The 36 stratagems of China for warfighting

Discussion in 'China' started by Bhadra, May 15, 2013.

  1. Bhadra

    Bhadra Defence Professionals Defence Professionals Senior Member

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    The 36 Stratagems
    三十六計
    (Sam Ship Yuk Gye)
    The 36 Stratagems-- 三十六計

    Invite comments of members on each stratagem

    Approximately 300 years ago, either towards the end of the Ming or the beginning of the Qing Dynasties, an unknown scholar compiled 36 military stratagems. Titled the Secret art of war (not to be confused with Sun Tzu's "Art of War". It is divided into six sections with six stratagems in each section. One of the things that makes this classic unique is its use of deception throughout.
    •Prologue
    •Stratagems when in a superior position.
    勝戰計 Shengzhanji (Seung jeon gye) •Stratagems for Confrontation
    敵戰計 Dizhanji (Jeog jeon gye) •Stratagems for attack
    攻戰計 Gongzhanji (Gong jeon gye) •Stratagems for confused situations
    混戰計 Hunzhanji ( Hon Gon jeon gye) •Stratagems for gaining ground
    並戰計 Bingzhanji (Byeong jeon gye) •Stratagems Desperate situations
    敗戰計 Baizhanji (Pae jeon gye)
     
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  3. Bhadra

    Bhadra Defence Professionals Defence Professionals Senior Member

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    The 36 Stratagems
    三十六計
    (Sam Ship Yuk Gye)
    The 36 Stratagems-- 三十六計




    PROLOGUE

    Six multiplied by six equals thirty-six. Calculations produce tactics which in turn produce calculations. Each side depends upon the other. Based on this correlative relationship, ploys against the enemy are devised. Rigid application of Military theory will only result in defeat on the battlefield.


    *Note I have included some very basic combat applications. There are MANY applications if these strategies. The ones offered are just examples.

    D.Segarra
     
  4. Bhadra

    Bhadra Defence Professionals Defence Professionals Senior Member

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    The 36 Stratagems
    三十六計
    (Sam Ship Yuk Gye)
    The 36 Stratagems-- 三十六計


    Stratagems when in a superior position
    勝戰計-승전계
    (Seung jeon gye)

    제1계 만천과해(瞞天過海) :Man ch’eon gwa hae
    제2계 위위구조(圍魏救趙) :Wi wi gu jo
    제3계 차도살인(借刀殺人) :Ch’a do sar in
    제4계 이일대로(以逸待勞) :E il dae ro
    제5계 진화타겁(趁火打劫) :Jin hwa t’a keom
    제6계 성동격서(聲東擊西) :Seong dong kyeok seo

    1. Sneak across the ocean in broad daylight - Korean: Man cheon gwa hae
    瞞天過海 - Cross the sea under camouflage

    This means to create a front that eventually becomes imbued with an atmosphere or impression of familiarity, within which the strategist may maneuver unseen while all eyes are trained to see obvious familiarities.

    Combat application: Hiding your motion in motion. Example; light hopping in sparring can hide your attack.

    2. Surround one state to save another. Korean: Wi wi gu jo
    圍魏救趙- Besiege Wei to rescue Zhao

    When a strong group is about to take over a weaker group, a third part can "have its cake and eat it too," gaining a good reputation by attacking the aggressor in apparent behalf of the defender, and also eventually absorb the weakened defender to boot, without incurring the same opprobrium that would be leveled at outright aggression.

    Combat application: Protecting a loved one or friend.

    3. Borrow a sword to attack another. Korean: Cha do sar in
    借刀殺人- Kill somebody by using another person's knife (kill someone through the agency of another)

    When one side in a conflict is weakening, it may draw its own friends into battle, thus delivering a blow to its enemy while conserving its own strength.

    Combat application: Literally disarm the attacker and use their weapon.

    4. Face the weary in a condition of ease. Korean: E Il dae ro
    以逸待勞 -Wait at ease for the fatigued enemy

    You force others to expend energy while you preserve yours. You tire opponents out by sending them on wild goose chases, or by making them come to you from far away while you stand your ground.

    Combat application: Stay out of your attackers range and make them expend energy on useless attacks.

    5. Plunge into a fire to pull off a robbery. Korean: Jin Hwa Ta Keom
    趁火打劫 - Loot the burning house

    You use others' troubles as opportunities to gain something for yourself.

    Combat application: Take advantage of your attackers misfortune, for example if the sun, rain, wind gets in their eyes, of they become distracted etc.

    6. Feint east, strike west. Korean: Seong Dong Kyeok Seo
    聲東擊西 - Make faint to the east but attack in the west

    You spread misleading information about your intentions, or make false suggestions, in order to induce the opponent to concentrate his defenses on one front and thereby leave another front vulnerable to attack.

    Combat application: Feint, fake. In sparring fake a low kick and follow with a high strike when your attacker lowers their defense.
     
  5. Bhadra

    Bhadra Defence Professionals Defence Professionals Senior Member

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    The 36 Stratagems-- 三十六計


    Stratagems for confrontation
    敵戰計 - 적전계
    (Jeok jeon gye)

    제7계 무중생유(無中生有) :Mu jung saeng yu
    제8계 암도진창(暗渡陳倉) :Am do jin ch’ang
    제9계 격안관화(隔岸觀火) :Kyeok an gwan hwa
    제10계 소리장도(笑裏藏刀) :So ri jang do
    제11계 이대도강(李代桃僵) :Ri dae do gang
    제12계 순수견양(順手牽羊) :Sun su gyeon yang

    7. Make something from nothing. Korean: Mu jung saeng yu
    無中生有 - Produce something out of nothing

    You create a false idea in the mind of the opponent, and fix it in his mind as a reality. In particular, this means that you convey the impression that you have what you do not, to the end that you may appear formidable and thus actually obtain a security that you had not enjoyed before.

    Combat application: I once used my wallet as a pretend cell phone to scare off a car full of car thieves. From a distance they thought I was calling the police. This is similar to sticking your finger through your jacket and faking you have a gun. You could also pretend to know a stranger crossing the street, waving to them to plant the false idea in the attackers mind that you know them.

    8. Cross the pass in the dark. Korean: Am do jin ch'ang
    暗渡陳倉 - Advance to Chencang by a hidden path

    You set up a false front, then penetrate the opponent's territory on other fronts while they are distracted by your false front. (pretend to prepare along one path while secretly going along another)

    Combat application: Zig then Zag, fake left go right etc.

    9. Watch the fire from the opposite bank of the river. Korean: Kyeok an gwan hwa
    隔岸觀火 Watch the fire from the other side of the river (showing non-concernedness)

    You calmly look on when adversaries experience internal troubles, waiting for them to destroy themselves.

    Combat application: Take advantage of any environmental distractions or misfortunes your attacker may suffer. Crossing the street when faced with multiple attackers for example can disorganize the group if there is traffic.

    10. Hide a sword in a smile. Korean: So ri jang do
    笑裡藏刀 Conceal a knife in your smile

    You ingratiate yourself with enemies, inducing them to trust you. When you have their confidence, you can move against them in secret.

    Combat application: Don't let on you are about to attack.

    11. One tree falls for another. Korean: Ri dae do gang
    李代桃僵 - The plum dies for the apricot

    Individual sacrifices may have to made to achieve a greater goal. (substitute this for that)

    Combat application: Create a false opening to bait the attacker into a trap.

    12. Take the sheep in hand as you go along. Korean: Sun su gyeon yang
    順手牽羊 Make off with a sheep in passing by

    You take advantage of any opportunity, however small, and avail yourself of any profit, however slight. This comes from the story of a destitute traveler walking on a road. As he went along, he came across a flock of sheep; making his way through them, when he emerged from their midst he had a sheep with him. He behaved so calmly and naturally, as it he had been leading his own sheep to market all along, that the shepherd never noticed him. (Lead away a sheep in passing)

    Combat application: Hide your attack in a natural unthreatening motion.
     
  6. Bhadra

    Bhadra Defence Professionals Defence Professionals Senior Member

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    The 36 Stratagems-- 三十六計

    Stratagems for attack
    攻戰計-공전계
    (Gong jeon gye)

    제13계 타초경사(打草驚蛇) :Ta ch’o gyeong sa
    제14계 차시환혼(借尸還魂) :Cha si hwan hon
    제15계 조호리산(調虎離山) :Jo ho ri san
    제16계 욕금고종(欲擒故縱) :Yok geum go jong
    제17계 포전인옥(拋磚引玉) :P'o jeon in ok
    제18계 금적선금왕(擒賊先擒王) :Keum jeok seon keum wang

    13. Beat the grass to startle the snakes. Korean: Ta ch'o gyeong sa
    打草驚蛇 - Beat the grass and frighten away the snake

    When opponents are reserved and unfathomable, you create some sort of stir to see how they will react. Yagyfi mentions this, and also notes that it is used in Sun (Zen). Certain Sun sayings and stories are used primarily to test people and find out what they are like.

    Combat application: Test your opponents reactions with hand strikes, low kicks, verbal attacks etc. Push their buttons.

    14. Borrow a corpse to bring back a spirit. Korean: Cha si hwan hon
    借屍還魂 - Resurrect in a new guise

    You don't use what everyone else is using, but use what others aren't using. This can mean reviving something that has dropped out of use through neglect, or finding uses for things that had hitherto been ignored or considered useless. (Raise a corpse from the dead)

    Combat application: Improvise a weapon from a natural object.

    15. Train a tiger to leave the mountains. Korean: Jo ho ri san
    調虎離山 - Lure the tiger out of the mountain



    You don't go into the fastness of powerful opponents' territory, but induce them to come out of their stronghold.

    Combat application: Bait your attacker with a false opening.

    16. Let the enemy leave in order to catch him Korean: Yok geum go jong
    欲擒故縱 - Let the enemy off so to snare them

    When you want to take captives, leave them on the loose for a while. (Let the enemy off so to snare them) Fleeing enemies may turn again and strike desperately if pursued too hotly. If they are given room to run, on the other hand, they scatter and lose their energy. Then they can be taken captive without further violence.

    Combat application: Control your attackers motion, cutting off his options and force them where you want them to be, for example drawing an attacker in between two parked cars, a stair case etc.

    17. Toss out a glazed tile to draw a jade. Korean: P'o jeon in ok
    拋磚引玉 - Cast a brick to attract a gem

    You present something of superficial or apparent worth to induce another party to produce something of real worth.

    Combat application: Bait your attacker with a pretend opening.

    18. To capture the brigands (rebels), capture their king. Korean: Keum jeok seon keum wang
    擒賊先擒王 - Catch the ringleader first in order to capture all his bandit followers

    When confronted with a massive opposition, you take aim at its central leadership.

    Combat application: Take out the leader or the most feared of the group and the group will usually become disorganized.


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  7. Bhadra

    Bhadra Defence Professionals Defence Professionals Senior Member

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    The 36 Stratagems-- 三十六計

    Stratagems for confused situations
    混戰計 - 혼전계
    (Hon Gon jeon gye)

    제19계 부저추신(釜低抽薪) :Bu jeo ch’u sin
    제20계 혼수모어(混水摸魚) :Hon su mo eo
    제21계 금선탈각(金蟬脫殼) :Geum seon t'al gak
    제22계 관문착적(關門捉賊) :Gwan mun ch’ak jeok
    제23계 원교근공(遠交近攻) :Weon gyo geun gong
    제24계 가도벌괵(假途伐虢) :Ka do beol goek

    19. Take the firewood out from under the pot. Korean: Bu jeo ch'u sin
    釜底抽薪 - Take away the firewood under the cauldron

    When you cannot handle an adversary in a head-on confrontation, you can still win by undermining the enemy's resources and morale. (take drastic measures to strike at source of a problem)

    Combat application: Again using the environment, for example tipping over furniture, drawing them onto higher ground (you're higher) etc. The idea being if you are of equal or inferior skills you must use strategy to succeed.

    20. Stir up the waters to catch fish. Korean: Hon su mo eo
    渾水摸魚 - Fish in troubled water

    You use confusion to your advantage, to take what you want. It may specifically mean taking advantage of a general or particular loss of direction in order to gather followers from among the uncommitted or disenfranchised. (try to take advantage of a disturbed situation to take in profits)

    Combat application: Fighting with the sun to your back so it's in their eyes, or the wind. Bumping a car to activate the alarm to create confusion. Take advantage of your opponents distractions.

    21. The gold cicada molts its shell. Korean: 21. Geum seon t'al gak
    金蟬脫殼 - Cast off the molted skin/gold cicada casts off its shell

    This means leaving behind false appearances created for strategic purposes. Like the cicada shell, the facade remains intact, but the real action is now elsewhere. (escape unnoticed)

    Combat application: Raise a hand high and kick low, toss something at your attackers face etc.

    22. Lock the gates to catch the bandits. Korean: Gwan mun ch'ak jeok
    關門捉賊 - Close the gate to catch the thieves

    You catch invading predators by not letting them get away. You don't let them get back to their homelands with what they can get from you. If they escape, you don't chase them, because you will thereby fall prey to the enemy's plot to wear you down. (Bolt the door to catch the thief)

    Combat application: Stepping on your attackers foot, trapping their hands etc.

    23. Make allies at a distance, attack nearby. Korean: Weon gyo geon gong
    遠交近攻 Befriend distant countries while attacking those nearby

    When you are more vulnerable to those close by than you are to those far away, you can defend yourself by keeping those around you off balance, in the meantime cutting of their field of maneuver by securing a broader ring of alliances surrounding them.

    Combat application: Concentrate on the immediate threat.

    24. Borrow the right of way to attack the neighbor. Korean: ka do beol goek
    假途伐虢 Conquer Hao after obtaining permittance to cross another country

    You secure the temporary use of another party's facilities in order to move against a mutual enemy. After having used these facilities to prevail over the enemy, you then turn and use them against the party from whom you borrowed them. (forge neutral alliances)

    Combat application: Use one attacker against the other. Move when fighting so they constantly cross each other and get in one another's way. Use an attackers weapon against the other attacker.
     
  8. Bhadra

    Bhadra Defence Professionals Defence Professionals Senior Member

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    The 36 Stratagems-- 三十六計

    Stratagems for gaining ground
    並戰計
    (Byeong jeon gye)병전계

    제25계 투량환주(偸梁換柱) :T'u ryang hwan ju
    제26계 지상매괴(指桑罵槐) :Ji sang mae goe
    제27계 가치부전(假痴不癲) :Ga ch’i bu jeon
    제28계 상옥추제(上屋抽梯) :Sang ok ch’u je
    제29계 수상개화(樹上開花) :Su sang kae hwa
    제30계 반객위주(反客爲主) :Ban gaek wi ju

    25. Steal a beam to replace a pillar. Korean: T'u ryang hwan ju
    偷樑換柱 - Replace the beams and pillars with rotten timber

    You try to recruit top talent from among allies, inducing them to join your concern.

    Combat application: Use negotiations and undermine their confidence, I remember one time an older master relates a time when a young punk with his friends started to harass him. He said to the harasser 'You know if you beat me up, all you did was beat up an old man. But on the other hand if I get a lucky shot in on you your friends will never let you forget an old man beat you. Either way it's not good' the young punk postured a little bit and then walked away.

    Attack the legs.

    26. Point at one to scold another. Korean: Ji sang mae goe
    指桑罵槐 - Point at the mulberry only to curse the locust.

    You criticize indirectly, getting your point across without confrontation. (scold one person through another)

    Combat application: If with another you can pretend it's their fault and you will take care of them. (of course this as to be explained wink, wink to your friend)

    27. Feign ignorance without going crazy. Korean: Ga ch'i bu jeon
    假癡不癲 - Feign foolishness

    You pretend to be stupid and ignorant, but avoid talking loosely. (Pretend madness without loosing the balance)

    Combat application: Fake injury, sickness, stupidity etc.

    28. Let them climb the roof, then take away the ladder. Korean: Sang ok ch'u je
    上屋抽梯 - Take away the ladder when the enemy is in the second floor

    (Remove the ladder after the ascent) You maneuver enemies into a point of no return by baiting them with what look like advantages and opportunities.

    Combat application: Like Bruce Lee's character in he movie Enter the Dragon when he asked his challenger to take the small rowboat to the small island to fight. When the challenger got on the boat he set it adrift. A modern application would be to let them through the door first and then lock it behind them.

    29. Make flowers bloom on a tree. Korean: Su sang kae hwa
    樹上開花 - False flowers on a tree

    You dazzle and deceive the eyes of opponents by showy displays. (use decoys)

    Combat application: Fake and feint or shatter their confidence with a demonstration of skill. I remember an older master discouraging a gang once by picking up a cobblestone from the street and breaking it in half.

    30. Turn the guest into the host. Korean: Ban gaeg wi ju
    反客為主 - Make the guest to the host

    This is when a business is taken over by one of its own clients or consultants.

    Combat application: Use your attackers energy against them, when pushed-pull, when pulled-push.


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  9. Bhadra

    Bhadra Defence Professionals Defence Professionals Senior Member

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    The 36 Stratagems-- 三十六計

    Stratagems for desperate situations
    敗戰計-패전계
    (Pae jeon gye)

    제31계 미인계(美人計) :Mi in gye
    제32계 공성계(空城計) :Kong seong gye
    제33계 반간계(反間計) :Ban gan gye
    제34계 고육계(苦肉計) :Ko yuk gye
    제35계 연환계(連環計) :Yeon hwan gye
    제36계 주위상계(走爲上計) :Ju wi sang gye

    31 Scheme with beauties (Beauty Trap) Korean: Mi in gye
    美人計 - Scheme with beauties

    This refers to using the charms of women to influence key figures in an adversary organization. The stratagem of (making use of) a beautiful woman (as decoy)

    Combat application: Use something attractive to the attacker, an opening, money, reward etc. A modern application could be dropping your wallet 'accidentally' as their eyes follow it attack.

    32 Scheme with an empty castle (Empty castle ploy) Korean: Kong seong gye
    空城計 The stratagem of (open gates and) an emptied city (with soldiers waiting in ambush)

    You appear weaker than you really are, so that opponents may defeat themselves by one of three reactions to your supposed weakness: they may become conceited and complacent, leading to their downfall; they may become arrogant and aggressive, leading to their destruction; or they may assume you are setting up an ambush, leading them to flee of their own accord.

    Combat application: When weak appear strong, when strong appear weak. Don't let the attacker know your state, lure him by pretending to be weak, discourage him by appearing strong.

    33. Scheme with double agents. (Sow discord in the enemy’s camp) Korean: Ban gan gye
    反間計 The stratagem of sowing the seeds of discord (among the enemies)

    You compromise insiders of other organizations to get them to work for you.

    Combat application: In a multiple attack situation, attack in a fast, aggressive and unpredictable manner, to confuse the group.

    34. Scheme with self-inflicted wounds. Korean: Ko yuk gye
    苦肉計 The stratagem of self-mutilation (in order to lure out the enemy)

    (Inflict minor injury on oneself to gain the enemy’s trust) This a technique particularly for undercover agents: you make yourself look like a victim of your own people, in order to win the sympathy and confidence of enemies.

    Combat application: Pretend to be injured or sick then attack.

    35. Scheme in continuous circles (Interlocking stratagems) Korean: Yeon hwan gye
    連環計 The stratagem of combining rings (of various stratagems)

    When facing a more powerful enemy, you don't oppose by force, and don't concentrate all your resources on only one avenue of strategy; you keep different plans operating simultaneously in an overall scheme.

    Combat application: Keep your awareness active, use what becomes available to you. Tip over furniture, throw objects etc.

    36. Know when It is best to run (When retreat is the best option) Korean: Ju wi sang gye
    走為上計 The best stratagem is to run away

    When overwhelmed, you don't fight; you surrender, compromise, or flee. Surrender is complete defeat, compromise is half defeat, flight is not defeat. As long as you are not defeated, you have another chance to win.

    Combat application: Run!



    * Special thanks to Ondrej Slechta for lending his linguistic skills and checking this translation
     
  10. Bhadra

    Bhadra Defence Professionals Defence Professionals Senior Member

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    Members are requested to relate each stratagem and give examples..
     
  11. amoy

    amoy Senior Member Senior Member

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    Why a Korean source?

    India selling Brahmos to Vietnam and acquiring Cam Ranh Bay as its pacific naval base. India participating in Japan-US military maneouveur.
    India crying foul of Chinese incursion to Indian territory. However that part of Aksai Chin is a disputed area around different perception of LAC
     
  12. amoy

    amoy Senior Member Senior Member

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    India invaded E. Pakistan and created a B'desh by dismantling Pakistan
     
  13. amoy

    amoy Senior Member Senior Member

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    Indian annexation of Sikkim by using the 5th column through a "referendum"
     
  14. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    You must know the genesis of the issue.

    It started from the 50s.
     
  15. Bhadra

    Bhadra Defence Professionals Defence Professionals Senior Member

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    @amoy

    some of your illustrations imho are very aweful and irrelevant
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 10, 2015
  16. Vishwarupa

    Vishwarupa Senior Member Senior Member

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    Do you have madrasas running in China as well. India did not invade Bangladesh instead India helped Bangladesh to liberate itself for pakistanis.

    Also India is not china to claim their neighbor lands.
     
    sorcerer likes this.
  17. Bhadra

    Bhadra Defence Professionals Defence Professionals Senior Member

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    No the correct example would be Tibetans in India which would fructify one day ... then Xinjiang...
     
  18. Bhadra

    Bhadra Defence Professionals Defence Professionals Senior Member

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    No China plunging into fire in Korea and Kampuchea and Vietnam not achieving any thing anywhere !
     
  19. Bhadra

    Bhadra Defence Professionals Defence Professionals Senior Member

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    Cultural revolution of China and Chinese attacking India after the great femines in China at such a miserable time..
     
  20. amoy

    amoy Senior Member Senior Member

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    I had a pretty good perusal of all the 36 when reading comic books.:p

    But of course now need to give new and practical interpretations to the age-old paradigms.

    Now India is going gaga over having boots on Afghanistan, right? Let them in let them invest in the gateway C port of Iran.

    Then when they're on the roof, let Iran take off the ladder - cut off the corridor, terminate any logistical supply. Then Bang! Indians there would regret their stepping into the burial ground for empires.


    When India starts aggressions against Pakistan on the west front, China will launch assaults from the east to sever Siliguri chokepoint.

    Classical, isn't it! Wisdom of 5 milleniums
     
  21. Bhadra

    Bhadra Defence Professionals Defence Professionals Senior Member

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    @amoy

    Illusions and dreams...

    India in Afghanistan is not at the mercy of Iran. There are other countries known as CAR and there are other routes to Afghanistan.... It is China who is depending too much on Pakistan but USA can pull that rug under the feet of China any day.

    Iran will remove the ladder at her own expense so that KSA becomes so influential there in Afghanistan to be a threat to Iran itself. Why should they help Sunni Pakistan where Shia are slaughtered by hundreds every day.

    Either you are a simpleton or a fool or just trolling.

    Collusive military operations do not work thousand of miles away - Pakistan in West and China in silliguri corridor... Ha Ha Ha ... During all hitherto operations India has always catered for the threat in East for Chinese to twiddle their thumbs. By attacking India during any Pakistani war, China will be openly inviting Tibetans and Indians to free Tibet of PLA clutches.

    The stratagem does not mean that.

    What it means is that India will surround Tibet to save Xinjiang by choking your communications to Xijiang...

    India surrounded Sikkim to save Bhutan... India has surrounded NE to save Myanmar ... Etc

    You are a fool...

    China can not surround a country like India nor India can surround China. These are too big to be surrounded and these are not your old stupid Xi kingdoms.. of past China

    The game of Go is difficult to play with big players... big means big even if poor.. because in the game of Go both the players have equal numbers of pieces and equal freedom of movement.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 10, 2015

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