« All articles from this issue

The Rhetorical Shape of International Conflicts, Vol. 12 - 2005, No. 4

“To Kill the Horse to Reach the Horseman”: China’s Rhetoric of Obliquity

, pages: 27-38

Chinese high tradition of theory concerning military strategy stresses the importance of avoiding direct, frontal attack. “Obliquity” represents the ways and means to deprive one’s opponent of the possibility, even the thought, of confrontation. While it is a process unknown to Ancient Greek, hence Western, military tradition it also explains how Western rhetoric of confrontation of viewpoints and frontal debate is foreign to the Chinese practice of persuasion. Transposed to international relations, obliquity poses a serious challenge as it pitches a philosophy and a practice of persuasive manoeuvring against modes of rhetorical deliberation Western-framed diplomacy deems natural and obvious and, possibly, the only valid ones.

pdf icon Full text PDF | quote icon Export Reference | permalink icon

« All articles from this issue