远交近攻

 
yuǎn jiāo jìn gōng (yuan jiao jin gong)
befriend a distant enemy to attack a nearby one

It is known that nations that border each other become enemies while nations separated by distance and obstacles make better allies. When you are the strongest in one field, your greatest threat is from the second strongest in your field, not the strongest from another field.

Han Dynasty China

In 110 AD the province of Honan had suffered through droughts and floods, the harvests were poor and the people starving. The corrupt government only made matters worse and soon the whole province was in chaos. The numerous bands of bandits and robbers that roamed the countryside pillaging and terrorizing the population thwarted any hope of bringing in outside relief. A provincial official by the name of Yu-Hu was appointed full powers to try to restore some order to the province. When he arrived at the district capital he issued a notice that he was going to organized a military force and that he was looking for recruits. First he promised a pardon for past crimes and immunity for anyone who joined up. Then he announced that he was looking for men for three classes of troops. The first class of troops were to consist of men who had committed robbery and murder. They would be the commanders and receive the highest salaries. The second class would consist of men who had committed mere thievery. They would receive the next highest salaries. The third class would consist of men who had joined the robber bands simply because they were lazy and wished to avoid real labor. They would be paid the lowest salaries. Within a couple of weeks Yu-Hu had over three hundred new recruits. When they had been issued uniforms and weapons he had them paraded before him and addressed them as follows: "Your past deeds are now forgiven and you are free from prosecution. But you must still atone for the crimes you have committed against society. To do this you must now go out and hunt down all your past colleagues who have not answered my call." This they did and within a year the fraternity of bandits was extinct and the countryside made safe.

Warring States

During the Warring States period, Zhao Xiang was the king of Qin. His prime minister Duke Rang wanted to boost his stature and suggested to the king that they attack the distant state of Qi to expand their influence.

When Fan Sui heard about this, he quickly remonstrated with the king, "For a large and powerful state like ours to conquer the territories of dukes and princes is as easy a task as using the famed black hounds of Han to catch rabbits. But Qin has been inward-looking and without major accomplishments for 15 years. This is partly due to the incompetance off Duke Rang and your majesty's oversight."

When asked what his oversight was, Fan Sui told the emperor, "To attack the distant Qi instead of the nearby Han and Wei is an error. We should befriend distant states and attack nearby ones so that whatever territory seized is immediately incorprated into our state. Han and Wei are both central states and located in pivotal positions. Your majesty's conquest over them would intimidate Chu and Zhao. Once Chu and Zhao lose their protective screen, they'll have to submit to us. Then what can Qi on its own do against us?"

The king was pleased and in the year 266 BC, Fan Sui was made the prime minister. Qin acted according to his plan and made peace with the distant Qi and Chu while attacking Han.

Within 10 years, Qin swallowed Han, followed by Zhao, Wei, Chu Yan and finally Qi. China was unified for the first time in its history under the Qin banner.

Meaning: 联络距离远的国家,进攻邻近的国家。这时战国时秦国采取的一种外资策略。后也指待人处世的一种手段。

Context: 《战国策·秦策三》:“王不如远交而近攻,得寸则王之寸,得尺亦王之尺也。”

Example: 莫若以纳辽之币归之于金,坐复燕云故土,正合~之计。 ◎清·陈忱《水浒后传》第七回

Grammar: 联合式;作主语、定语、宾语;用于战争等

形禁势格①,利从近取,害以远隔②。上火下泽③。

【注释】

①形禁势格:禁,禁止。格,阻碍。句意为受到地势的限制和阻碍。

②利从近取,害以远隔:句意为,先攻取就近的敌人有利,越过近敌先去攻取远隔之敌是有害的。

③上火下泽:语出《易经.睽》卦。睽,卦名。本卦为异卦相叠(兑下离上)。上卦为离为火,下卦为兑为泽。上离下泽,是水火相克,水火相克则又可相生,循环无穷。又“睽”,乘违,即矛盾。本卦《象》辞:“上火下泽,睽。”意为上火下泽,两相离违、矛盾。

此计运用“上火下泽”相互离违的道理,说明采取“远交近攻”的不同做法,使敌相互矛盾、离违,而我正好各个击破。

【按语】

混战之局,纵横捭阖之中,各自取利。远不可攻,而可以利相结;近者交之,反使变生肘腑。范睢之谋,为地理之定则,其理甚明。

【解析】

远交近攻的谋略,不只是军事上的谋略,它实际上更多指总司令部甚至国家最高领导者采取的政治战略。大棒和橄揽枝,相互配合运用,不使乱与自己的近邻结盟。对邻国则挥舞大捧,把它消灭。如果和邻国结交,恐怕变乱会在近处发生。其实,从长远看,所谓远交,也决不可能是长期和好。消灭近邻之后,远交之国也就成了近邻,新一轮的征伐也是不可避免的。

【探源】

远交近攻,语出《战国策.秦策》:范睢曰:“王不如远交而近攻,得寸,则王之寸;得尺,亦王之尺也。”这是范睢说服秦王的一句名言。远交近攻,是分化瓦解敌方联盟,各个击破,结交远离自己的国家而先攻打邻国的战略性谋略。当实现军事目标的企图受到地理条件的限制难以达到时,应先攻取就近的敌人,而不能越过近敌去打远离自己的敌人。为了防止敌方结盟,要千方百计去分化敌人,各个击破。消灭了近敌之后,“远交”的国家又成为新的攻击对象了。“远交”的目的,实际上是为了避免树敌过多而采用的外交诱骗。

战国末期,七雄争霸。秦国经商鞅变法之后,势力发展最快。秦昭王开始图谋吞并六国,独霸中原。公元前270年,秦昭王准备兴兵伐齐。范睢此时向秦昭王献上 “远交近攻”之策,阻秦国攻齐。他说:齐国势力强大,离秦国又很远,攻打齐国,部队要经过韩、魏两国。军队派少了,难以取胜;多派军队,打胜了也无法占有齐国土地。不如先攻打邻国韩、魏,逐步推进。为了防止齐国与韩、魏结盟,秦昭王派使者主动与齐国结盟。其后四十余年,秦始皇继续坚持“远交近攻”之策,远交齐楚,首先攻下郭、魏,然后又从两翼进兵,攻破赵、燕,统一北方;攻破楚国,平定南方;最后把齐国也收拾了。秦始皇征战十年.终于实现了统一中国的愿望。

【故事】

春秋初期,周天子的地位实际上已经架空,群雄并起,逐鹿中原。郑庄公在此混乱局势下,巧妙地运用“远交近攻”的策略,敢得了当时称霸的地位。当时,郑国近邻的宋国、卫国与郑国积怨很深,矛盾十分尖锐,郑国时刻都有被两国夹击的危险。郑国在外交上采取主动,接连与邾、鲁等国结盟,不久又与实力强大的齐国在石门签订盟约。

公元前719年,宋卫联合陈、蔡两国共同攻打郑国,鲁国也派兵助战,将郑国东门围困了五天五夜。虽未攻下,郑国已感到本国与鲁国的关系还存在问题,便千方百计想与鲁国重新修好,共同对付宋、卫。

公元前717年,郑国以帮邾国雪耻为名,攻打宋国。同时,向鲁国积极发动外交功势,主动派使臣到鲁国,商议把郑国在鲁国境内的访枋交归鲁国。果然,鲁国与郑重修旧谊。齐国当时出面调停郑国和宋国的关系,郑庄公表示尊重齐国的意见,暂时与宋国修好。齐国因此也对郑国加深了感情。

公元前714年,郑庄公以宋国不朝拜周天子为由,代周天子发令攻打宋国。郑、齐、鲁三国大军很快地攻占了宋国大片土地.宋、卫军队避开联军锋芒,乘虚攻入郑国。郑庄公把占领宋国的土地全部送与齐、鲁两国,迅速回兵,大败宋、卫大军.郑国乘胜追击,击败宋国,卫国被迫求和。郑庄公势力扩张,霸主地位形成。

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