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Empty Fort Strategy and Trade War.

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  • Empty Fort Strategy and Trade War.

    One of favorite strategies used by the Chinese for millenniums is the empty fort strategy. It is a game of bluff.

    In modern day term, GDP figures, the billion consumer market, trillion dollar reserves replace the fort in the bluff game.

    The Empty Fort Strategy is the 32nd of the Chinese Thirty-Six Stratagems. The strategy involves using reverse psychology (and luck) to deceive the enemy into thinking that an empty fort is full of traps and ambushes, and therefore retreat. This tactic is best known for being used by the Three Kingdoms period strategist Zhuge Liang in a fictitious account in Luo Guanzhong's historical novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms.

    The historical novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms by Luo Guanzhong is a romanticization of the events in the prelude, and during the Three Kingdoms era of Chinese history. In the novel, chancellor Zhuge Liang of the state of Shu led six military expeditions to attack Chang'an, a city controlled by the rival state of Wei.

    In the first expedition, Zhuge Liang's efforts were undermined by the loss of Jieting, a strategic passageway into Zhuge's base at Hanzhong. The defeat was due to the defiance of Ma Su, who had refused to follow Zhuge Liang's orders to barricade the pathway. With the loss of Jieting, Zhuge Liang's current location, Xicheng (??), was exposed and in peril of being attacked by the Wei army. As Zhuge Liang had deployed all his troops and was only left with a handful of civil officials with him in Xicheng, he decided to use a ploy to ward off the approaching enemy.