Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung

You Fight Your Way And I’ll Fight
My Way – A Conversation With The
Palestine Liberation Organisation Delegation

March 1965

[SOURCE: Long Live Mao Tse-tung Thought, a Red Guard Publication.]

Japan had capitulated, and we were again forced to fight. There were two methods; you fight your way and I’ll fight my way. Whatever the military logic, it can be reduced simply to these two sentences. What is you fight your way? He seeks me out to fight but cannot be found, thus ending abortively. What is I’ll fight my way? We concentrate a few army divisions and brigades, and eat him up.

Everything is divisible. Since imperialism is a thing, it also is divisible, and can be eliminated piece by piece. Chiang Kai-shek’s 8 million-man armed force is also a thing which can be eliminated piece by piece. This is known as smashing the enemy one by one which is the logic expounded in ancient books of Europe and China. It is very simple, and has no profound logic at all. Don’t read books, for who would ever bring a book to read when fighting? I would never read when fighting. Read less, for it won’t do any good to read a lot.

The battlefield is a school. I don’t oppose military academies. They can remain open, but the school term should not be too long. It would be too long if it lasted two or three years. A few months would suffice. No army, naval or airforce academy can be all that outstanding.

There are certain modern sciences which require a longer time to learn, such as guided missiles and atomic bombs which must be researched and manufactured. It does not take long to train soldiers in the use of weapons. One month is enough to train artillery troops. Several months or at most a year is enough to train drivers and aviators. The principal thing is to train on the battlefield. During peacetime, training should be conducted at night. During wartime, learn by fighting. Haven’t you said that you have read my articles? These things may not be very useful, but there are two principal lines: you fight your way and I’ll fight my way. The sentence I’ll fight my way may be divided into two more sentences: if I can win, I will fight; if I cannot win, I will run away. Imperialists are most afraid of this method. If I can win, I will eat you up; if I cannot win, I will run away, making it impossible for you to find me. In the beginning, we used guerrilla warfare in both offensive and defensive operations. The basic method was guerrilla warfare. When we were fighting Chiang Kai-shek, we moved from small battles to large battles. Later, we used 300,000 troops to wipe out his 500,000 troops. We used three fingers to bite off his five fingers. We were a minority, so how could we eat them? We did it piecemeal. The result is that we swallowed them.

There are some foreigners studying military science in China. I advise them to go back, and not to study too long. A few months will do. There is only lecturing in the classroom, which is of no use. After going back, it would be most useful to take part in fighting. Some logic requires little if any explanation. One should spend most of one’s time in his own country. Perhaps, there is no need to go abroad, and one will learn it all right.

Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung