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The Thirty-six Chinese Strategies or Stratagems are a collection of tactics that can be applied to very different situations. In China, the tactics are somewhat like proverbs or folklore. They have been described as “gems that speak to the cores of Chinese society.”Chinese children learn them just like Americans learn nursery rhymes. They are taught in school, found in literature, popular folk opera, and sometimes even in television programs. It is said that these strategies have become part of the “collective unconscious” of most Chinese people. The strategies are derived from military tactics applied during the Warring States Period (403-221 B.C.) or during the Three Kingdom Period (220-265 B.C.). Just about anyone who has “grown up Chinese” (meaning that they have grown up in a Chinese home that respects and teaches Chinese traditions) know these Thirty-six Strategies. The author (or authors) of the strategies are unknown.
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