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要用两条腿走路

I think this saying comes from 周恩来 or is it older? I presume it means 'do 2 things at the same time'. I just think, it's hard to walk anywhere on 1 leg! Maybe it had a deeper meaning in the time of the 大跃进?

Edit: More context: the subject is 剪纸的发展: 我以为可以两条腿走路:一面抓好继承,一面去抓发展。

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  • Depend on the context, it can mean different thing. Can you provide more info?
    – Tang Ho
    Jan 9 '18 at 23:49
  • see bkrs: Russian: walk on both legs,fig. march confidently, firmly/resolutely, go forward, 大陆地区指做事要兼顾两方面的平衡。 1) walk on two legs 2) adopt a two-pronged approach
    – user6065
    Jan 10 '18 at 1:10
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要用两条腿走路

Metaphorically, it means we should be developing with two aspects and only focusing on one could not go very far. This sentence is used when the developing can be identified as two key aspects. And it won't be used if there are many aspects, because one only has two legs. For example, 我们要用两条腿走路,生产和质量都要做好,...

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This metaphor is mostly used in formal contexts such as politics and economics, and the tone of speech is often assertory. Literally it means "to walk with both your legs", and it stresses on "both"(两条) in order to draw the audience's attention to the importance of the equality of both of the aspects. It is a good way to introduce a new aspect, if hasn't been discussed before.
Interestingly enough, when it's in answer to questions like "which one do you think is more important, A or B", it is just a diplomatic way to avoid conflicts.

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要用两条腿走路 uses legs to symbolize developing two aspects together, it stresses the importance to develop two aspects. We need to walk with 2 legs and we'll fall if we only have 1 leg, just like China needs to develop the 2 aspects in order to improve.

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