Since the Chinese communist armed forces were founded in 1927, the basic military dilemma facing them has been that of developing strategies for defeating adversaries that have superior weapons and equipment. That this dilemma should continue into the 1980s is no doubt frustrating to members of the current military hierarchy, many of whom have served continuously since 1927, but it in no way changes the centrality of the dilemma. In some ways, this predicament has become more difficult to resolve, for whereas in the 1930s and 1940s the communists could afford to surrender their base areas in order to maintain fluid battle fronts, the Chinese leadership concluded in the late 1970s that the defense of cities had to become an important aspect of China's defense strategy. Thus, in the 1930s, Mao could accept the destruction of China's "pots and pans" in order to maintain the fluid fronts and mobility essential to his concept of strategic defense, but by the 1970s, these pots and pans had become centers of industrial development critical to a China seeking to achieve a new stage of industrial development under the leadership of Deng Xiaoping and his cadre of political and economic pragmatists.