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The Nine Methods

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Chapter Summary

Military theorists have long been interested in China's rich tradition of writings on warfare and strategy, but scholarship in the early history of the field remains patchy. The conflict between the ancient kingdoms of Wu and Yue was extremely important in terms of the development of texts about strategy and warfare in Chinese military history. This chapter of the Yuejue shu is concerned with strategic planning, and focuses on the policies instituted by King Goujian of Yue with a view to corrupting the kingdom of Wu prior to any military attack. It describes nine ways for a state to first undermine its enemy and then conquer it militarily. The aims of the nine strategies recounted in the chapter, were twofold; seven are concerned with destabilising the enemy prior to the attack, and two with military preparations for the attacking nation.

Keywords: Chinese military; Goujian; Wu; Yue; Yuejue shu



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