Return the Jade Intact to Zhao-完璧归赵


In 283 BC, King Zhaoxiang of Qin dispatched an envoy to deliver a letter to King Huai of Zhao. In the letter, King Zhaoxiang proposed exchanging fifteen cities for the He Shi Bi possessed by King Huai, expressing his hope for King Huai’s agreement.

Upon reading the letter, King Huai found himself in a dilemma. He feared that giving the He Shi Bi to King Zhaoxiang might result in not receiving the cities in return, while refusing might provoke Qin to attack Zhao. Seeking advice, King Huai consulted with a group of ministers. At this point, a eunuch recommended his retainer, Lin Xiangru, to King Huai. Some officials expressed doubts about entrusting such a significant task to a mere retainer. King Huai inquired about Lin Xiangru’s capabilities, and the eunuch recounted a previous incident where Lin Xiangru had offered wise counsel.

Impressed by the eunuch’s account, King Huai promptly summoned Lin Xiangru. Seeking a solution, King Huai asked for Lin Xiangru’s advice. Lin Xiangru suggested that, given Qin’s strength and Zhao’s weakness, they had no choice but to agree to Qin’s demands. However, he cautioned that if Qin did not honor the agreement, the moral fault would lie with Qin. Reluctantly, King Huai agreed to send Lin Xiangru as an envoy to Qin.

Upon meeting with King Zhaoxiang, Lin Xiangru presented the He Shi Bi. Although King Zhaoxiang was delighted, he showed no intention of fulfilling his promise to exchange cities for the He Shi Bi. In response, Lin Xiangru pointed out a flaw in the jade and threatened to dash it against a pillar unless King Zhaoxiang agreed to honor their agreement. Fearing the loss of the valuable artifact, King Zhaoxiang relented and promised to exchange the cities as agreed.

Afterward, Lin Xiangru returned to Zhao and reported the success of his mission. Impressed by his diplomatic skills, King Huai appointed him as a senior official and entrusted him with diplomatic missions. Following this incident, Qin ceased its demands for the He Shi Bi from Zhao.

Upon returning home, Lin Xiangru was recognized for his talents by King Huai, who appointed him as a high-ranking official and tasked him with diplomatic missions to other countries. From then on, Qin never again sought the He Shi Bi from Zhao.