Tao Te Ching 61

A powerful country is like a river flowing into the ocean, combining its many tributaries –
   where Mother Nature nurtures a flood plain eco-system.

The feminine overcomes the masculine by calmness –
   using the 'weaker' position to outlast opponents.

Thus if a large nation is weaker than a smaller nation,
   the latter will allow itself to be absorbed;
and if a smaller nation is weak it willingly merges with a larger.
   Therefore to be weaker is not necessarily to be a loser.

A powerful country needs to unify and protect its citizens.
A weaker country needs its citizens to identify with and serve it.
   If both achieve this, it is appropriate for the dominant nation to act magnanimously.

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