Chonqing falls. Tianjin looks vulnerable. The Guy Who Won All Those Wars’ offensive around Hoa Lu utterly deteriorates.
Mao, not wanting to appear rash, does not immediately replace his General. He sends a messenger seeking explanation. His general promptly sends back word assuring Mao that this is just Phase One of his plan; that Phase Two will reveal that this seeming catastrophe was all along the height of tactical cunning.
Of Note: The Philippine strategy to slowly and peacefully grab bits of the mainland Asian coast via Cebu’s expansion and land purchases seems like not such a bad call.