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Zheng-tong: Year 8, Month 7, Day 28

23 Aug 1443

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Imperial orders were sent to Yang Wei-xi-sha, the king of the country of Java. The orders read:

"Every year, you send persons to come to Court and offer tribute, thus demonstrating great sincerity and loyalty. However, I am concerned that it is costly for your nation. Each time you send envoys, you must build a ship, arrange equipment and prepare provisions for the journey. It is certainly extremely troublesome for you. Also, the number of attendants often reaches several hundred. When they arrive in Guang-dong, it is necessary to unload the goods from the ships and to provide transport to and fro. This is also very troublesome. The various foreign countries all bring tribute once every three years. From now on, king, you should accord with my wishes to show compassion for the troops and the people, and send people to Court only once every three years. The envoys must be selected with care and must be honest and sincere. As to the number of persons who accompany the envoy, there should only be enough to handle the ship. This will prove of convenience to both sides. I employ absolute sincerity and kindness in my treatment of the various states. You king should respect Heaven and serve the superior and place importance on loyalty and sincerity. There is no need to go to a lot of trouble for the sake of ritual. Now, as your envoy Ya-lie Li Tian-fu and so on are returning, I am instructing him to take these Imperial orders of instruction for you and to confer on you and your consort variegated silks. You, king, should respect and carry out these orders."

Previously, Zhang Yan, administration vice commissioner of the right in Guang-dong, had advised:

"The country of Java comes to Court to offer tribute very frequently and the embassies make many demands which have to be supplied. Troubling China in order to serve the distant yi is not a good idea. The number of their missions should be reduced."

The Emperor approved his proposal. At this time, the envoy was returning and thus these orders of instruction were sent through him.

Ying-zong: juan 106.8a-b

Zhong-yang Yan-jiu yuan Ming Shi-lu, volume 27, page 2161/62

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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-tong/year-8-month-7-day-28, accessed November 20, 2019