On Protracted War (simplified Chinese: 论持久战; traditional Chinese: 論持久戰; pinyin: Lùn chíjiǔ zhàn) is a work comprising a series of speeches by Mao Zedong given from 1938 May 26 to June 3 at the Yenan Association for the Study of the War of Resistance Against Japan. In it, he calls for a protracted people's war, as a means for small revolutionary groups to fight the power of the state.
The book calls for small assaults on Japanese supply lines instead of large confrontations on the battlefield. The book was highly criticised by the Kuomintang (Nationalist Party), which considered the book, along with Mao's theory, an excuse for avoiding fighting against Japan. The Communist Party justified that the book did not deny the effectiveness of the big battles carried out by the Nationalists but provided an alternative means of resistance before the Chinese army became powerful.
Once the Chinese army became powerful enough, the Communist Party explained, the guerrilla warfare aspect of the strategy should be de-emphasized, and conventional forces should take over the primary prosecution of the war.
- ^ Mao Tse-tung (1967), 113
- Mao Tse-tung. "On Protracted War." Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung, Vol. II, pp. 113–194. Foreign Languages Press: Peking, 1967.