Chapter 1: Winning Stratagems 胜战计

借刀杀人 (jièdāoshārén)
Kill with a borrowed knife


When you do not have the means to attack your enemy directly, then attack using the strength of another. Trick an ally into attacking him, bribe an official to turn traitor, or use the enemy's own strength against him.

During the Spring and Autumn Period, there were three fearless warriors (勇士 yǒnɡshì) in Qi by the name of Gongsun Jie, Tian Kaijiang and Gu Yezi. They were very arrogant because of the accomplishments on the battlefield and even showed disrespect towards the king of Qi, Jing Gong. So when Jing Gong planed to remove them to avoid any future troubles, the prime minister, Yan Ying (晏婴 Yàn Yīnɡ) suggested killing the three warriors with two peaches. Two peaches were to be awarded to the two of them who deserved it the most. Gongsun Jie and Tian Kaijiang thought they were deserved and took one peach each, while Gu Yezi angrily pulled his sword and challenged the other two to a duel (决斗 juédòu). At last Gongsun Jie and Tian Kaijing felt ashamed of arguing fiercely just for two peaches and then committed suicide with their swords. Having watched this, Gu Yezi killed himself the same way. Thus Yan Ying was able to remove three potential threats to the country of Qi without lifting a finger.

The idea here is to cause damage to the enemy by getting a 3rd party to do the deed.