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Jia-jing: Year 3, Month 12, Day 28

21 Jan 1525

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Previously, as a memorialized report on the affairs in the country of Annam had been unclear, the grand defender and grand coordinator had been ordered to investigate. At this time, the Censor Wang Yuan, regional inspector of Guang-xi, memorialized, noting:

"Li Zhou, the king of the country of Annam had no heirs and thus he appointed Hui, the son of his deceased elder brother Hao as his successor. In the 11th year of the Zheng-de reign (1516/17), the rebellious minister Chen Hao assassinated Zhou. However, the civilian Li Jiong(?) (黎烱) and others jointly established Hui as king. The minister Mo Deng-yong took punitive measures against Hao, whereupon Hao fled and subsequently died. His son Sheng continued to present an obstacle by occupying Liang-shan. Deng-yong engaged in a pincer attack and achieved success in punishing the bandits. He also took as his wife Li Hao's widow, the mother of Hui, and subsequently plotted to seize control of the country. Thereupon, Du Wen-run and Zheng Sui took Hui to hide in Qing-du Prefecture. Deng-yong subsequently forcibly took Hui's younger brother Kuang, and then occupied the prefectures of Hai-dong and Chang-qing. The two sides have engaged in feuding and killing, but still there is no definite ruler. This is the general outline of events.

Further, Chang-qing Prefecture has sent an official despatch claiming that while Deng-yong was away punishing the bandits, the evil persons Du Wen-run and Zheng Sui forced Hui away to Qing-du, and thus Deng-yong established Kuang, to temporarily take on the handling of state affairs. They further noted that now Wen-run had been killed, Chen Sheng had been driven off and all the country was at peace. They also claimed that Deng-yong is loyal and righteous. However, Chang-qing is the prefecture Deng-yong has occupied. I have considered the situation and it appears that the establishment of Li Hui as the king was very correct. He had administered the country for seven years before being suddenly shifted. If Deng-yong is loyal and righteous, how is it that he has failed to punish the bandits and suddenly proposed the appointment of a new ruler? This very likely involves a crime of rebellion and the employment of force. Also, Li Hao died long ago. How could he have a young child? It may be that Deng-yong, on marrying the wife, had a child and falsely named it Li Kuang. We cannot be sure. Further, Qing-du is far on the Southern border and news from there cannot reach here. The veracity of the claim that Du Wen-run has been killed cannot be investigated. Further, it is likewise unknown if Li Hui is still alive or not. Thus, in the matter of the request for enfeoffment, I do not dare make reckless proposals."

The memorial was sent to the Ministry of Rites and Ministry of War. They proposed:

"The disorder in Annam began with Chen Hao's rebellion, whereby Li Zhou met his death, and continued with Deng-yong acting evilly but pretending goodness, resulting in the shifting of Li Hui. Also, Deng-yong has suddenly turned his back on his former ruler and established Li Kuang as ruler. Hui is the elder brother while Kuang is the younger brother. The younger brother cannot usurp the place of his elder brother. Hui is the ruler, while Deng-yong is a minister. A minister cannot abandon his ruler. Now the country is without a ruler and the people cannot be unified. If Hui can be enabled to recover his former position, he should certainly be enfeoffed. However, if unfortunate circumstances dictate that Hui cannot return, and it is intended to enfeoff Kuang, and subsequently he has evil plans and refuses to accord, there will be no one else in the main line of succession who can be appointed. Thus we should wait until the situation within the country becomes settled. When the investigative reports are uniform, they should be allowed to submit another request. Thereby, there will be an appropriate successor."

The Emperor ordered the grand defender and grand coordinator to conduct an investigation and memorialize details so that a decision could be made.

Shi-zong: juan 46.9a-10a

Zhong-yang Yan-jiu yuan Ming Shi-lu, volume 73, page 1191/93

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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/jia-jing/year-3-month-12-day-28, accessed November 15, 2019