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Zheng-de: Year 16, Month 12, Day 30

27 Jan 1522

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Xing Bang-xiang (Alt: Wei Bang-xiang), the magistrate of Huai-an County in Fu-jian, memorialized: "The area at the left of Long Subprefecture in Guang-xi adjoins Annam. In the past, a position of guard commander commandant was established to maintain, in coordination with the native-official subprefectural magistrate, strict control over the various passes and to prohibit the private trading of fan goods and the trading of silks and other goods in violation of the prohibitions. Also, the hostel for foreign yi on the frontier was instructed to make proper arrangements for the tribute-bearing envoys, to examine their tribute goods, and then to send an official to escort the envoys to the capital. Thus, there was great concern to show kindness to people from the distance. Recently, the commandants have not been recommended for appointment, but have obtained their posts through bribery, and this has given rise to frequent troubles and to private trade. Now, when yi envoys reach the borders, they are not quickly examined and allowed to pass. Rather, thousands of liang of silver are extorted as porter charges. Further, they privately purchase fan goods at enforced low prices. They also go beyond the passes to do this. If defence officials of the dignified Heavenly Court engage in trading and profit-making like this, can we avoid being laughed at by foreign countries? Also, they let traders from beyond the borders bring private trade goods and come through the passes together with the yi people and, without authority, employ the government troops guarding the passes to levy commercial charges. This has led to squabbling and the foreign yi have harmed and killed people. Further, the river ports in Tai-ping and Long Subprefectures have boat taxes and each year over 2,000 liang of silver go into private hands. It is requested that this be credited to official coffers so that the funds can be used to cover the costs of deploying military boats on the two rivers." The memorial was sent to the Ministry of War which requested that the grand defender, the grand coordinator and the regional inspector be instructed to impartially recommend a capable and suitable commander and to strictly prohibit the abuses noted in the memorial. This was approved.

Shi-zong: juan 9.20a-b

Zhong-yang Yan-jiu yuan Ming Shi-lu, volume 71, page 0359/60

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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/zheng-de/year-16-month-12-day-30, accessed November 20, 2019