zhong-yang Yan-jiu yuan Ming Shi-lu, volume 9, page 210

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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-35-month-9-day-8, accessed December 11, 2019