On the other hand, Ming suspicion and distrust of Korean commitment to the status quo was similarly expressed over matters of granting investiture as in the case of the Ming founder Hongwu's refusal to invest the Choson king T'aejo with an imperial seal and edict (Park 2002).
Under this policy of "serving the great," with the exception of the first king, T'aejo (r.
They included the reigns of the first king, T'aejo (r.
A close examination of one of the earliest interactions between the Choson founder T'aejo Yi song-kye and the Ming founder Hongwu in the 1390s shows that the sadae policy was a mechanism of managing relations between the two sides of unequal power, signaling Korea's acceptance and respect for the greater power of Ming, and Ming's assurance of noninterference in Korea.
Therefore, when T'aejo Yi song-kye founded the Choson in 1392, he immediately declared the sadae policy to Ming and spared no efforts to tighten bilateral ties to receive investiture from the Ming emperor.
Although early Choson-Ming relations during the reign of the Ming founder Hongwu turned out to be rocky over the protocol of state letter writing, his initial response to T'aejo Yi song-kye's request for an endorsement of the founding of Choson Korea indicated that the Korean expectations of autonomy were by and large met.
12) They include the ascendancies of the first king, T'aejo (r.
The only exceptions were during the reigns of kings T'aejo and Injo at the beginning and at the end of their bilateral relations, which I will discuss below.
The remaining two cases of the first king, T'aejo, and the sixteenth king, Injo, hold the key to understanding how investiture was used as a medium of negative soft power and as a tool for coercive diplomacy through the manipulation of symbols.
The rejection letter from the Ming government stated that although Choson appeared polite and sincere as it sent embassies on celebratory occasions, it was indeed rude as shown in the letters requesting investiture, which contained derogatory puns (Park 2002, 10; T'aejo sillok, vol.
Why did Ming's coercive manner toward T'aejo strengthen Korea's resolve to fight for the Liaodong expedition campaign (Park 2002, 96-111), while for Injo, it went in a different direction of concession and a promise to support Ming's war efforts knowing it would risk invasion from the Manchus?