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China, a History


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Bee Cha
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« Reply #60 on: September 02, 2007, 01:05:12 am »

The Domination of Qin and the resulting Grand Strategies

Towards the end of the Warring States Period, the State of Qin became disproportionately powerful compared to the other six states. As a result, the policies of the six states became overwhelmingly oriented towards dealing with the Qin threat, with two opposing schools of thought: Hezong (合縱/合纵 pinyin: hézòng, "vertically linked"), or alliance with each other to repel Qin expansionism; and Lianheng (連橫/连横 pinyin: liánhéng, "horizontally linked"), or alliance with Qin to participate in its ascendancy. There were some initial successes in Hezong, though it eventually broke down. Qin repeatedly exploited the Lianheng strategy to defeat the states one by one. During this period, many philosophers and tacticians travelled around the states recommending the rulers to put their respective ideas into use. These "lobbyists" were famous for their tact and intellect, and were collectively known as Zonghengjia (縱橫家), taking its name from the two main schools of thought.

In 316 BC, Qin conquered the Shu area.

Around 300 BC, the Qi were almost totally annihilated by a coalition of five states led by Yue Yi of the Yan (The Qin were among those five). Although under General Tian Dan the Qi managed to recover their lost territories, it would never be a great power again. The Yan was also too exhausted afterwards to be of much importance in international affairs after this campaign.

In 293 BC the Battle of Yique against the Wei and Han resulted in victory for the Qin. This effectively removed the Wei and Han threat to further Qin aspirations.

In 278 BC, the Qin attacked the Chu and managed to capture their capital city, Ying, forcing the Chu king to move eastwards to Shouchun. This campaign virtually destroyed the Chu's military might, although they recovered sufficiently to mount serious resistance against the Qin 50 years later.

In 260 BC, the Battle of Changping was fought between the Qin and the Zhao, resulting in a catastrophic defeat for the latter. Although both sides were utterly exhausted after the titanic clash, the Zhao, unlike the Qin, could not recover after the event.

In about 50 years the Qin superiority was secure, thanks to its powerful military and, in part, constant feuding between the other states.

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