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Xuan-de: Year 5, Month 4, Day 15

7 May 1430

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The Annam chieftain Tao Gong-zhuan and others were sent to take Imperial orders with which, on their return, to instruct Li Li. The orders read: "When the Great Tai-zu Emperor unified all under Heaven, the Chens of Annam were the first of the border peoples in the four directions to show loyalty through submitting themselves to culture. They were enfeoffed and the Chens long bestowed goodness on the country The people have not forgotten them. Previously, it was ordered that you seek out a male descendant of the Chens to manage the affairs of the country. This was in order to accord with the people's wishes and to bring peace to the region. Now, the chieftains and the elders of Annam have all advised that the Chen family line has already ended. There has been no positive response to the recent enquiries and they have memorialized as before. They also say that you Li are respectful and sincere and note that you have pacified the region, have the hearts of the people and are capable of governing. I am pleased with this. According with the people's wishes has been my constant desire. Assemble the Annam chieftains and elders and again enquire about the Chens. If there are no descendants remaining alive, send a memorial advising of the names of the deceased. I will then make arrangements. Military weapons are for protecting people. The people of Annam are all my children. Whether people are there or here, it makes no difference. We will not further investigate those who have settled down. Those officials, clerks and troops of the Court and their family members who have not yet returned all have fathers, mothers, wives and children longing for them. Loved one have been separated. How do you think they feel! A benevolent person will not abide actions for private gain which leave parents without children, children without parents and women without husbands. Things are reflected to Heaven and Earth and to the spirits on high. Those who are not benevolent are not assisted. You should manifest this idea. They should all be sent back as this is the way to prosperity." Paper money, as appropriate, was conferred upon Gong-zhuan and the others.

Xuan-zong: juan 65.7a-b

Zhong-yang Yan-jiu yuan Ming Shi-lu, volume 19, page 1539/40

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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/xuan-de/year-5-month-4-day-15, accessed November 17, 2019