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Chinese Idiom
唇亡齿寒 (chún wáng chǐ hán)



During the Spring and Autumn Period (chūn qiū 春秋时期,770-476 BC), Duke Xian of the State of Jin Wanted to expand his position of strength and sphere of influence. Therefore he would like to send his troops to destroy the State of Guo on the pretest that the State of Guo often encroached on the borders of the State of Jin. But there was a third state, the State of Yu, between the State of Jin and the State of Guo, and the Jin army had to cross the State of Yu before it could reach the State of Guo. "How can my army cross the State of Yu without a hitch?" Duke Xian of the State of Jin asked his ministers.Xun Xi , one of the ministers, said, "The monarch of the State of Yu is short - sighted and covets small advantages.

打草惊蛇 (dǎ cǎo jīng shé)

beating the grass and flushing out the snake

In ancient times there was a county magistrate who took bribes and practised graft. One day, somebody sent him a petition accusing his secretary of practising graft and taking bribes. The magistrate trembles when he read the petition. He wrote on it:"You have beaten the grass and frightened a snake."
This idiom refers to alerting the target of one's scheme by being incautious.

大公无私 (dà gōng wú sī)

   Da Gong Wu Si
Chi Huang-yang lived during the Spring and Autumn Period (chūn qiū 春秋时期,770- 476 BC0. When the king asked him who he thought would be a suitable magistrate for Nan-yang Country, Chi Huang-yang answered, "Shie Hu would definitely do a very good job." The king was very surprised at this answer, and asked him, "Isn't Shie Hu your enemy? How come you're suggesting that he do the job?"

大义灭亲 (dà yì miè qīn)



During the Spring and Autumn Period (春秋 chūn qiū,770-476 BC), there was many dukedoms under the king of the Eastern Zhou Dynasty (dōng zhōu 东周). These dukedoms often fought one another to expand their territories.

调虎离山 (diào hǔ lí shān)


The tiger is a ferocious animal which lives in the mountains. Only by luring it away from the mountains, can one subdue it.
This idiom is used metaphorically to mean enticing an enemy away from his safe haven in order to put him at a disadvantage.

东窗事发(dōng chuāng shì fā)

During the final years of the Song dynasty (sòng cháo 宋朝), China was invaded by Jin (jīn金) people from the north. General Yue Fei led the army in resistance, and defeated the enemy. Just as he was about to take advantage of his victory and attack the Jin army, he received word that the emperor had ordered him to return. As it turned out, this was actually a plot of Chin Hui, a Sung dynasty official who was conspiring with the enemy. In order to frame Yue Fei, Chin Hui had tricked him into returning early. Chin Hui had thought this plot up together with his wife, under the east window of their house.

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