Yong-le: Year 4, Month 3, Day 16

4 Apr 1406

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On this day, Hu Di of Annam attacked and killed Chen Tian-ping, the grandson of the former king of Annam. At this time, the Guang-xi Assistant Commissioner-in-chief Huang Zhong and the 5,000 troops escorting Tian-ping had arrived at Qiu-wen. The attendant minister Huang Hui-qing and others who had been sent by Di, met them with grain supplies and with cattle and wine with which to feast the troops. When Hui-qing and the attendants saw Tian-ping, they all bowed and danced with joy. Zhong asked of Hui-qing why Di had not come. Hui-qing replied:

"How could he dare not come. It is just that he is a little ill and has thus promised to meet you at Jia-lin. Zhong sent Hui-qing back to urge Di to come and also sent mounted troops to carry out surveillance of the surrounding area. All around they saw nothing other than welcoming crowds lining the roads with pots of broth. Zhong thought that all was well and proceeded forward. They passed through Ai-liu and Ji-ling and then as they neared Qin-zhan, the mountain road became high and dangerous and the forest became dense and obscuring. The soldiers could not maintain ranks and it began to rain heavily. Suddenly, those lying in ambush showed themselves and with great screams attacked Tian-ping. There was a great response from near and far and the clamour shook the mountains and valleys. The bandits numbered over 100,000 and Zhong and the others hastily marshalled the troops to strike at them. However, the bandits had already destroyed the bridge and there was no way forward.

The bandit commander bowed from the distance and said:

'We distant yi dare not oppose the Great Nation, nor harm the Imperial army. It is just that Tian-ping is really but a unrelated commoner and not a relative of the Chens. He dared to engage in artful deceit, misleading the Emperor and giving trouble to the army. Death could not expiate all his crimes. Now, fortunately he has been killed. As an apology to the Son of Heaven, my king will send a memorial admitting guilt, noting that when the Imperial troops came from far off, our small country, being poor, did not have sufficient supplies to long support and maintain them.'

Zhong could not advance and thus drew his troops back. At that time, Xue Yan, the Chief Minister of the Court of Judicial Review, who had been banished to Guang-xi, had accompanied them to assist in matters. When Tian-ping was attacked, Yan was caught in the middle and he immediately killed himself. Yan had his origins in Wen-xiang, Shan-zhou and was a noble, magnanimous and purposeful man with administrative abilities. He had once served as the prefect of Zhen-jiang and all the people had considered him virtuous.

Tai-zong: juan 52.6a-7a

Zhong-yang Yan-jiu yuan Ming Shi-lu, volume 10, page 0781/83

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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-4-month-3-day-16, accessed January 22, 2019