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Wan-li: Year 18, Month 3, Day 14

17 Apr 1590

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The chieftain sent by Dao Nuo-meng, the native official of the Che-li Pacification Superintendency, brought elephant tusks, rhinoceros horn as well as Mian boxes (Alt: basins), Mian cloth and velvet brocade, and came to offer tribute. He also transmitted advice of Mang Da-la's desire to return to allegiance. The Assistant Censor-in-chief of the Right Xiao Yan, grand coordinator of Yun-nan, memorialized: "The Pacification Superintendent Dao Nuo-meng had given his allegiance to China for years. However, his territory is close to that of Mang, and he was then forced to follow Mang for years. Later, he was again brought to allegiance by the efforts of Na Shu of Yuan-jiang, and he returned to right and turned his allegiance to China. He then offered goods in tribute and he received the pardon of the Emperor for his previous transgressions. He was allowed to inherit the post and was given rich rewards. Over the last few years, his gratitude for the grace has become increasingly deep, but he has had no way to repay the kindness. He has long desired to bring Mang to surrender and thereby achieve merit for himself. Now the Mang chieftain has repented his transgressions and returned to allegiance. However, concerned that he will not be pardoned, he dares not directly communicate with China. Rather, he has entrusted Che-li and Yuan-jiang to advise. He seems to be sincere. However, we feel that while China, in its treatment of the yi and di, does bestow great grace, it has always been strict in differentiating between the superior and the lesser. If those who wish to return to allegiance after rebellion are allowed to do so, the desire of the distant peoples to move towards culture will be strengthened. We must have control over restraint and leniency in our hands, as only thus will China's prestige be constantly respected. Since ancient times, restraining and controlling [the yi] has been considered the best policy. This has not changed. Mang's coming to allegiance has been transmitted through the mouths of Che-li and Yuan-jiang. There are none of Mang's yi whom we can enquire of and there are no documents from Mang which we can examine. But Che-li and Yuan-jiang want to take back our orders so as to dispel Mang's doubts. How can we send rewards before being sure of his sincerity? If we are the first to act, it will harm national prestige. However, the yi of Che-li and Yuan-jiang are very emphatic in their words. Likewise, how can we consider the claim false and immediately refuse the request? If the request is immediately refused, the yi will become disaffected in heart. In considering appropriate principles of action, we have engaged in joint deliberation. Che-li and Yuan-jiang should be ordered to transmit instructions advising of the Court's grace and majesty, noting that Mang is permitted to begin anew. He will cherish the good news we send and will thus send an envoy to offer tribute and express his loyalty. At that time he can be shown benevolence by according him mercy. If he is continuing in his stupid ways and he has sent them with empty words, he should be subject to righteous refusal and the borders closed to him. We should wait until there is a basis on which to act, that is, until he dares to send advice to the Court. As to local products presented by Che-li, they truly constitute not even a hair for the Court. However, given that they have shown sincerity in moving toward culture and particularly considering that the Imperial majesty excludes none, how could I dare not to transmit this advice to my ruler." The Ministry of Rites re-submitted the memorial and requested that rewards be issued in accordance with the precedents. This was approved.

Shen-zong: juan 221.2a-3a

Zhong-yang Yan-jiu yuan Ming Shi-lu, volume 106, page 4129/31

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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-18-month-3-day-14, accessed October 23, 2019