The founder of the Qin Empire’s foreign policy: Fan Sui and his close contacts

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In 268 BC, a man fled from the state of Qi to the state of Qin. His arrival had an important impact on the fate of the state of Qin and even changed the course of Chinese history. This man was fan Sui who put forward the strategy of “communicating from afar and attacking from close quarters” to King Zhao of Qin. Fansui (? – 255 B.C.), who was originally a member of the state of Wei, lobbied the princes to serve the king of Wei. However, due to his poor family, he entered the dynasty through Xu Jia, a doctor in the middle of Wei, and accompanied Xu Jia to the state of Qi. The king of Qi Xiang appreciated his eloquence and gave him a lot of property. Xu Jia therefore suspected that he had disclosed information about the state of Wei. After returning, he told Wei Xiang and Wei Qi that fan Ju had been sent to prison for punishment. Later, he escaped to the state of Qin by pretending to be dead. When fan Sui entered the Qin Dynasty, the Warring States heroes had been fighting for more than 200 years. Qi, Chu, Han, Wei, Yan, Zhao and other countries suffered great losses in the war and their national power declined. Since Shang Yang’s reform and seizing the victory of the West River, the state of Qin has been cooperating with the military through diplomacy according to the changes in the world situation and the relations of various countries, carrying out the military operations of moving eastward and southward alternately, and seizing Ba and Shu. It is becoming increasingly clear that the state of Qin will assume the historical responsibility of unifying the country and ending the separatist regime. The goal of the war has evolved from dominating the princes to unifying the world. Under such historical conditions, fan Sui timely presented his strategy of “distant communication and close attack” to King Zhao of Qin. Fan Sui first analyzed the situation facing the Qin state to King Zhao of Qin. He said that there were fortresses to defend around the state of Qin, Ganquan and gukou in the north, Jingshui and Weishui in the south, Longxi, Ba and Shu in the right, Hangu pass and Gushan in the left. There were millions of troops who were good at fighting and thousands of chariots. The domestic people were afraid of internal strife, but they were brave to fight for the country. When the situation was favorable, they could go out of the pass and levy, and when the situation was unfavorable, they could defend the pass and resist the enemy. Qin relied on its unique geographical advantages, people and powerful army to control other countries, just like a fierce hound to capture a lame rabbit. The great cause of dominating the world can easily succeed. However, the state of Qin still lives in the western corner, and its hegemony has not been completed. Why? Fansui believed that the fundamental reason lies in the strategic mistakes of the state of Qin. Fan Sui boldly pointed out that it was a great blunder for Marquis Pei (Wei Ran), the Prime Minister of Qin, to send troops to attack the state of Qi over the Han and Wei dynasties. Sending fewer troops is not enough to cause losses to the state of Qi. Sending more troops is detrimental to the state of Qin. The state of Qin intended to send as few of its own troops as possible, and let the armies of Korea and Wei fight to the death against the state of Qi. In fact, this is to make Korea and Wei sacrifice their troops, which is unreasonable. Now, if we find that the allies are not friendly to us, we cannot go beyond their countries to attack other countries. Therefore, fan Sui put forward the strategy of “making friends from afar and attacking at close quarters” to King Zhao of Qin, that is, if the country is far away from Qin, it should make friends with it, and if the country is near Qin, it should concentrate on attacking it. In this way, “an inch is the king’s inch, and a ruler is the king’s ruler”. Fan Sui further pointed out the concrete steps for implementing the strategy of making close contacts from afar. He suggested that they should first kiss the Han and Wei to subdue Chu and Zhao, thus forcing the state of Qi to kiss the Qin, and then turn around and destroy the Han and Wei. Fan Sui analyzed that in today’s world, Korea and Wei are the gateway to the world because they live in the Central Plains. If Qin wants to dominate the world, it must have good relations with the countries in the Central Plains, and then it can deal with Chu in the South and Zhao in the north. When Chu became strong, we went to get close to Zhao; When zhaoguoqiang grew up, we went to get close to the state of Chu. Both Chu and Zhao were attached to Qin. The distant state of Qi would be afraid of Qin and would send envoys with valuable gifts to curry favor with Qin. Once the state of Qi has also yielded, we can take the opportunity to subdue the two countries of Han and Wei. King Zhao of Qin believed in fan Sui’s words, worshipped him as the guest Qing, and planned to use troops to attack the war together. Fan Sui’s strategy of distant communication and close attack pointed out the direction and steps for the Qin state to encroach on the six states and break them down one by one. Just as Wu Shidao, a native of the Yuan Dynasty, said in the notes on the policies of the Warring States: “the Qin soldiers used this technique to break down the princes and unite the world.” Since then, it has become one of the important strategic strategies for political forces to carry out multi polar struggle in our history. In the age of cold weapons, the interests between countries were mainly reflected in the possession of population and land, and the resulting contradictions often occurred between neighboring countries. In addition, at that time, countries did not have long-range weapons of destruction and long-range means of transport. Even the strong could hardly “cross the country to attack far away”, but could only nibble at it gradually and expand gradually. Since modern times, the development of military technology and the improvement of troops’ projection ability and long-range strike ability have made it possible to attack from a long distance. As a geopolitical strategy, the status of “distant communication and close attack” is far less important than that in ancient times, but it is still a factor that countries must consider when formulating national strategies. It should be pointed out that since the founding of new China, it has completely abandoned the traditional thinking of “making friends from afar and attacking at close quarters”, pursued a peaceful foreign policy of good neighborliness and friendship, and coexisted peacefully with all peace loving countries. But when the enemy invades me, whether from a distance or near, I should be prepared to resolutely counterattack.

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