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Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung


January 20, 1939

[Extracted from Mao's Preface to the English edition of ‘On Protracted War', dated 20 January 1939.]

... The great war of resistance now being waged by China is not merely the affair of China it is also the affair of the world. In the democratic countries such as England, America, and France, there are broad popular masses including all the progressive people from the various social strata who sympathize with China's war of resistance and oppose the invasion of China of Japanese imperialism. It is only a reactionary faction that opposes China' s war of resistance. . . In this great war of resistance we rely first of all on China's own strength to vanquish the enemy... But at the same time, we need outside aid. Our enemy is a world-wide enemy, and the war of resistance waged by China is a war of resistance of a world-wide character. History has already shown that a viewpoint attempting to isolate this war is erroneous. In all the democratic countries, such as England and America, there still exists an isolationist viewpoint whose adherents do not understand that if China is defeated, England, America, and the other countries will not be able to go on enjoying their own tranquility. This erroneous viewpoint is not attuned to the needs of the times. For the others, to aid China is to aid themselves -- this is the only concrete verity at the present time... China is pursuing her war amidst many difficulties, but the flames of a war among the great powers of the world are coming closer every day and no country can remain aloof. We are in agreement with President Roosevelt’s proclamation regarding the defence of democracy. We are, on the other hand, resolutely opposed to the policy of concessions to the fascist states in the West, practiced by Chamberlain. Up to this day, Chamberlain has also displayed a cowardly attitude towards Japan. I hope that the popular masses of England and America will arise and act positively to admonish their governments and make them adopt a new policy of resistance to wars of aggression — for the good of China and also for the good of England and America themselves .

Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung