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Wan-li: Year 43, Month 6, Day 13

8 Jul 1615

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Dong Yuan-ru, the regional inspecting censor of Guang-xi, memorialized: "Guang-xi adjoins Jiao-nan. The yi bandits are now becoming daily more overbearing and the native offices are daily becoming fewer. When the native offices are entirely gone, the inner territory will be subject to the attacks. I and my fellow officials are worried day and night. It is proposed: 1. To increase the number of troops. Along the routes by which the yi bandits attack, Shang-shi and Xia-shi are the strategic points in the West while Si-ling occupies the key point in the South. We should add 500 Han troops in the Shang-shi border area and locally conscript 500 native troops from Si-ming and other subprefectures and they should coordinate their strengths in defending the area. We should also transfer the Long Subprefecture commandant (督備官) to guard the area. Further, in the Si-ling border area, we should add 500 Han troops and select 500 native troops from Si-ming and other places to combine in an armed wing. In addition, an able guard official should be selected as commandant to lead them. Responsibility for examination of the troops should be assigned to the Senior Southern Assistant Regional Commander while overall examination examination and investigation should be under the general charge of the Zuo Subprefecture/Jiang Subprefecture General Surveillance Circuit. When there are no emergencies, the troops will plant crops, raise animals and guard the area. When emergencies occur, they will respond to them and provide assistance. 2. Arranging rations. It is calculated that 10,800 liang of silver will be required for the salaries of the Han and native troops. On the barren border, with its difficulties and deficiencies, how can we suddenly raise an additional 10,000-plus liang annually? The only option is to use Guang-xi's commercial taxes. In former years they were used for assisting with rations in Lu Subprefecture. Recently however, the customs levies have been sent to the treasury. It is hoped that the Emperor will show compassion in respect of the situation on the border and, in accordance with the recent precedent whereby the taxes of Guang-dong were reduced, generously exempt submission of this amount of 10,000-plus liang of tax, so that it can be provided to meet the annual requirements of the troops. Thus, the officials will not have to continuously cobble together arrangements and the people will not be subject to increased demands. This is truly an arrangement which will last a century. 3. Native offices. The reason that the yi bandits are able to humiliate officials and violate their rule is that the native officials do not sympathize with the people. The people are poor and they get into debt. Then, while overtly being united with the yi chieftain, they will covertly be seeking their own advantage. We must urgently send orders to the various native offices requiring them to put efforts into improving their internal rule and in pacifying and looking after their poor people. All debt involvements and exactions must be prohibited and eliminated. We must ensure that both the greater and the lesser show concern for one another and that they rely on and assist each other. In this way, the weak can again become strong, and they will be able to join together with the Han and native troops. Thereby, the borders will long be firmly defended." The Ministry of Revenue re-submitted a memorial on the basis of the proposals.

Shen-zong: juan 533.10b-11b

Zhong-yang Yan-jiu yuan Ming Shi-lu, volume 120, page 10078/80

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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-43-month-6-day-13, accessed October 23, 2019