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Yong-le: Year 8, Month 4, Day 2

5 May 1410

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On this day, the Ministry of Rites informed that the controller of the Jiao-zhi Provincial Administration Commission, the Minister of Works Huang Fu, had memorialized five proposals: "1. When the Imperial army went on expedition to Annam, they proceeded from Qiu-wen to the false capital. They overcame the city and brought it to submission. Later, it was found that along this communication route Jing-she, Ji-ling, Ai-liu, Qiu-wen, Ping-xiang, Long Subprefecture and Tai-ping were all areas affected by miasmic vapours and this presented great difficulties for travellers. Now, through enquiry, it has been found that a small river on the northern side of the Lu River flows directly to Pan-tan and from there it is possible to go on to Wan-ning County in Jing-an Subprefecture under Xin-an Prefecture and reach Qin Subprefecture in Guang-dong. On the river route there are only 10 postal relay stations. From Qin Subprefecture one can proceed to Ling-shan County and then from Ling-shan County enter Heng-zhou in Guang-xi. Along this land route there are only three postal relay stations. This gives a total of 13 stations for the journey. Compared to the old route, there are only half the number of water and land postal relay stations. It is requested that the Guang-dong and the Guang-xi Administrative Commissions be ordered to send officials to measure the distances and set up water and horse postal relay stations as well as transport offices. Also, in strategic places, guards or police offices should be established to guard against bandits. This route will allow us to avoid the miasmic vapors and will also be of convenience to travel and communication. 2. Jiao-zhi has only recently come under the jurisdiction of the zhi-fang, and bandits are engaged in constant raiding. As the army is engaged in subduing the bandits, the troops are unable to establish fields and plant crops. Also, many of the people have fled and thus we cannot obtain grain through taxation. For years, we have used sea transport but there are insufficient supplies for the army. It is requested that Yun-nan and other areas be ordered to fix regulations instituting the kai-zhong system whereby merchants can purchase salt with grain. In this way, the merchants will proceed there and there will be no shortage of grain. 3. I observe that many of the military and civil Jiao-zhi officials, troops and people have brought their families with them from their original place of domicile. When these officials died, their remaining family members say that they want to return to their native villages, but that the roads are long and arduous. It is requested that regulations be adopted whereby these people can be provided with porterage and travel grain, so that there will be none out of their place. 4. Formerly, as there were insufficient military grain stores in Jiao-zhi, a memorial was sent requesting that the monthly grain salary rations of the officials of military and civil offices be stopped and that wasteland be allotted to them so that they could grow their own food. Those in military posts were still paid at their original salaries and the commanders and the functionaries of the various guards were still paid in rice. Now, the granaries have no grain and it is appropriate to likewise cease payments of ration rice and, in accordance with the regulations, to distribute land for them to grow their own food. 5. In this place, of the officials of the large and small military and civil offices which have been established, there are people who accompanied the army to realize achievements and, after the situation settled, it was decided to appoint them to posts. There are also those who were willing to go to distant places to take up posts and there are those who were transferred or specially promoted to the posts. Of these, some are due for examination. We should follow the system for officials in the inner territory whereby every three years they are sent with their service records to the capital for examination."..... An Imperial order was issued requiring that the Minister of Rites discuss these proposals. The officials deliberated and advised: "All that Fu has proposed is appropriate. There are only doubts on the matter of examination of officials. As Jiao-zhi has just been pacified, and it is on a very distant border, if we follow the system of requiring officials to go to the capital with their service records, it will result in mu ch waste of official's time. It is appropriate to require that when the officials and deputies in the prefectures, subprefectures and counties have completed three years' service, their service records are to be completed and they are to proceed to the provincial administration commission and provincial surveillance commission for examination. Those who are not fit for their posts will be sent to the Ministry of Personnel, while those who are fit for their posts will be returned to their posts. The provincial administration commission will then send people to forward the books of personal details to the capital in batches. After six years of service, the examination will follow the same pattern. After the ninth year of service, the officials will proceed with their service records to the capital for examination and promotion or demotion. However, all granary officials and police officials should still be required to proceed to the capital and submit their service records in accordance with the regulations. The military guard commanders as well as the officials of the major and minor offices under them and the senior officials of the provincial administration commission and provincial surveillance commission should also be required to follow these regulations...." The Heir Apparent approved all these proposals.

Tai-zong: juan 103.1b-2b

Zhong-yang Yan-jiu yuan Ming Shi-lu, volume 12, page 1336/38

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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://www.epress.nus.edu.sg/msl/reign/yong-le/year-8-month-4-day-2, accessed June 27, 2019