Yong-le: Year 4, Month 7, Day 10
24 Jul 1406
Instructions were issued to the Cheng-guo Duke Zhu Neng, regional commander for the force being sent on expedition to punish Annam, and others. The instructions read:
"You are now to advance your troops from Guang-xi, while the deputy general of the left advances his troops from Yun-nan. The two armies are to join forces and handle things in harmony. The bandits may take advantage of the situation before your armies have joined and, planning to keep you divided so as to be able to attack one army with all their force, offer enticements of small gain. It will be a dangerous course if the Imperial Army relies on its bravery to pursue these small gains. The bandits may also falsely offer to surrender so as to cause our army to become lax, and then proceed with other treacherous plots by which they will secretly and violently attack you by laying ambushes in dangerous areas, or by spying to find out when you are not prepared. Or they may prepare poisoned food and drink to greet the hungry troops. The bandit's treachery and guile comes in all shapes and forms. You must be cautious. Although they were also leading armies of their ruler and were intending to console the people and punish the rebellious, actions which are certainly correct, Song Rang claimed to be benevolent and righteous, while Chen Yu claimed to not need any special plans. In the end, their troops were defeated. You must be extremely cautious, act in accordance with the situation and when you see that there is an advantage to be gained, act appropriately. I will not interfere."
Similar orders were sent to the Xi-ping Marquis Mu Sheng, deputy general of the left.
Zhong-yang Yan-jiu yuan Ming Shi-lu, volume 11, page 828