【bǎi wén bù rú yí jiàn】
During the reign of Emperor Xuandi of the Han Dynasty, the Qiang tribesmen in northwest China are discontented with the imperial court and put up a riot in the border region. Emperor Xuandi holds a meeting with his ministers to discuss countermeasures.
“ My beloved ministers,” said the king, “ how do you think we should deal with the situation?”
One said, “ Your Majesty, the Qiang tribesmen have the audacity to despise the imperial court. You should dispatch troops to suppress them!”
“ Yes! Your Majesty, send troops now.”
At this piont, Senior general Zhao Chongguo stands out and says, “ I’m willing to go to the border region to handle this matter.”
“ Good. How many troops do you need to take with you?”
“ Your Majesty, we’re not in a hurry to send troops there. Seeing is believing. It is difficult for us back here to assess the enemy’s military strength. We can hardly know the current situation with the Qiang tribesmen. You’d better let me go there to find out the situation there before we formulate our countermeasures.”
Zhoa Chongguo arrives in the border region and carries out the investigations seriously. He finds out that not all the Qiang tribesmen are opposed to the imperial court. Therefore he adopts the tactic of splitting up and disintegrating the enemy. Stability eventually returns to the region.