Tao Te Ching Chapter 61

A big country (should be like) the delta low-regions,

Being the concourse of the world,

(And) the Female of the world.

The Female overcomes the Male by quietude,

And achieves the lowly position by quietude.

 

Therefore if a big country places itself below a small country

It absorbs the small country.

(And) if a small country places itself below a big country,

It absorbs the big country.

Therefore some place themselves low to absorb (others),

Some are (naturally) low and absorb (others).

What a big country wants is but to shelter others,

And what a small country wants is but to be able to come in and be sheltered.

Thus (considering) that both may have what they want,

A big country ought to place itself low.

Tao Te Ching