Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Tao Urges Non-reaction to North Korean Provocation

This article was originally published by Technorati on 25 May 2010 as a Simply Spirited feature. To see all my Technorati articles, click Lifestyle in the Contents listing on the sidebar.

Tensions are mounting along the DMZ between North and South Korea now that the latter has determined that a North Korean submarine took out one of its warships with a torpedo.

This is an act of war, without question. But no act could be more ripe for non-reaction than this one.

One has to wonder, why would North Korea risk such a blatant provocation? Is it, perhaps, that the regime in Pyongyang feels vulnerable and has concluded that all out war is the only way to sustain itself? (If I may go on record here, I predict that this is in fact the case.)

From the South Korean perspective, what's done is done. More bloodshed won't bring back their lost sailors. They have only to do nothing but hold their ground to determine North Koreas true agenda.

Only China's leadership seems to understand this. Chinese State Counselor Dai Bingguo urged both sides to "calmly and properly handle the issue and avoid escalation of tension."

"The generals have a saying," writes Lao-tzu in the Tao te Ching, "Rather than make the first move, it is better to wait and see. Rather than advance an inch it is better to retreat a yard."

This is precisely the situation for application of this ancient Chinese wisdom.

Later in the same passage, Lao-tzu writes: "When two great forces opposed each other, the victory will go to the one that knows how to yield."

Here's hoping South Korean leadership have read the Tao te Ching.

Photo credit: Global Military

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