Yong-le: Year 1, Month 10, Day 30
14 Nov 1403
The Muslim Ha-zhi Ma-ha-mo Qi-lan-ni and others from the country of La-ni in the Western Ocean, came to Court and offered tribute of local products. As he had brought with him pepper to trade with the people, the officials requested permission to tax it. The Emperor said: "Commercial taxes are levied by the state in order to restrain those engaging in the inferior occupation (commerce). How can we use taxes for our benefit! The yi are now inclining towards virtue and coming from distant places, and you wish to appropriate their profits. The resulting loss and dingrace to the propriety of the country will outweigh by 10,000 times the amount received from them! This is not to be permitted!"
Zhong-yang Yan-jiu yuan Ming Shi-lu, volume 10, page 0447/48