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The Development of Strategic Thinking On Frontier Defence in West and East Han Dynasties and Their Characteristics

Huang Jinyan  
This paper argues that the strategic thinking on frontier defence underwent an evolution. In the early period of the Western Han Dynasty, following the teachings of the Yellow Emperor and Lao Tzu, the court adopted the strategic policy of consoling the south and defending the north, taking defence as the main aspect. From the time of Emperor Wu, it carried out the strategy of strinking against the Hu people and exploiting the borderland. In the early period of the Eastern Han Dynasty, following the principle of placation, it implemented the strategic policy of defending the frontier and safeguarding the people, mutual existence and no intrusion. Thus, it abolished the rotation system of garrison service and made adjustments to the borderland force. In the middle and late periods, it practiced the strategic policy of playing off one barbarian state against another, thus making use of a number of the armies of dependencies. At a different historical stage, the strategic thinking on frontier defence differed, the cultural characteristics and effects as well as influences on strategic thinking also varied according to differing situations.s FrontierD
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