From Mao’s book on protracted war:
THE THREE STAGES OF THE PROTRACTED WAR
35. Since the Sino-Japanese war is a protracted one and final victory will belong to China, it can reasonably be assumed that this protracted war will pass through three stages.
The first stage covers the period of the enemy’s strategic offensive and our strategic defensive.
The second stage will be the period of the enemy’s strategic consolidation and our preparation for the counter-offensive.
The third stage will be the period of our strategic counter-offensive and the enemy’s strategic retreat.
It is impossible to predict the concrete situation in the three stages, but certain main trends in the war may be pointed out in the light of present conditions. The objective course of events will be exceedingly rich and varied, with many twists and turns, and nobody can cast a horoscope for the Sino-Japanese war; nevertheless it is necessary for the strategic direction of the war to make a rough sketch of its trends. Although our sketch may not be in full accord with the subsequent facts and will be amended by them, it is still necessary to make it in order to give firm and purposeful strategic direction to the protracted war.