Chapter 1: Winning Stratagems 胜战计

趁火打劫 chènhuǒdǎjié
Loot a burning house


When a country is beset by internal conflicts, when disease and famine ravage the population, when corruption and crime are rampant, then it will be unable to deal with an outside threat. This is the time to attack.

In the story of Journey to the West (《西游记》 Xī Yóu Jì), Xuan Zang (玄奘 Xuánzànɡ) and his disciples embarked on a pilgrimage to India to obtain Buddhist scriptures. They passed through a temple on the way to their destination. The abbot (方丈 fānɡzhànɡ) hospitably received them. He requested to borrow Xuan Zang's beautiful cassock (袈裟 jiāshā) to get a better look and Xuan Zang agreed. In the dead of night, the abbot bolted the door when Xuan Zang and his disciples fell asleep, and then set the bedroom on fire. Meanwhile, the Monkey King(美猴王 měihóuwánɡ) had stayed awake due to his suspicions of the evil intentions of the abbot. To spoil the abbot's scheme, he transformed himself into a honeybee and lingered outside. The Monkey King blew a strong puff of wind. The enormous fire spread to the entire temple and all of the Buddhist monks joined the task of extinguishing the flames. However, a black bear monster came out unexpectedly. He concealed the cassock under the shield of the fire. Although the Monkey King had severely penalized the black-hearted abbot, he lost the master's cassock once again. With no idea of its current possessor or how to reclaim it, he turned to the Bodhisattva Guanyin (观音菩萨 ɡuānyīn púsà) for assistance. She helped him defeat the black monster and finally acquired the cassock.

Keep gathering internal information about an enemy. If the enemy is currently in its weakest state ever, attack it without mercy and totally destroy it to prevent future troubles.