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Wan-li: Year 30, Month 4, Day 8

28 May 1602

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The Ministry of War re-submitted a memorial from Chen Yong-bin, the grand coordinator of Yun-nan, saying: "The Ava-Burma chieftain Yong Han has gathered together 100,000 yi troops and is feuding with the Man-mo native official Si Zheng. The situation has become very violent. If Si Zheng is defeated, he will indeed rush into the inner territory. If the Heavenly Court closes the passes and does not allow him to enter, Si Zheng will be captured. It is feared that if Man-mo is lost, it will remove our screen. However, if we send troops to assist, they will be greatly out-numbered by the bandit forces and it is feared such an action would induce disturbances and would affect the inner territory. At this time, when considerations of one aspect may lead to problems in another, we must plan our actions in accordance with the overall situation. Three proposals are hereby submitted: 1. We should select some brave spies to go and clearly instruct the Ava-Burma chieftains in the differences between according and rebelling, and in what will bring calamity and what will bring prosperity, and order them to withdraw their troops and return to their lairs, where each should guard his own territory and peacefully obey arrangements. If they oppose the orders, Heaven's punishment should be fully demonstrated. 2. We should order Si Zheng to do battle to the death. If he is defeated and flees, then his crime should be made known and he should be arrested. Then another member of the native-official ruling family who enjoys prestige among the yi should be put in control of the area. After the Ava-Burma troops disperse, Si Zheng will then have to make a request to the Court and his life, death or banishment will be subject to Imperial orders. 3. The Ava-Burmese are extremely wild by nature. If they capture Si Zheng and occupy Man-mo, there will subsequently be greater losses. We must urgently arrange domestic security, establish garrisons and arrange border forces. The forces will both provide defence and cultivate the state fields. If the bandits enter, their entry route will be cut off, and if they try to retreat, their route of retreat will be subject to attacks. In this way, they will not be able to seize anything in attack and will be fearful about retreat. After being inactive for many days, those who are not dead will flee. Further, we should strictly prohibit the senior and junior commanders from lightly initiating actions in their quest for achievements. If they are able to repulse the Ava-Burma bandits and make the region secure, they should be considered to have realized the same achievements as those who have taken heads and captives and should be rewarded generously. At present, the Ava-Burma spawn has 100,000 troops and the future situation cannot be predicted. The circumstances might suddenly change to one where none of the three proposals are appropriate, and we will not be able to adopt any of them. Yun-nan is 10,000 li in the distance and it takes much time for memorials to reach the Court from here. In respect of all expeditionary arrangements and all disbursements of grain and salaries, we should be permitted to make overall plans. If we are to achieve success, there should not be too much interference." This was approved by Imperial command.

Shen-zong: juan 371.2b-3a

Zhong-yang Yan-jiu yuan Ming Shi-lu, volume 112, page 6950/51

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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-30-month-4-day-8, accessed October 23, 2019