An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History and Literature

Bingjing leibian 兵鏡類編

Jan 15, 2011 © Ulrich Theobald

Bingjing leibian 兵鏡類編 "Categorized mirror of military matters" is a military treatise written during the late Qing period 清 (1644-1911) by Li Rui 李蕊, courtesy name Kuilou 奎樓. It is 40-juan long and was finished in 1883.

The author collected a vast amount of knowledge on military history from the official dynastic histories and arranged it in 48 chapters, like generals, planning, strategy, selection of troops, training, reconnaissance, defence and attack. A print from the Guangxu reign-period 光緒 (1875-1908) has survived. There are in total 1,471 themes covered. Li Rui critically comments cases in history, but also provides suggestions for modern military administration and strategy. His most important tactic to defend China was the erection of fortifications along the coast and in all important spots along river estuaries, in order to obstruct any penetration by inimical troops. He prefers warfare on land to naval warfare, and if necessary, an enemy has to be lured to land on China's soil, to be defeated there by excellently trained and equipped troops.

Chen Bingcai 陳秉才 (1989). "Bingjing leibian 兵鏡類編", in Zhongguo da baike quanshu 中國大百科全書, part Junshi 軍事 (Beijing/Shanghai: Zhongguo da baike quanshu chubanshe), Vol. 1, 49.
Wu Feng 吳楓, ed. (1987). Jianming Zhongguo guji cidian 簡明中國古籍辭典 (Changchun: Jilin wenshi chubanshe), 422.