Can we gain a better understanding of Chinese political leadership by using the Chinese stratagems?

We can gain insights into Chinese political leadership by understanding the Chinese stratagems, also known as the 36 Stratagems. These are a set of proverbial phrases that are often used to describe strategies used in politics, war, and civil interaction.

While they do not map directly onto modern political actions, their principles can often be seen underlying the strategies and tactics used. Understanding these stratagems can thus offer insights into the thinking patterns, strategic planning, and decision-making process of Chinese political leaders.

However, it’s important to note that these stratagems are historical and cultural concepts that may not fully represent the complexities of contemporary Chinese political leadership, which is influenced by a range of factors including global politics, economic considerations, and domestic issues.


  • Chinese Stratagems vs. Strategy
  • How Many People in China Research the Stratagems?
  • Why Does Hei Sing Tso Research the Stratagems?
  • The 36 Stratagems in the Present Context
  • How to Interpret the 36 Stratagems
  • Six Categories of the 36 Stratagems
  • How Do Chinese People Learn About the Stratagems?
  • The Stratagems and Chinese Foreign Policy
  • Notable Publications About the Stratagems and Chinese Foreign Policy
  • How to Research and Understand Chinese Political Leadership
  • Most Common Misunderstandings About China in the West
  • Key Challenges for Chinese Leadership

Hei Sing Tso

Mr Sing Tso is an independent scholar who studied law at the City University of Hong Kong and University of Edinburgh. He was also awarded Master of Arts degree in theology at the University of Chester.

Hei Sing Tso’s research focuses on Traditional Chinese Stratagems. Apart from being a practicing lawyer, he is the President of Guiguzi Stratagem Learning, a training firm specialising in teaching Chinese Stratagems to government and business entities.

Sing Tso’s publication:
I Ching and 36 Tricks: Your Personal Wisdom Manual

Interesting works mentioned during the interview:
Thirty-Six Stratagems

Unrestricted Warfare: China’s Master Plan to Destroy America

Han Feizi: Basic Writings (Translations from the Asian Classics)

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