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Xuan-de: Year 6, Month 2, Day 7

20 Mar 1431

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The chieftain Wu-bao-chi-na and others from the country of Melaka, arrived at the Court. They advised that the king of their country wanted to personally come to Court and offer tribute, but that he had been obstructed by the king of the country of Siam. They also said that Siam had long wanted to invade their country and that their country wanted to memorialize but had had no one who could write the memorial. At this time, the king had ordered that these three ministers secretly attach themselves to a Samuderan tribute ship and come to Court. They requested that the Court send people to instruct the king of Siam to no longer oppress or mistreat their country and that thereby they would be unendingly grateful for the Court's grace. The Emperor ordered the Auxiliary Ministry of Rites to confer rewards upon Wu-bao-chi-na and the others and to send them back to their country with the ships of the eunuch director Zheng He. Zheng He was ordered to take Imperial orders of instruction for the king of the country of Siam as follows:

"I rule all under Heaven and look on all equally. You have been able to respect the Court and have repeatedly sent envoys to come to Court and offer tribute. I am pleased with your service. However, recently, it has been heard that the king of the country of Melaka wanted to personally come to Court, but was obstructed by you. In my opinion, this certainly cannot have been your will, king. Rather, it must have been some of your attendants, who are unable to think deeply about things, who have obstructed avenues and started strife with neighbouring states. How can such actions be a way to long maintain prosperity? You, king should respect my orders, develop good relations with your neighbours, examine and instruct your subordinates and not act recklessly or aggressively. Then it will be seen that you are able to respect Heaven and serve the superior, protect the country and the people's peace and maintain good relations with neighbouring states. This will accord with my will of looking on all equally."

The Ministry of Rites said:

"There are precedents for conferring rewards on tribute envoys from the various fan. However, Wu-bao-chi-na did not bring any tribute and there is no precedent on which to base rewards."

The Emperor said:

"This distant person has come tens of thousands of li from abroad to complain of injustice. How can we not reward him!"

Accordingly, ramie-silk clothing, biao-li of variegated silks, silks and cotton cloth were conferred upon him in the same quantities as those conferred upon tribute envoys from other countries.

Xuan-zong: juan 76.6b-7a

Zhong-yang Yan-jiu yuan Ming Shi-lu, volume 20, page 1762/63

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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-6-month-2-day-7, accessed February 27, 2017