05.趁火打劫 – 三十六計
Strategy 5 : Loot a Burning House
In the Spring and Autumn Period, the countries of Wu and Yue were at war with each other for years. In the beginning, it was Gou Jian, the king of Yue, who was defeated by Fu Chai, the king of Wu. So Gou Jian had to bow to Fu Chai and offer himself as Fu Chai’s loyal vassal. But Gou Jian was not defeated in spirit. Everyday, Gou Jian tasted the gall bladder to remind himself of the bitter taste of defeat and to reaffirm his desire for revenge. Secretly, he was recruiting and rearming his military again. After 20 years, Gou Jian was finally ready for war again. By this time, Wu was governed by corrupt officials, and its king Fu Chai had grown arrogant and inept. Fu Chai even executed Wu Zih Syu, one of his most loyal officials, because he had suggested that Gou Jian be executed in case Gou Jian seeks to revolt in the future. In addition, Wu was plagued by a severe draught. Crops died and the rivers dried out.
But even in this time of crisis, Fu Chai refused to come to his senses. He was arrogant enough to believe that he should be the leader of all the countries. So he led his army to the Central Plains of China to meet the other kings. As a result, Wu was left with a minimal army to defend itself, while its people were living in hardship. In sum, Wu was in chaos and extremely vulnerable.
Gou Jian saw this as a golden opportunity. So he launched his attack at Wu and destroyed it, avenging his defeat 20 years ago and restoring the country of Yue.
Strategy 5: Loot a Burning House
When the enemy is in hardship or in crisis, we must seize the opportunity and exploit the situation to our advantage by attacking him when he is at his weakest.
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