Both Chiang and Mao were agreed that the middle period of the war with Japan was to be a war of attrition. They differed on how to carry out the war of attrition. From the KMT's point of view, Japan's only real weaknesses were her violations of internatoinal law and her infringements upon the interests of other powers (for example, the Panay Incident, and the blockade of the Tientsin concession). Therefore, according to the KMT, the greatest threat to Japan's war-making ability came simply from publicizing the nature of the Japanese war in China, with the ultimate aim of establishing a world-wide trade blockade against Japan. The chief weapons of the KMT's war of attrition were to be international propaganda and multilateral diplomacy. From CCP's point of view, direct guerrilla action was preferable. In addition to physical damage and demoralizing elements of the Japanese rank-and-fire, guerrilla raids had the salutary effect of prompting Japanese retaliation, which swept away the old order and unleashed the forces of mass mobilization.
The KMT had to oppose the Communist policy. No government wishes to risk popular disfavor by supporting questionable military operations that invite known and certain reprisals. Moreover, the KMT had no desire to see the resistance to Japan turn into a social revolution. ［An important segment of the KMT's political support --the land-owning classes --certainly did not wish to see all of the Japanese-controlled areas come under the influence of Communist political commissars.］