Yong-le: Year 2, Month 9, Day 4
7 Oct 1404
The attendant minister Nai Zhi and others, a total of nine people who had been sent by Can-lie Po Pi-ya, the king of the country of Cambodia, came to Court and offered tribute of local products. Paper money and biao-li of silk were conferred upon them. Previously, a eunuch official was sent as an envoy to Cambodia. He was about to return when three of the accompanying soldiers absconded. Efforts were made to locate them, but they were not found. The king of the country provided three of his own countrymen to follow the eunuch on his return, in order to make up the contingent. At this time, the Ministry of Rites presented them at Court. The Emperor said: "How can we expect them to compensate us for Chinese people who deserted by themselves! We have these three people whose language is different and whose customs are not familiar. How can we use them! Moreover, they all have families and would be happier at home. Ministry of Rites, you are to give them clothing, provide them with travelling expenses and then send them back to Cambodia." The Minister Li Zhi-gang and others said: "We feel that Chinese people should not flee to other places or be hidden by people in other places, and thus think that it is not proper that these three people be sent back." The Emperor replied: "There is no need to anticipate deceit. As ruler, I mu st treat people with the affection of Heaven and Earth."
Zhong-yang Yan-jiu yuan Ming Shi-lu, volume 10, page 0597/98