This story is set during China’s Warring States Period (475 ~221 BC), a time when seven states are pitting their military might in a protracted contest for political hegemony.
Of these states, Qin is the strongest, while Zhao is relatively small and weak.
The King of the State of Qin learns that the State of Zhao possesses a priceless piece of jade known as the “He Family Tablet，” and be-comes determined to acquire it.
He sends a messenger to Zhao, saying that he is willing to offer fifteen exchange for this treasure.
The King of Zhao，well aware of the King of Qin's reputation for craftiness, fears that he will renege on the bargain once the tablet is in his possession.
He dispatches Lin Xiangru, a counselor of humble background, to take the treasure to Qin and uphold the dignity of Zhao.
The King of Qin is ecstatic when he lays eyes on the snow-white, glittering jade tablet.
He clasps it possessively to his breast, but refuses to broach the subject of the fifteen cities he has promised in exchange.
Lin Xiangru manages to retrieve the treasure from the King’s grasp by pointing out a pretended flaw in the jade.
Once he has the tablet in his hands, he sternly proclaims that the King of Qin's word is meaningless, and that he, Lin Xiangru, will smash the treasure and defy the King, even if it means his own death.
Unable to justify himself, the King has no choice but to allow Lin Xiangru to depart, and the “He Family Tablet” is returned to the State of Zhao intact and unharmed.