First Phase: July 1937-October 1938
During this period, China adopted the strategy of "trading space for time." The Chinese army sought to delay the Japanese advance to northern and eastern cities, to allow the home front to retreat to Chongqing. As a result of Chinese troops' "scorched earth" strategies, the consecutive Japanese advancements and conquests began to stall in late 1938.
Second Phase: October 1938-April 1944
The main Chinese objective was to prolong the war. Therefore, the Chinese army adopted the concept of "magnetic warfare" to attract advancing Japanese troops to definite points where they were subjected to attacks.
The CPC and other local guerilla forces continued to distract the enemy and make their deployment over China difficult. As a result, the Japanese effectively controlled only the cities and railroads. By 1940, the war had reached a stalemate.
Third Phase: April 1944-August 1945
Japan conducted its final offensive in China. Although large areas were captured in this massive operation, the Japanese army was stretched to the limit, allowing China to take back cities lost in the conflict.
(Compiled by Beijing Review)