Kertanegara’s foreign policy

A continuation of the history article from Kertanegara’s domestic policy. Seeing that Sriwijaya was weakening, in 1275. Kertanegara attempted to take control of an area that was strategic for defense tactics, it was Melayu.

Kertanegara sent an expedition to Melayu, so it was called Pamalayu. The expedition was not mean to attack and take over Melayu, it was a peaceful mission. Pamalayu means alliance agreement with Melayu.

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The friendly relation was strengthened by marriage, so it became a family relationship. Kertanegara even gave a present of a statue of Buddha Amogapasya to the king of Melayu who happily accepted it.

In 1284, Singasari conquered Bali which opposed the authority of Singasari and was considered dangerous to the security of Singasari. Friendly relation with Campa kingdom was established and then strengthened with family relationship by marrying a sister of Kertanegara, Ratu Tapasi, to the king of Campa.

It seemed that Kertanegara’s efforts to extend his authority outside Java were triggered by the threat from China, from Emperor Kubilai Khan, a king of the Mongol Dynasty. In 1280 and 1281 Kubilai Khan sent messengers to Singasari to ask Kertanegara to bow to the authority of Mongols, but Kertanegara always refused.

The last messenger from China arrived in Singasari in 1289. The messenger was enraged by Kertanegara’s refusal, so he prepared troops to attack Singasari. At the end of 1292, the troops were sent to Java under the command of two commanders, Shihpi-lheh-mi-shih and Kau Hsing.

The Singasari Kingdom did not stay idle in facing the possibility of attack by the Mongols. Kertanegara tried to strengthen his troops by increasing the number. Besides, he also made alliances made was with the Champa Kingdom in Vietnam.

However, he was domestically undermined by Jayakatwang, a descendant of King Kertajaya who wanted to rebuild his kingdom. Seeing that some of the troops of Singasari were positioned in Melayu, he decided to attack Singasari.

Kertanegara, who was holding a ceremony together with some Brahmanas, was killed. Yet his son-in-lows, Raden Wijaya managed to escape and ran away to Madura. So finally Singasari collpased.

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