Hong-zhi: Year 2, Month 10, Day 13

5 Nov 1489

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As Gu-lai, the king of the country of Champa, was about to return to his country, he sent his younger brother Bu-gu-liang and others with a despatch for the defence officials of Guang-dong/Guang-xi, noting:

"Annam still occupies our country and we have nowhere to reside. It is requested that, as in the Yong-le reign (1403-24), officials be sent to supervise troops in protecting us."

The Grand Defender and Eunuch Director Wei Juan and the Grand Coordinator and Censor-in-Chief Qin Hong jointly deliberated on and memorialized the request. The memorial was sent to the Ministry of War which re-submitted the memorial, noting:

"Both Annam and Champa are secluded places along the ocean's shores. They have for generations come to Court to offer tribute and they are both included on the list of countries noted in the Ancestral Instructions as those not to be attacked. Recently, Gu-lai brought his family to Guang-dong and the Court sent orders to Annam requiring it to investigate and advise. Their memorial in reply has not yet been received. The despatch of generals and troops during the Yong-le reign was intended to punish the crimes of Li Ji-li in killing and rebelling against his ruler, not because of soured relations with neighbouring states. Recently, Li Hao had been respectful in carrying out his tribute duties. However, Gu-lai complains that he has suffered from Li Hao's actions. It is possible that he has become over-emotive and exaggerated things. If on the basis of the statement by one side we quickly despatch troops and have them risk a voyage across the seas, and have them attack those who should not be attacked, it would not, we are afraid, be the right way to show kindness and concern to those in the distance.

We should simply order the grand defender and other officials to send a despatch in response to Gu-lai, saying: `Previously, you, king, laid plaint to the Court and the senior ministers were ordered to make arrangements, to show you great sympathy and provide for your needs. Now they are to send you and your people back. The situation in your country is known. In response to the Jiao people's killing of your son Gu-su-ma, you, king, led your forces to defeat them and, once you had avenged your shame, you withdrew. Annam has not again attacked and disturbed you. Your country's territory, king, was lost but has now been revived and your people, once dispersed, have again come together. This was all the result of Heaven's majestic right. Now you again say that Annam intends to occupy your land. Annam has always claimed to observe propriety. How could they foolishly lie and bring calamity upon themselves like this! My defence officials have memorialized your despatch for the advice of the Court. Annam has not yet memorialized a response to my enquiries and the situation is not yet completely clear. I am concerned that your former anger may not yet have subsided and that your words may be over-emotive. I cannot only listen to one account of the situation. When the memorial from Annam arrives, I will make arrangements and send a despatch to you, king, to advise of it. You should be self-reliant in carrying out your administration, console and show sympathy to your people and protect your territory. You are also to cultivate good relations with Annam like before. The minor suspicions and trifling concerns are all to be forgotten. Since ancient times, there has never been a basis for a ruler, who cannot be self-reliant, appealing to the Court to despatch troops to distant regions in order to protect the country in his stead.' These Imperial orders should be given to Bu-gu-liang, who should then be rewarded and sent back."

This was approved.

Xiao-zong: juan 31.7b-8b

Zhong-yang Yan-jiu yuan Ming Shi-lu, volume 52, page 0694/96

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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/hong-zhi/year-2-month-10-day-13, accessed January 22, 2019