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Tian-qi: Year 3, Month 8, Day 29

23 Sep 1623

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The Censor You Feng-xiang of the Hu-guang Circuit in Nan-jing, memorialized: "I am a Fu-jian person. In Fu-jian, since the 'red yi' began their incursions, they have built walls on Peng-hu and coerced us to engage in trade. When they came ashore at the Central-left Battalion, we captured and beheaded tens of them. By claiming that they wanted to talk peace, they fooled us and, saying that they would remove their ships and demolish their walls, they delayed us. Now it has been a year and not only have their ships not been withdrawn and the walls not been demolished, but the number who come are daily increasing. They have captured over 600 of our sea-going ships and provided their crews with their daily rice. Then they had them transport stone slabs in order to build a temple for worship (禮拜寺) within the walls. If advancing, they have sufficient to attack, while if retreating they have sufficient for defence. They are just like an enemy country. Previously, during the reign of Emperor Li-zong (1225-1265) of the Song, the Mongols bribed Lu Wen-de with a jade belt and sought the establishment of a trading station (榷場) outside the walls of Xiang-yang. Wen-de assented to this and put the request to the Court. The trading post was established and thus, externally, they could engage in trade while, internally, they built walls and forts. In this way, the enemy had defences and was able to prevent reinforcements arriving from North and South. They frequently sent troops to patrol and attack Xiang and they burnt what lay outside the walls. During the reign of Du-zong (1265-1275), the Mongol A-mu halted his horses at Mt. Hu-tou and said: `If we erect walls here, we will be able to cut the Song's supply routes, and then Xiang-yang can be taken.' Thus, he built walls in the area and not long after Xiang-yang was lost, following which the South-eastern part of the Empire was unable to resist. These occurrences in the past constitute a bright mirror for the present. Peng-hu is surrounded by water. It is but one day's voyage to Xing-hua and only 40 or 50 li to Zhang-zhou and Quan-zhou. If they trade here, they have the mountains as their ramparts and the ocean as their moat. Can we afford not to be worried? Fu-jian depends on fishing boats for its profits. They go to Zhe-jiang and Guang-dong to trade for grain at Wen-zhou and Chao-zhou. How many hundred thousand shi are involved? Now the yi have occupied the middle stream and the fishing boats cannot pass. The price of rice has thus soared upwards. This is the first worry. Zhang-zhou and Quan-zhou face the sea and their residents' only way to to make a living is to obtain warrants and trade with the yi. Their routes on the forward and return journey pass by Peng-hu. Now that Peng-hu is controlled by the `red yi ', those in Fu-jian do not dare venture out and those outside dare not return. However, the powerful vagabonds will not just sit by and wait to die. Rather, they will certainly change from being persons in communication with [China's] subject yi, to persons in contact with the `red yi '. I am concerned that this will lead to all in the inner territory becoming pirates. This is the second worry..." He also said: "The Regional Commander Xu Yi-ming braved arrows and stones in supervising the troops during the battle at the Central-left Battalion. The Regional Vice Commander Zhang Jia-ce however locked his gates, looked to his own defence, and was unwilling to provide assistance. Without proceeding to sea, he falsely claimed that the 'red yi' were respectful and obedient, and he thus deceived the former grand coordinator. Some have even said that he has been in contact with the yi and that he wanted there to be procrastination, so that there could be trading. This is like the event in the past when Lu Wen-de accepted the belt. It is requested that the Ministry of War be ordered to deliberate on appropriate arrangements." The memorial was sent to the Ministry of War, which subsequently re-submitted it, noting: "Zhang Jia-ce should first be removed from his post and be subject to investigation by the grand coordinator and regional inspector of that province. Those who have been tolerant of the enemy and just looked on are not limited to Jia-ce alone. All the commanders who contributed to losses at Peng-hu, the Central-left Battalion, Wu Yu and Tong-shan should be investigated. As to the situation of occupation, there have already been issued clear Imperial orders that [the occupiers] should be driven away or eliminated as the situation demands. They must not be permitted to nibble at and occupy our territory another day, as it will give rise to serious problems. The grand coordinator must take the lead and put efforts into achieving this...." The Emperor approved this.

Xi-zong: juan 37.19a-20a

Zhong-yang Yan-jiu yuan Ming Shi-lu, volume 128, page 1927/29

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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/tian-qi/year-3-month-8-day-29, accessed November 20, 2019