Apply to current events as you feel appropriate
Literally: far – mix / associate – near – attack
Alternately: A policy of cultivating good relations with more distant nations while attacking (and attempting to conquer) those nearby. A more recent example might be the Nazis and Soviets partitioning Poland between them at the start of World War II.
Notes: This phrase comes to us from Chinese antiquity; in the Records of the Grand Historian (Japanese 『史記』 = Shiki) it is attributed to a minister named Fan Ju (范雎, Japanese Han Sho; sometimes referred to as Fan Sui) in the state of Qin, who orchestrated Qin’s eventual victory over the other major Chinese states during the Warring States period. It is listed among the “thirty-six stratagems.”
As with a number of phrases derived from Chinese, this may also be given the separate Japanese-style reading of tooki to majiwari chikaki wo semu (or semeru).