Hong-xi: Year 1, Month 8, Day 10
21 Sep 1425
The Yun-nan Provincial Administration Commissioner of the Left Zeng Jian memorialized: "Yun-nan is a region bordering the yi. The money and grain being used for military expenses and horses there is several times that in other places. During the Hong-wu reign (1368-1399), it was ordered that merchants be called to purchase salt with grain at the Hei-yan salt wells and Bai-yan salt wells and from the Huai-hai and Zhe-jiang salt distribution supervisorates. The amount of grain thereby accumulated totalled one million [shi?], which was sufficient for the border stores. In recent years, due to transport to Jiao-zhi, the stores have been depleted by more than half. Also, as the kai-zhong system by which salt is sold for grain has been instituted in Jiao-zhi, rates are low and salt is cheap. Thus, the merchants have all flocked there. Although Yun-nan also has the kai-zhong system, the rates are high and the salt is priced highly. Thus, few merchants come here. Now, after calculating the grain in subordinate granaries, it is found that they contain 300,000-plus shi of grain and, each year, 140,000 shi of rice and wheat are collected. This is not even half of what we had in the past. I am afraid that we lack the needs of a border area and, in emergencies, there will be difficulties in making arrangements. It is requested that Imperial orders be issued requiring the Ministry of Revenue to stop Jiao-zhi battalions from using salt from Yun-nan wells to buy grain and that a cheaper price be set for the purchase of grain by Yun-nan. In this way, our storehouses will have surpluses and we will be well-prepared for border defence...." The Emperor ordered the relevant offices to implement these proposals.
Zhong-yang Yan-jiu yuan Ming Shi-lu, volume 16, page 0197/98