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Wan-li: Year 16, Month 6, Day 2

25 Jun 1588

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The Assistant Censor-in-chief of the Right under detention and investigation, and former Yun-yang Grand Coordinator Li Cai, memorialized his version of the events over which an impeachment against him had been submitted by the Censor Su Can. The gist of his words was as follows: "When I was appointed as circuit intendent of Jin-chi/Teng-chong in Yun-nan, although Yue Feng had already been captured, the Ava-Burma bandits were still running wild, and the native yi of Meng-yang and Man-mo had rebelled and attached themselves to Ava-Burma. There were thus years of border troubles. I considered that if the two chieftains would not return to allegiance, the borders would not see even a day of peace. Thus, I made many plans and sent out spies to advise people in what would bring calamity and what would bring prosperity, and to instruct them to realize achievements by punishing the Ava-Burmese. Da-lang-chang was a highly trusted adviser in Ava-Burma, while San-duo was an Ava-Burma minister. The two chieftains then came within and accepted their credentials, after which the Ava-Burmese bandits sent 30,000 troops and stationed them at Zhe-lang. It was then heard that they planned revenge. Meng-yang was extremely frightened and requested assistance. I ordered the Mobile Corps Commander Liu Tian-feng and others to lead troops and go by night to join with them and engage in elimination. This was how there was victory at Zhe-lang. Liu Tian-feng first reported that he had realized achievements, that over 10,000 had been killed and 5,000 captured alive. It then happened that I was promoted to Yun-yang grand coordinator. Chen Yan-zhi was soon to replace me from nearby, and as matters could not long be held up, I did not wait until he arrived. After a month, the Grand Coordinator Liu Shi-zeng investigated the veracity of the claims and memorialized advice. The investigation by the generals and officials and the investigation and submission of a memorial by the grand coordinator both occurred subsequent to my departure. I was at home, awaiting punishment when I happened to read the Metropolitan Gazette and suddenly saw that according to Su Can's account, I had engaged in deceit and that it was a combined force of native troops, not the government troops, which had attacked the troops of Ava-Burma. Actually, we had yi attack yi, and as they were obeying our orders, they were our troops. Previously Man-mo had been in rebellion for three years and Meng-yang had been in rebellion for 30 years. Then suddenly they killed the Ava-Burmese for us. Who brought this about? Chen Yan-zhi took advantage of the victories and was able to recover and pacify over 50 places, including Song-su and Zhe-xie-er. This was all the result of the remaining power of the two chieftains who came to allegiance. It was stated that yi merchants were killed and captured. The Man-jiang area is full of miasmic poisons and for one thousand li there is nobody! News of the battle had long been spread about. Why would yi merchants have risked death at the side of a battle-field? In previous years I was honoured to be appointed to a post in Guang-dong. There, with the forces of a circuit, I eliminated over 4,000 Japanese pirates and mountain bandits. For expressing unpalatable opinions, I was placed in an isolated post. However, I have retained my former convictions. If I willingly suffer injustice, would this not cause other border officials to lose their desire to carry out their duties?" When the memorial was submitted, the Emperor strongly castigated Li Cai: "He has been Imperially ordered to undergo investigation. He should wait until the time of investigation. How can he abruptly submit a memorial of dispute beforehand!" The memorial was sent to the appropriate office.

Shen-zong: juan 199.1a-b

Zhong-yang Yan-jiu yuan Ming Shi-lu, volume 105, page 3735/36

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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/wan-li/year-16-month-6-day-2, accessed November 18, 2018