Li Weigong Answering the Questions of Emperor Tang Taizong - Chinese Military Tractate
This Tang Dynasty military tractate is shortly called Li Weigong wendui or Tang Li wendui (唐李问对). It is a discussion between the Tang Emperor Taizong (唐太宗) (Li Shimin 李世民) and one of his famous generals, Li Jing (李靖), who is famous for the great conquest of the Western Turks (Tujue 西突厥) for which he was rewarded with the title of Duke of Wei (卫公). This book differs markedly form the earlier military classics, being more of a survey of earlier works, combined with a wideranging discussion and appreciation of their theories and contradictions, as well as discussions about actual military issues.
Emperor Taizong inquired: "Koryo has encroached on Silla several times [two states of old Korea]. I dispatched an emissary to command them to desist, but they have not accepted our edict. I am about to send forth a punitive expedition. How should we proceed?"
Li Jing replied: "According to what we have been able to find out about them, Gai Suwen relies upon his own knowledge in military affairs. He says that the central states (China) lack the capability to mount a punitive expedition and so contravenes your mandate I request an army of thirty thousand men to capture him."
Emperor Taizong said: "Your troops will be few while the place is distant. What strategy will you employ to approach them?"
Li Jing said: "I will use orthodox troops."
Taizong said: "When you pacified the Turks, you employed unorthodox troops. Now you speak about orthodox (conventional) troops. How is that?"
Li Jing said: When Zhuge Liang caputured Meng Hu seven times, it was not through any other way. He employed conventional troops, that’s all…