Jing-tai: Year 1, Month 3, Day 22

3 May 1450

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Imperial orders were sent to Li Jun, the king of the country of Annam. The orders read: "I have taken on Heaven's mandate and rule over the Chinese and the yi, looking on all equally, and not differentiating between those near and those far away. Heaven is the law and none dares violate it. The Way of Heaven is supremely just and correct to the minutest degree. Those who manage their own affairs in a proper way will indeed be encouraged by prosperity and benefit. Those who rely on their strengths to maltreat the weak will indeed be punished by calamity and harm.

Recently, the king of the country of Champa complained that you, king, had repeatedly invaded his territory and carried off a total of 33,500 of his people, both men and women, as captives. He also noted that you had tried to mislead them into not following the Way of Heaven, as a way to seek benefits. You may be able to cheat Champa, but the Way of Heaven cannot be defied. I am not completely convinced that you have done what is claimed. After these orders arrive, you king, should respect propriety in handling your own affairs, and maintain good relations with neighbouring states. As to the above-mentioned matter, if it occurred, you should rectify the situation, and if it did not occur you should increase your efforts to ensure that it will not occur.

If you have captured the Champa people noted previously, you should return the entire number to their country, so that they can live at peace in their lives and be content in their occupations. In this way, above, you will be following the Way of Heaven and, below, you will be according with the wishes of the people. Then both sides will be able to live together in harmony and will long enjoy the prosperity of great peace. As the Champa envoy is returning, I am giving these orders to him to take back. When one of your envoys goes to Champa, he can take these orders back to instruct you. You, king, should respect and carry out my orders. Do not be remiss in this!"

Other instructions were sent to Mo-he Gui-lai, the king of the country of Champa: "I have received your memorial, king, noting that the king of the country of Annam has repeatedly attacked your country and carried off 33,500 people, has tried to lure you into not according with the Way of Heaven, to not respect the Court, to seek only profit, to go against Heaven and to rebel against the principles of right. His crimes are of the utmost evil. You, king, have been able to continue carrying out the duties of a minister, have not been seduced and have sent tribute to the Court as before. Your loyalty, sincerity and accordance with the principles of right are obvious. The principles of right derive from Heaven. The ancients said: `Those who accord with Heaven prosper, while those who go against Heaven are killed. Wherever Heaven's authority is required, it will show itself without fail'. When these orders arrive you, king, should increasingly accord with the Way of Heaven, so as to protect your prosperity. I am also sending orders of instruction to the king of the country of Annam, and I am having your envoy carry them back to your country. When the country of Annam sends an envoy to Champa, give the orders to him for the instruction of their king."

Ying-zong: juan 190.12b-13a

Zhong-yang Yan-jiu yuan Ming Shi-lu, volume 31, page 3920/21

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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/jing-tai/year-1-month-3-day-22, accessed January 23, 2021