玩火自焚 (wán huǒ zì fén)
During the Spring and Autumn Period (春秋 chūn qiū,770-476 BC), Zhou Xu (zhōu xū 州吁), the prince of the State of Wei (wèi guó 卫国) murdered his brother cruelly, himself then became the new emperor. However, his citizens were far from content with the new king since Zhou Xu was a tyrant, who relentlessly oppressed his people. Moreover, the ambitious and notorious ruler launched endless wars with other states, trying to divert the people’s attention and reduce their dissatisfaction with him so as to consolidate his dictatorship. The Duke of the State of Lu (lǔ guó鲁国) learnt about Zhou Xu’s usurpation of state power and his great desire to expand, he asked a senior official, “What do you think about Zhou Xu’s move? “The official answered, “He is dedicated to initiate wars and fights , bringing his people to the sea of disaster and misery. He won’t get their support. And he’s capricious, so few of his close friends follow him. He can never achieve his success. In addition, war is like fire. If one launches wars endlessly without restraint, he’ll eventually burn himself. ” Sure enough, before long, the people of Wei with the help of the State of Chen (chén guó 陈国) overthrew Zhou Xu and killed him in less than a year. Later, people use it to mean that those who do evil will finally ruin themselves.