Japanese forces bombarding Wanping, 1937.

The Strategy of Chiang Kai-Shek

"Matching our blood and flesh against the enemy guns, even if we are defeated in battle, in the end we will win the war." -- Chiang Kai-shek, July 1934.

JULY 7 marks the second anniversary of the outbreak of the conflict between China and Japan. It started with a small skirmish at the Marco Polo Bridge near Peiping. Although the Japanese still refer to it as the "China incident," it has developed into a life and death struggle between the two principal nations in the Far East. Millions of troops have been engaged, great cities destroyed, and untold wealth expended. In terms of combatants, costs and extent, it is the biggest war that the Orient has ever experienced; and no one knows how or when it will end.

In reviewing the course of hostilities we find difficulty in discerning any clear-cut plan of the Japanese. They seem to have pursued a policy of expediency, with each new expedient involving greater effort and greater risk. At the start, their objective seemed limited to the occupation of North China. Then they attacked Shanghai and the Yangtze valley. Now they are involved along the entire China coast and far into the interior, and the seizure of Hainan and the Spratly Islands extends their operations beyond Chinese waters. They started to conquer a small part of China. They are now committed to securing the domination of Eastern Asia.

The Chinese have had a great deal to do with bringing this about. They have long been aware of Japan's overweening ambition and they have consciously sought to lead her beyond her depth. An examination of the record of events will show that Chiang Kai-shek has had a consistent plan. Much of it was formulated prior to the outbreak of hostilities, and it has been developed logically under the pressure of events. It is the purpose of this article to examine this plan in its economic, financial and diplomatic as well as its military phases.

In a nutshell, the

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