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Yong-le: Year 9, Month 4, Day 24

16 May 1411

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Liu Ben, the administration commissioner of the left (Alt: right) in Jiao-zhi, advised of three matters. He noted: "1. Jiao-zhi is situated in a corner of the ocean and the people are newly-attached. They do not know of the Court's propriety and culture. It is hoped that tolerance can be shown in our soothing of them. If we should suddenly require adherence to the patterns and rules and require of them repeated service, they will all rise in rebellion. Earlier, when the Li bandits were pacified, we established offices and did not make allowances when employing the people's labour. The man people were quickly upset and were again coerced by Jian Ding into labouring as his soldiers. Now, although Jian Ding has been captured, Chen Ji-kuo and the others have not yet been eliminated. The unknowing people secretly cherish hopes. If we stop all non-essential tasks for the time being and bestow grace in order to pacify people's hearts, it will result in the man refusing to follow the bandits. 2. Governance depends on the employment of worthy men. If officials who have the trust of the people cannot be found, the people will not be settled in their lives. As the Jiao-zhi people are newly attached to the culture of the Sage, in soothing and pacifying them, it is especially important to find the right officials. Recently, those who have been appointed as officials in the prefectures and counties have all been volunteers. They are not versed in administration and are not in touch with the feelings of the people. Some do not even concern themselves with honesty or shame. This makes ruling the people difficult. In future, we should select experienced, honest and careful people, so that the pacification is principled and the yi are indeed pacified. 3. Quite a few of the Annam people are literate. However, they are zealous in their own interests and like to brag and engage in deceit. They cast aside principles, engage in the inferior occupation, and pay no heed to honesty or shame. Now, schools have been opened in Jiao-zhou and other prefectures and the sons of the native officials and the outstanding among the people have been chosen as students. Teaching officials, including Li Jing-xun and others have been appointed. Because these teachers are local people, I am afraid that the students are still illiterate. There have been no real results. It is requested that experienced, capable teachers be selected to supervise the education, so that the young men will become familiar with China's propriety and righteousness and will change their yi ways. In later days, this will provide people of benefit to the country." The Emperor was pleased and approved this.

Tai-zong: juan 115.3a-b

Zhong-yang Yan-jiu yuan Ming Shi-lu, volume 12, page 1467/68

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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/yong-le/year-9-month-4-day-24, accessed December 06, 2019