The Common Program of the People's Republic of China 1949-1954

As seen in Article 11 of the Common Program, the struggle against imperialism is one of the main objects of the foreign policy of the People's Republic of China. For that reason, the government decides to overtly or/and secretly support the independence struggle against France, UK, the Netherlands, and US in Indochina, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines.
At the meeting between
Anastas Mikoyan (1895-1978) Minister of Foreign Trade (1938-1949) Politburo member (1935-1966) Vice-Premier of the Council of Ministers (1946-1953)
and Mao Zedong on February 3, 1949, Mikoyan proposed to establish an Asiatic bureau to coordinate the actions of several communist parties in Asia. Mao Zedong has the opinion that this is still too early. “One may return to this question when our forces take the south of the country and our position strengthens.”
In July 1949 when Liu Shaoqi is in Moscow. Stalin reraises the Asiatic affair and proposes a division of tasks in the struggle against imperialism. China will have the leading role in the East. This division is practical, not ideological, in 1949 the SU has not the military power to support revolution in Asia. It also lacks financial funds and Stalin still has to stabilize the Russian influence in East Europe. In his own country, he has to reconstruct the economic sector after the destruction during the Second World War.
In September 1949, Zhou Enlai in his speech at the installation of the new foreign affairs department puts the national interests in the center of the daily routine of the foreign affairs policy “When no war or violation takes place, national interests need to be protected domestically and internationally. In the international arena, diplomacy has become front line work.”
April 1950 Zhou Enlai told officials of the party intelligence service about "... the importance of assisting revolutionary movements in Southeast Asia. Urging his listeners not to be content with the victory that China had achieved, he declared: “We should be prepared to shoulder the burden of helping to liberate the entire world . . . From now on, we should help the oppressed nations and brothers in the East such as Korea, Indonesia, and Vietnam to liberate themselves. If all these nations have risen up and won liberation, would it not be true that the power of the people all over the world will be greater and that imperialism will be more vulnerable to collapse?..."our tasks include consolidating of world peace and preventing the rearming of Japan and Germany and that our current focus is to liberate Taiwan, completely defeat Chiang Kai-shek, and assist the revolutionary movements of weak nations in Southeast Asia."9

In 1952, an important change occured in the Chinese foreign policy. In his speech to Chinese diplomats, Zhou Enlai tells them China will focus less on freedom fighters, but more on "…the relations between states.” and besides the concentration on the brotherly states (East Europe), the policy will focus on in the immediate vicinity of China.
In the relationship with neighboring countries, the emphasis is on friendship rather than on ideological similarity. In September 1952, Zhou Enlai discussed this new foreign policy with Stalin "...relations with Southeast Asian countries they are maintaining a strategy of exerting peaceful influence without sending armed forces. He offers the example of Burma, where PRC has been trying to influence its government through peaceful means."
Priority of this new policy is to make a ‘security block’. One of the main reasons for this change is the failure of communist revolutions in Malaysia, Indonesia, and Philippines. The ‘freedom fighters’ are minimalized to small guerrilla groups fighting in the jungle. The role of the US in Southeast Asia becomes more active and adopts the role of the old European colonizers. This policy results in military treaties between the US and Thailand (October 17, 1950) and the Philippines (August 30, 1950). China is afraid to become encircled by enemies. This fear increases after military treaties between the US and South Korea (October 1, 1953) and with Japan (March 8, 1954). The anxiety heightens after the signing of the SEATO pact of September 8, 1954.
Even before the dead of Stalin, China sought to become on an equal footing with the SU. “As a member of the socialist camp, the PRC's desire to recover its "rightful" place in the world took ultimate precedence over Sino-Soviet relations and the unity of the socialist camp. For Mao, restoring China's preeminent position in postwar global politics could be achieved by exerting authority and influence in bloc affairs.” The new policy is shaped by a number of initiatives. The first one is the organization of a peace conference of countries in the Asiatic and Pacific region in Beijing. Between October 2 till 12 October 1952, 37 countries are represented. Remarkable is the invitation of the leaders of the Trotskyist Party of Ceylon, almost the only Trotskyist party that has managed to gain some mass following. (Trotskyism is in the eyes of Stalin more dangerous than any bourgeois or fascist influence)
The Congress condemns the US actions in Korea and demands the return of POWs and presents a call to India and Pakistan to resolve the Kashmir problems in a peaceful way. In contrast to the trade union congress of November 1949 (see below), this meeting emphasizes less revolution and struggle and more cultural exchange and peace making.
A second initiative is the Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries on May 3, 1954. This organization invites and escorts foreign delegations. It is engaged in people-to-people diplomacy.
A third activity is the backing of a SU proposal of September 23, 1953. In this scheme, both countries call for a 5 country meeting with the US, UK, and France to reduce the international tension. This conference is held in Berlin from January 25 till February 17, 1954, but without the participation of the People's Republic of China. These four countries decide to hold a peace conference in Genève on Korea and Indochina with all involved parties. (People's Republic of China is included)
The fourth initiative is of fundamental nature. The formation of a new foreign policy based on 5 principles (和平共处五项原则) non-aggression; no interference in national affairs; mutual respect for each other's sovereignty and territorial integrity; equality and mutual benefit and peaceful coexistence. These principles are an elaboration of a provision in the treaty that China and Tibet conclude on May 23, 1951. Article 14 of this agreement reads: “The Central People's Government will handle all external affairs of the area of Tibet; and there will be peaceful co-existence with neighboring countries and the establishment and development of fair commercial and trading relations with them on the basis of equality, mutual benefit and mutual respect for territory and sovereignty.”
Zhou Enlai states on June 5, 1953: “Today internationally, the main contradiction is the question of peace and war. We advocate resolution of all international conflicts through peaceful consultation. They [the U.S. imperialists] just advocate resolution by war Imperialism is afraid of peace, and also of war. We are not afraid, of peace." During the preparations for the Geneva conference, this new foreign policy gets even more stature. See for details on Geneva conference Article 11. On March 2, 1954, at a meeting of the Secretariat of the CCP, Zhou Enlai defends his policy.
“At the(Geneva) conference, if there is the opportunity, we may put forward other urgent international issues that are favourable to relaxing the tense international situation. …”
The 5 principles are the foundation of the treaties for example with India. “…to make the Five Principles replace the more authoritarian norm of proletarian internationalism within the socialist bloc. In the world at large, peaceful coexistence became Peking's weapon for forming a united front in its struggle with the United States.”
On July 7, 1954, Mao Zedong spoke out as a supporter of this policy. “Right now, it has been impossible [for us] to shut the door tight; instead, the situation is very advantageous and we need to walk out the door… To relax international tension, countries of different systems can peacefully co-exist. This slogan originated by the Soviet Union, and it is our slogan as well. Now it becomes the catch word in [Anthony] Eden’s mouth, in Nehru’s, too. They want to relax international tension as well”
He even wants to negotiate with the US on the issue of expatriates. Only two weeks later he abandons this statement “Mao made it clear that the ‘peaceful coexistence' principle should not be applied to Beijing’s relations with Washington, but, rather, should be used to isolate the US. imperialists.13 In the meantime, Beijing strongly opposed Moscow’s attempt to use the Five Principles in dealing with Washington.” Mao Zedong starts an international crisis at the end of July. A propaganda campaign ‘to liberate Taiwan’ starts and military operations in the coastal area of Zhejiang province take place. Finally, in January 1955, resulting in the takeover of the island Yijiangshan.

The developments in Indochina (nowadays Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam) and Korea are a good showcase of the foreign policy of China. The focus of this article lies on Vietnam. After the capitulation of Japan in 1945,
Ho Chih Minh
Ho Chih Minh (1890-1969) Chairman and First Secretary of the Workers' Party of Vietnam. Prime Minister (1945–1955)
proclaimed the independence of Vietnam. On March 6, 1946, after negotiations with France, a division along the 16th parallel becomes a fact. At the end of 1946, skirmishes occur and the conflict between the French Republic and the Vietnamese People's Republic escalates. For years, Ho Chih Minh sought support from the SU and later also from the People's Republic of China. On January 19, 1950 China recognizes Democratic Republic of Vietnam (DRV). and both parties sign an agreement to supply weapons to Vietnam.
On January 30, 1950, Ho Chih Minh and the political leaders Zhu De and Liu Shaoqi had a secret meeting in Beijing. A few days later Ho Chih Minh travels to Moscow. He joins Mao Zedong in a visit to Stalin. Stalin offers to provide aid and says “Towards Vietnam we feel equal concern as we do for China’ and: “From now on, you [Ho] can count on our assistance, especially now after the war of resistance, our surplus materials are plenty, and we will ship them to you through China. But because of limits of natural conditions, it will be mainly China that helps you. What China lacks, we will provide.” Mao Zedong adds “Whatever China has and Vietnam needs we will provide.” With this position, China is in danger of losing or postponing diplomatic recognition by France.
The Chinese regime has several motives to back Ho Chih Minh. One is the international solidarity of all communist parties in Asia. Mao Zedong declared in 1947: “All the anti-imperialist forces in the countries of the East, too, should unite together, oppose oppression by imperialism and by their domestic reactionaries and make the goal of their struggle the emancipation of the more than 1,000 million oppressed people of the East…If everyone makes strenuous efforts, we, together with all the democratic forces of the world, can surely defeat the imperialist plan of enslavement, prevent the outbreak of a third world war, overthrow all reactionary regimes and win lasting peace for mankind. We are soberly aware that on our way forward there will still be all kinds of obstacles and difficulties and that we should be prepared to deal with the maximum resistance and desperate struggle by all our enemies, domestic and foreign…" The division made in July 1949 (during the visit of Liu Shaoqi, see above) in a West bloc and an East block makes People's Republic of China responsible for actions in Asia. A success in Vietnam would show the world that the Chinese revolution could be used as a model for all underdeveloped countries. There is no evidence that the SU directly supported Vietnam before 1955.
The second reason is of national interest. An escalation of the conflict between France and DRV can provide trouble at the frontier. In Yunnan, at the border with the DRV, there are still GMD troops. Moreover, the fear of US intervention reinforces the will to support Ho Chih Minh. Beijing decides to send a delegation to improve the contacts between China and the DRV. In the first instance, the delegation led by
Luo Guibo
Luo Guibo (1907-1995)
is thought to stay for 3 months, but in April 1950 the Vietnamese Communist Party asks for military support, which is given for more than 8 years.
Another reason for support, several Vietnamese and Chinese leaders know each other from their stay in Paris, Moscow, or Nanjing.
Chen Geng
Chen Geng (1903-1961) (3rd from the left) with Vietnamese President Ho Chi Minh(2nd from the left) in July 1950.
and General
Wei Guoqing
Wei Guoqing (1913-1989) Luo Guibo (1907-1995)
coordinate from Beijing the Chinese Military Advice Group (CMAG) The CMAG starts to train DRV troops. Chen Geng provides partly the military strategy. He consults frequently Mao Zedong. This strategy is “Concentrating our forces and destroying the enemy troops by separating them” In September 1950, almost 20.000 soldiers are trained and they form the elite corps. Besides military training, the Chinese advisors help with the construction and improvement of roads near the border. The road workers are often GMD prisoners. Chinese advisors provide assistance in land reform in the North.

Chinese supply routes

October 13, 1950, the Vietnamese troops with the assistance of the Chinese advisors gain the first victory at the border area. The French troops retaliate and Ho Chih Minh and the CMAG ask for more military support. “On 22 July, the CCP Central Committee replied that the PRC would not send troops directly into fights in Vietnam, because this had long been an established principle. Chinese troops, however, could be deployed along the Chinese-Vietnamese border,..”
CMAG–Viet Minh Campaigns of 1950–1952.
Source: Qiang (2000). Page 27
China and SU are convinced the situation in Indochina has to be resolved at the negotiating table. Mao Zedong cables Ho Chih Minh "It is necessary and timely for the Government of Vietnamese Democratic Republic to formally express willingness to use peaceful negotiation to end the Vietnam War. Only in doing so, can we take the banner of peace into our hands in order to facilitate the fervent struggle of the French people and the peace-loving people all over the world, to bankrupt the lie of the French reactionaries who blame Vietnam for not wanting peace, which is a plot to lay the blame of the war at the door of Vietnam. As well, only in so doing, can we take advantage of, and further the contradiction between the French and the Americans."
The Soviet leaders asked China to put pressure on Ho Chih Minh to come to the Geneva conference. To extend the pressure on Ho Chih Minh, the decision is made to stop training Vietnamese soldiers on Chinese territory.

See for details on the Geneva Conference on Indochina Article 11.
On May 7, 1954, one day before the opening of the peace talks in Geneva, the Vietnamese conquered the strategic important city of Dien Bien Phu. After more than 2 months of talks, all parties agree on a compromise. Vietnam will be divided in 2 parts with the 17th latitude as the border, and a plebiscite in July 1956 will define the future of Vietnam. (This public consultation was never held). With this result, the Chinese delegation hopes to avoid any American intervention in Indochina. The next year, Beijing is trying to convince Hanoi to accept this split to avoid any interference. North Vietnam is is considered a buffer. “Being hostile and suspicious about each other’s intentions in Vietnam, China and the United States supported different governments in Vietnam, and found partition more convenient than any other kind of compromise”
Ultimately, the domestic factor is more important than the communist solidarity. “the choice of either a divided Vietnam in which the North would be communist and the South pro-western or a prolongation of the war with the Americans who would probably replace the French. The fact that he (Zhou Enlai) promoted the former is a clear demonstration of the prior claims of China's immediate needs for national security and economic development over the longer term aspirations for a larger regional "area of peace. "
Vietnam after Geneva Conference.
Source: Goscha (2011). Page XXV

In 1950, the People’s Republic of China decided to support the North Korea government in his strive for conquering the whole territory of the Korean peninsula. In the 1930’s, the Japanese army invaded Korea. During this occupation, North Korean and Chinese communists fought in the Northeast of China against this enemy. After the capitulation of Japan in August 1945, Kim Il sung (the leader of the Korean Communist party) asked the SU troops in Korea to hand over the captured Japanese weaponry.
A part of this military hardware finds its way to the Chinese communists in Northeast China. Korea is an important supply line for weaponry. “….especially for the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in South Manchuria. North Korea was the obscure, but critical rear that offered tremendous support to the PLA… From the second half of 1947 to early 1948, more than 520 thousand tons of goods belonging to the CCP were transshipped or exchanged via North Korea. At the same time, over 20 thousand CCP members and supporters crossed Korea.”
During the Moscow conference of December 1945, the delegates of the SU, US, and UK decided to select the 38th parallel as the dividing line to disarm the Japanese troops. The SU disarms and administers the northern part, the US the southern part. In 1948, two separate countries emerge; The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DRK) and the Republic of Korea (RoK). The SU and US troops leave the peninsula, only ‘advisors’ remain. Both Korean governments see themselves as a representant of the whole nation and are in pursuit of reunification.

On March 7, 1949, Kim Il sung demands from Stalin an explicit authorization for an attack on South Korea. Stalin refuses: “…, raising three problems: (1) the North Korea army did not have an overwhelming superiority over the troops of the South; (2) in the South, there were still American troops, which would interfere in case of hostilities; (3) the agreement for the 38th parallel was in effect between the USSR and the United States. The agreement would not be broken by our side, Stalin said. He asked Kim Il sung if he could have a good opportunity to launch a counter attack in response to the Southern attack.”
Both Stalin and Mao Zedong have doubts about Kim’s plans. In May 1949, Mao Zedong agrees to hand over Korean divisions of the PLA, as soon as Kim needs them.
Shen (2012b) summarizes " the spring of 1949, Mao clearly did not support military action against the South by North Korea, and held that this possibility should only be considered after the end of the Chinese civil war and consultations with the Soviet Union."
On September 24, 1949, the Politburo of the CPSU again denies to authorize an attack, because the situation is not ripe for an attack. “From the political side, a military attack on the south by you is also not prepared for,…” This answer is in accordance with the previous encounter between Stalin and Kim Il sung on March 5, 1949 Stalin also informed Mao Zedong about his refusal.
When Mao Zedong is visiting the SU, Kim Il sung secretly visited Stalin on February 9, 1950.
The Russian leader is prepared to deliver military support in weaponry and credit. In a following secret visit to Stalin from April 8 till 25 1950, Kim Il sung receives permission to attack the South on the explicit condition that Mao Zedong also agrees. Stalin states “…the present situation has changed from the situation in the past and, that North Korea can move toward actions; however, this question should be discussed with China and personally with comrade Mao Tse-tung…”
From May 13 till 16, Kim Il sung visits Mao Zedong in the Chinese capital, the Korean leader overtakes him with the consent of Stalin. Mao Zedong does not trust Kim Il sung and seeks conformation from Stalin
Stalin has maneuvered Mao Zedong in an awkward position. When he agrees, all credits go to Stalin and China has to pay. When he disagrees, he will be accused not to be solidary in the struggle against imperialism, and he runs the chance of getting no support for his invasion plans for Taiwan. To put it in a positive way, Stalin offers Mao Zedong the right to veto the attack.
It is not clear why Stalin thinks the situation has changed, perhaps he refers to the final victory of the PLA in China, perhaps to the successful test of the Russian atomic bomb in August 1949 or the foundation of the NATO in April 1949. Stalin sees this as a real threat in West Europe and the decreasing willingness of the US to intervene in Asia.
Kim (2011)gives a plausible explanation: "The war solved all Stalin’s security and diplomatic dilemmas: military conflict between the U.S. and China bound the U.S.’s feet in Asia, it let the Soviet Union buy time to fortify European socialism, and it increased Soviet control over China."
On December 30, 1949, the US announces that the present US troops in Asia will only protect Japan and the Philippines and Korea and Taiwan are not part of their military operation field.
The recently concluded friendship treaty between the People's Republic of China and SU stipulates that the SU loses eventually major ports (for example, Harbin and Lüshun)in the East. “The Korean peninsula suddenly loomed attractive, as it could provide the Soviet Union with access to a Pacific warm-water port. If North Korea occupied South Korea, the Soviet Union could control the whole of the Korean peninsula, and the ports of Inchon and Pusan would replace Lushun.”
In April and May 1950, Mao Zedong fulfils his appointment with Kim Il sung and sends 50000 Korean soldiers of the PLA back to Korea.
Besides, soldiers, Korean workers, medical, and other personnel are pushed to go to North Korea. Two days after Kim Il sung has left Beijing, Zhou Enlai promises Stalin China will send ‘volunteers’ to the DRK. Stalin answers: “We consider it correct to concentrate immediately 9 Chinese divisions on the Chinese-Korean border for volunteer actions in North Korea in case the enemy crosses the 38th parallel.”

Kim Il sung overtakes Mao Zedong for a second time when on June 25, 1950 he (without warning to Mao Zedong) opens the offensive on South Korea. "June 30, 1950, the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) relayed its new policy to the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA): "China's attitude is to denounce the American invasion of Taiwan and intervention in China's internal afairs. Our plan is to continue to demobilize the army, strengthen the construction of the navy, and delay the liberation of Taiwan." About a month earlier, on June 23, 1950, Mao Zedong reassures the delegates of the 2nd plenum of the CPPCC, the period of war is over, and the focus lies on Land reform. The land reform act will promulgated on June 30. Besides, on May 16, 1950, the military leaders have decided to start a large-scale demobilization. See Article 25
Just two days after the invasion on June 27 the UN condemns the attack and on July 7 the UN calls its members “…(to) furnish such assistance to the Republic of Korea as may be necessary to repel the armed attack and to restore international peace and security in the area”
Meanwhile, the SU and the People's Republic of China are in constant contact how to assist the DRK. The Chinese government is deeply concerned about the lack of Russian air support and a possible US intervention. The SU is only prepared to train Chinese pilots. In July, the PLA starts preparations for a future assistance of the DRK. The Northeast Border Defense Army is formed. To prepare the nation for a future intervention, the regime starts on July 17, a propaganda week against the US aggression in Taiwan and Korea. The recruitment of volunteers starts, each village would be given a quota, and this quota would usually be filled without much persuasion.
During the Korean War, many ex-GMD soldiers are sent to the front. See Article 20 .
Mao Zedong attempts to persuade Stalin to make sure that Kim Il Sung knows that he must agree to conduct negotiations to cease hostilities but his attempts are in vain. At the politburo meeting of August 4, Mao Zedong tells the Chinese army, and the top of the CCP intervention is inevitable. “If the U.S. imperialists won the war, they would become more arrogant and would threaten us. We should not fail to assist the Koreans. We must lend them our hands in the form of sending our military volunteers there. The timing could be further decided, but we have to prepare for this.”
After initial successes of the North Korean forces, the South Koreans with the aid of UN troops counterattack, and when the American troops land in Inchon, the situation for the North Koreans deteriorates significantly. Kim Il sung is desperate and sends a telegram to Stalin for immediate relief. “…at the moment when the enemy troops cross over the 38th parallel we will badly need direct military assistance from the Soviet Union. If for any reason this is impossible, please assist us by forming international volunteer units in China and other countries of people's democracy for rendering military assistance to our struggle.”
October 1 RoK troops cross the 38th latitude and Stalin appeals to Mao Zedong for help. “… possible to send troops to assist the Koreans, then you should move at least five-six divisions toward the 38th parallel at once so as to give our Korean comrades an opportunity to organize combat reserves north of the 38th parallel under the cover of your troops. The Chinese divisions could be considered as volunteers, with Chinese in command at the head, of course. I have not informed and am not going to inform our Korean friends about this idea, but I have no doubt in my mind that they will be glad when they learn about it.”

In the following days, there are many consultations within the Chinese Politburo and between Moscow and Beijing. October 2 Mao Zedong cables Stalin, the intervention troops are not yet ready, and “In the second place, it is most likely that this will provoke an open conflict between the USA and China, as a consequence of which the Soviet Union can also be dragged into war,(article 1 of the friendship treaty of February 14, 1950) … Many comrades in the CC CPC [Central Committee of the Communist Party of China] judge that it is necessary to show caution here”
It is only on October 8, 1950, Stalin informs Kim Il sung about China's hesitation.
Zhou Enlai and
Lin Biao
Lin Biao (1907-1971) Fourth Field Army
went to the Black Sea villa of Stalin. On October 11, they have a meeting with Stalin to ask for more information on SU support, particularly on Russian air support. The same day, Stalin and Zhou Enlai inform Mao Zedong, they have come to the conclusion that China at this moment is not capable of intervening in Korea.
Mao Zedong agrees, but two days later he revises his decision. Mao Zedong informs Zhou Enlai on October 13
"As the result of an emergency agreement of all the various members of the Politburo, we have reached the unanimous opinion that it is advantageous for us to send troops to Korea. In the initial period, they will attack the ROK forces. In this regard, we have considerable confidence."
On October 15, Stalin and Zhou Enlai meet again and Stalin reiterates his refusal to supply air support. “… the inherent inexperience of the North Koreans and Chinese in air war also resulted in Communist airpower being always seen as a bonus, never a significant component of any major offensive. Deployment of ground forces would continue to dominate Communist strategic thought.” On October 18, under heavy pressure from Mao Zedong, the politburo decided to send Chinese People's Army (CVA) into Korea.

There are several reasons for this decision. First of all “…a historical fact that the peninsula has served as a major springboard for the conquest of continental Asia, particularly by Japan. Any major disturbance to the peninsula's delicate stability will therefore lead to serious concern, regardless of the nature of China's domestic political system.” It is not that Beijing is afraid of a Japanese invasion, but they fear an invasion of the Taiwan regime. In that case, there will be an anti-communist state at the border.
In case of an armed conflict with the US, China prefers to fight this clash outside the mainland. There are 3 potential areas from where the regime fears an attack, Korea, Indochina, and Taiwan. From a tactical viewpoint, Korea is preferred, it is a mountainous region, and there is a direct supply line from the SU.On February 17, 1958 Zhou Enlai expresses in his speech at CVA cadre's gathering "The confrontation between U.S. imperialists and us was inevitable; the question was the choice of location. This was not a decision for the imperialists to make only; we had our say, too. The American imperialists decided [to have this showdown] in the Korean battlefield, this was advantageous to us, and we decided to confront the Americans and assist the Koreans [by our own choice]. Looking back, it is understood that everything considered it would have been much more difficult for us if [we had chosen] Vietnam to fight, let alone the off-shore islands [in the Taiwan Strait]"
The treaty of February 14, 1950, with the SU, obliges the latter to help the People's Republic of China. Beijing wants neither American soldiers nor Russian troops on its territory. They fear to lose the important industrial area of the Northeast “The secret protocol stipulated that the citizens of third countries, such as those of the U.S. and Britain, were not allowed to settle or carry out any industrial, financial, trade, or other related activities in Manchuria and Xinjiang, and the Soviet Union would impose comparable restrictions on the Soviet Far East and the Central Asian republics. The agreement freed Manchuria of any outside interference. Stalin’s attempt to consolidate the strategic complex before the Korean War demonstrates his careful attention to creating an advantageous strategic environment.”
Mao Zedong may have had the feeling "Having just concluded an alliance with the Soviet Union that was essential for the PRC’s economic development and national security, Mao was not in a position to refuse to grant the assistance that Stalin counted on him to provide." Mao Zedong also knows he cannot occupy Taiwan without the aid of the SU.
"Preventing a wave of refugees from crossing into the northeast was a significant part of Beijing’s internal rationale for action in Korea. The alternative was to accept the quasi-permanent status of North Korean consulates and enclaves up and down the border from Dandong to Ji’an/Tonghua and on to Yanbian in the north."
Also a domestic factor in the decision-making plays a role. "According to party sources, the American intervention in Korea and especially the Inchon landing were signals of hope for China's counterrevolutionaries. Active resistance groups, now joined by landlords, secret societies, and unemployed soldiers, thought that better times were just ahead and intensified their resistance. They carried out widely scattered acts of violence extending into the Northeast, the logistical base for Chinese forces in Korea, and stirred up rumors, while intimidating local party cadres. "You're like a frog in a well with no idea of the big picture and still in a mess. The third world war is coming and the Nationalist army will be right back."
On October 10, 1950, the CC announced the instructions to suppress the contra revolutionaries. See Article 7 The National campaign against US aggression is also a part to counteract internal problems. See Article 49.
In its editorial of December 25, 1952, the Renmin Ribao remarks: "…as the facts of the past two years have proved, the struggle to resist US aggression and aid Korea is still a great driving force for the construction work of our country in all aspects. …, the struggle to resist U.S. aggression and aid Korea not only did not cause the interruption of our country's economic recovery and reconstruction work, on the contrary, it further promoted the successful completion of this work."
A sixth reason to support the Koreans can also be traced to a historical factor; the aforementioned assistance of Korean soldiers to the PLA “Political, military, economic, and cultural exchange had been taking place along the Sino-Korean frontier throughout the Chinese Civil War. Most significantly, North Korea’s northern provinces had served as a strategic sanctuary for People’s Liberation Army (PLA) soldiers and supplies during pivotal stages of the civil war in the northeast, sparing many lives and countless goods from Kuomintang destruction.”
Zhou Enlai expresses the band as follows: “China and Korea are neighbouring countries as closely related as lips and teeth. If the lips are gone, the teeth are exposed to the cold. If the DPRK is subjugated by US imperialism, there will be no security for northeast China.”
A reason which also should be mentioned is the prestige China and Mao Zedong will gain in Asia from resisting the US. Chen (1994) remarks “…the perceived American disdain for China as a weak country and the Chinese as an inferior people made them angry…how to face the ‘US imperialists’ was to the CCP a problem concerning values and beliefs, which was related to their feelings as Chinese”
Article 11 of the Common Program shows that anti imperialism is an important factor in foreign affairs of the PCR. Chen Jian (2016) states …, Mao also viewed the Korean War in the context of the ongoing Asian revolution in which Communist China played a crucial role. He believed it to be the "proletariat internationalist duty" of the Chinese to defeat American aggression in Korea and wanted to promote the coming of the high tide of the Eastern revolution following the Chinese model. In Mao's eyes, Communist China would only be secure after revolutions swept through all Asia or even all world. This specific commitment to revolution explains Mao's preparations to enter the war before the Inchon landing and the aggressiveness of China's aims during the war.
Of course there are negative aspects. The country has been in a state of war for more than 15 years. The opponents “... pointed to the following obstacles: first, the country had not recovered from many years of warfare; second, the land reform had not been completed; third, Taiwan and Tibet remained to be liberated, and bandits and KMT remnant troops on the mainland needed to be cleared out; fourth, the Chinese army was insufficiently equipped and trained; fifth, among some portion of the population and the army, there was a sentiment against war. Therefore, they believed that, unless absolutely necessary, it would be better to avoid war, or China should at least wait for three to five years until it was well prepared to intervene.” In 1951, about 60 percent of China's tax revenue goes to the defense budget, most of which is spent on purchasing Russian weapons.
Chinese People's Volunteers

On October 25, 1950, the CVA crosses the border. Mao Zedong order to form an invasion defends the intervention: “In order to support the Korean people's war of liberation and to resist the attacks of U.S. imperialism and its running dogs, thereby safeguarding the interests of the people of Korea, China and all the other countries in the East, I herewith order the Chinese People's Volunteers to march speedily to Korea and join the Korean comrades in fighting the aggressors and winning a glorious victory”
The next day the CC informs the public: “… not only is it imperative to enter the war, we are definitely capable of winning against US imperialism, because the US is a paper tiger. Although the US is economically superior and is better equipped, its global aggression is opposed by the people of the entire world, and it is isolated. It has military weaknesses: its front is too long, its rear is too distant, its troop strength is inadequate and its morale is low. Its allies such as Britain and France are no longer powerful while Japan and West Germany have not yet rearmed. The US is no longer the only nation with atomic weapons, and, in any event, these do not make the difference between victory and defeat. Final victory belongs to the Chinese and Korean people.”
North Korea CPV Command

Mao Zedong is responsible for the overall strategy. Zhou Enlai has the general command. He receives the most important information and he displays the most essential information to Mao Zedong. Peng Dehuai has the command in Korea in cooperation with the Korean army. "The CVA-KPA combined command had authority for unity of command over all the regular and irregular units of CVA and KPA in Korea, but also controlled military administration related to logistics, railroads, ports, and airfields. The Beijing leadership, in consultation with Moscow, allowed North Korea to move its army divisions to Manchuria for restructure and training purposes. By October 30 and early November, nine divisions crossed the border and deployed in the Northeastern and Yangtse River areas, where a pilot school was planned to open for 2,600 pilots.39 During the Korean War, China’s Northeast was a very crucial rear area for the CVA as well as for the KPA."
On July 31, 1953 Peng Dehuai was bestowed with North Korea’s highest award. "At the ceremony, Peng reluctantly accepted the award, demurring that instead the order should have gone to “old pockmarked Gao [Gang] (高麻子)” for his role in leading the home front and logistics efforts during the war.3" "While the “Resist America Aid Korea” movement was a national campaign that impacted every province and region of China, Manchuria and the Northeast Government played a leading role in the campaign, once again serving as a testing ground for China’s first modern conflict that involved extensive logistics networks, air support, and considerable mechanization. To deal with the challenges posed by the war, the Northeast Government and Gao Gang personally were granted a range of extraordinary powers by the central government. With Gao playing a pivotal role in coordination between the People’s Volunteer Army out in the field in Korea, the Soviets providing military assistance, North Korean allies, and the Central Committee in Beijing implementing a nationwide mobilization campaign, ..." Gao Gang travelled twice to North Korea (08-11-1950 and 25-01-1951 - 30-01-1951) and once to SU (09-06-1951 - 20-06-1951) to coordinate war planning, a highly unusual step for a regional leader.

On November 2, Chinese and American troops had the first skirmishes. That same month on the 25th, Mao Zedong’s son Mao Anying is killed during an American bombardment. The CVA campaign is very successful and on December 28, the 38th latitude is crossed and shortly hereafter the South Korean capital Seoul is captured. See Map, Map, and Map. In November 1950 , China reacts positive to an attempt of the UN to solve the Korean affair. The attempt to achieve a truce comes to nothing. Two months later, the UN attempts a new effort to come to a truce.
Mao Zedong has the opinion that the US has two options: “1.Under pressure from Chinese and North Korean troops the enemy will make insignificant resistance and then withdraw from Korea. …2. The enemy will make stubborn resistance in the area of Pusan-Taiko until he becomes convinced of the uselessness of resistance, and then he will withdraw from South Korea.”
Therefore Mao Zedong is not interested in a diplomatic solution. On February 1, 1951, the UN condemns the People's Republic of China as aggressor in the Korean conflict.

January 1951, the front is turning and the UN troops start to march to the North, the Chinese and North Korean troops are cornered. April 22, 1951, the CVA undertake a desperate attempt to turn the tide, this 5th campaign is a disaster. There are over 200 000 casualties. On the battlefield, the situation has turned into a stalemate around the old demarcation line. The People's Republic of China is also losing on the diplomatic terrain, the UN accepts a resolution for an economic boycott of China.
This reversal compels the Chinese leadership to extensively discuss the situation in Korea with Stalin and Kim Il sung. On June 3, 1951, Kim Il sung arrived in Beijing to talk about an armistice. Mao Zedong convinces the Korean leader to accept the old border and to prepare himself for a protracted war. Stalin wants to continue the war. In June 1951, Gao Gang, Kim Il sung and Stalin negotiated about the conditions to talk about an armistice
June 23, The Russian ambassador to the UN, asked for the possibilities to come to negotiations. Mao Zedong supports this request because it gives them the upper hand and he hopes “If negotiations begin, it is extremely necessary that you (Stalin) personally lead them, so that we do not find ourselves in a disadvantageous position.”
Stalin does not want to be maneuvered in this position and puts the responsibility totally in the hand of the Chinese. “In your telegram you propose that we direct the negotiations about an armistice from Moscow. This, of course, is inconceivable and not necessary. It’s up to you to lead, Comrade MAO ZEDONG. The most we can give is advice on various questions. We also cannot maintain direct communication with KIM IL SUNG. You must maintain communication [with him]” July 10, 1951, the negotiations start in Kaesong (North Korea). There are several obstacles to overcome. The most important is the distrust of both parties. Zhou Enlai puts it as follows: “They (USA) attempt to delay the negotiations by displaying their strength, creating tension and pressuring us in order to reach a cease- fire on favourable terms. “But he adds: “We are willing to settle the Korean, Far East and world problems peacefully, but we must not fear righteous, anti-aggressor wars for that is the only possibility of obtaining a lasting peace.”
The position of the demarcation line is also a big obstacle. On October 25, 1951, the discussion resumes. This time in Panmunjon village in the Demilitarized Zone. Stalin warns Mao Zedong to slacken the talks. “We consider it correct that the Chinese/ Korean side, using flexible tactics in the negotiations, continues to pursue a hard line, not showing haste and not displaying interest in a rapid end to the negotiations”.
Mao Zedong is also convinced that these delay techniques are profitable for China. In this way he gets the newest SU weaponry and learns modern fighting techniques. Stalin is irritated about these arms shipments: “He rebuked the Chinese for trying to get all the weapons during one year, explaining that it was “physically impossible and totally unthinkable”
The Chinese negotiators mistrust the US based on the peace negotiations between the GMD and the CCP during the civil war. "By reviewing this history of cease-fire negotiations in Chinese civil war, …, the CCP leadership had a deep distrust and suspicion of American mediation and involvement in the Chinese civil war. They refuted in the end the impartiality of Marshall’s mission (1945-1947). In their opinion, the cease-fires mediated by Marshall were plots to allow Nationalist troops to regroup for further attacks, although they also adopted such realist attitude toward cease-fires."
On November 27, 1951, both parties reached an agreement on the position of the demarcation line. A big issue during the negotiations are the prisoners of war. The Chinese demand that each POW shall return to his fatherland, the other party that each POW can decide for himself where to go. Many Chinese POWs want to go Taiwan, which is unacceptable for Beijing. The talks bog down on this topic. On a small scale the fighting resumes. In August and September 1952 Zhou Enlai, Peng Dehuai, and Kim Il sung had talks with Stalin. The latter is convinced the POWs have to return to their fatherland.
On March 30, 1953, after the death of Stalin, Zhou Enlai announces China agrees on the repatriation of the wounded and to the free choice of each POW in his destination. A clear victory for the UN.
Prisoners of War

“Some 50,000 Chinese and North Korean POWs refused repatriation, but any assessment of the value of this moral and propaganda victory must be tempered by the knowledge that the additional 15 months of fighting cost more than 125,000 UNC and some 250,000 Chinese and North Korean casualties”
On April 26, 1953, the negotiations started again, but also the preparation for a new military campaign.
North Korea after armistice

Even on July 13, the CVA starts a new campaign which lasts until July 27, the day the truce is signed by both parties. The SU are too busy with national problems (who will be the successor of Stalin) and political unrest in East Europe to interfere.The economic embargo on strategic goods is not withdrawn.

The Korean People's Army and Chinese People's Volunteer Army, victorious forever!

A Korean delegation led by Kim Il sung visited the People's Republic of China from November 12 till November 25, 1953. The visit results in a ten-year economic and cultural treaty. In 1955, the CVA started its withdrawal. At the meeting between Mao Zedong and Kim Il sung in November 1957, they decided to have a complete withdrawal of the CVA from Korea. On October 26, 1958, the last Chinese soldiers left Korea. See Poster 1959

Cited in Yan (2002). Page 8 [↩] [Cite]
Cited in Zhai (2018). Page 186 [↩] [Cite]
30-04-1952 Zhou Enlai "Our foreign policies and our tasks"Zhou Enlai "Adhering to internationalism and opposing narrow nationalism. Everyone knows in theory that this is the correct attitude, but in their practical work people sometimes manifest a nationalism and chauvinism that stem from their pride in the victory of New China. 0f course, we should have national self-confidence, but it is wrong to behave, even unwittingly, in a conceited and arrogant way; that is narrow nationalism." He continues: "Our patriotism is socialist and people 's democratic patriotism, not bourgeois chauvinism. ...Socialist patriotism is not narrow nationalism; rather, it is patriotism that inspires national confidence but is enlightened by internationalism." [↩]
Kuo (1999). Page 65 [↩] [Cite]
Cited in Mark (1996). Page 28 [↩] [Cite]
At November 23, 1953 Mao Zedong asks Ho Chi Minh to resolve the Vietnam issue in a peaceful way “It is necessary and timely for the Government of Vietnamese Democratic Republic to formally express willingness to use peaceful negotiation to end the Vietnam War. Only in doing so, can we take the banner of peace into our hands in order to facilitate the fervent struggle of the French people and the peace-loving people all over the world, to bankrupt the lie of the French reactionaries who blame Vietnam for not wanting peace, which is a plot to lay the blame of the war at the door of Vietnam. As well, only in so doing, can we take advantage of, and further the contradiction between the French and the Americans.” See Sheng (2008). Page 482 [↩] [Cite]
In statements of political leaders from Cambodia, Indonesia and Afghanistan is often referred to this 5 principles when talking about negotiations with PRC. [↩]
Hsiung (1972). Page 35 [↩] [Cite]
Cited in Sheng (2008). Page 482 [↩]
McMahon (2013). Page 90 [↩] [Cite]
April 28, 1951 a Vietnamese diplomat comes to Beijing. A Vietnamese embassy in Moscow is opened March 1952. Until that time all contacts go through China. A Chinese embassy opens in September 1954. The CCP decides to send their Vietnamese members back to promote the revolution in their own country. [↩]
Cited in Pham (2012). Page 165 [↩] [Cite]
On November 29, 1949 Zhou Enlai states the PLA will wipe out all GMD troops, also in Vietnam and the new administration holds every government responsible if they allow GMD troops to shelter in their country. Several GMD troops had fled to Vietnam, they were captured by French troops. A part of them were sent to still GMD Hainan. [↩]
April 1950 China establishes in Yunnan a Vietnamese military academy. The costs are entirely borne by China. See Kraus (2012). Page 505 [↩] [Cite]
Zhai (1993). Page 695. [Cite]
"Early in the 1920s, Ho Chi Minh, who could speak fluent Chinese and often visited China in the late 1930s and early 1940s,... Ho, while conducting revolutionary activities in China, became a member of the ccp-led Eighth Route Army and stayed in the ccp’s Red capital Yan’an for several weeks. 4" Chen (2001). Page 118. [Cite]
When GMD troops in South China moved against PLA troops, the PLA soldiers fled to a Vietnamese Worker’s Party (VWP) base area just inside Vietnam, where they were provided with food, medicine, supplies, and with sanctuary. [↩]
On April 17, 1950 the PLA HQ decides to form the CMAG. The CMAG counts 281 military advisors. Mao Zedong and other political leaders warn the CMAG “…the importance of unity and cordial relations between the two parties. They asked the Chinese advisers to avoid the mentality of big-state chauvinism and not to display contempt for the Vietnamese. In a telegram to Luo Guibo in August (1950), Liu instructed Luo not to impose his views on the Vietnamese and not to take offense if they refused to adopt his suggestions. Zhai (2000). Page 25. [Cite]
Mao Zedong's involvement is clear from the telegrams to Chen Geng on July 23, 26, and 28, August 24 and October 6 and 10, 1950. See Yang (2002). Page 5 [↩] [Cite]
Cited in Chen (1993). Page 92 [↩] [Cite]
“In an urgent telegram to the CCP Central Committee, the CMAG reported on May 15, 1951, that “troops are starving, even though we had transferred three regiments to the central areas and reduced office and logistics personnel daily grain [rations] down to 700 grams.” It asked the Chinese government to send between 1,500 and 2,000 tons of rice to Vietnam before the end of June” “To supply the Vietnamese, the PLA General Logistics Department set up an office at Nanning to handle military aid, economic assistance, and supply transportation.” Li (2007). Page 213 [↩] [Cite]
Cited in Chen (1993). Page 97. [Cite]
"Several leading French officers and historians, ..., claim that on 18 June 1952 Beijing sent an entire division into northwestern Vietnam to help the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (DRV) quell an uprising of the Hmong, armed by the French Groupement de commandos mixtes aéroportés (GCMA). According to these French sources, the insurrection was finally quashed in August after heavy fighting....However, there is no Chinese evidence available in the public domain confirming that Beijing actually sent combat troops into Vietnam during the Indochina War In 2008, however, a former high ranking Vietnamese diplomat and member of the DRV delegation to the Geneva Conference confirmed to this author (Goscha) that Chinese battalions (not divisions) did secretly enter northern Vietnam on several occasions to assist DRV forces. This, he said, occurred in the early 1950s". Goscha (2011). Page 101 [↩] [Cite]
Cited in Sheng (2008). Page 481 [↩] [Cite]
Nguyen (2000). Page 51 [↩] [Cite]
Shao (1986). Page 488 [↩] [Cite]
Zhou Enlai states in 1949: “When no war or violation takes place, national interests need to be protected domestically and internationally. In the international arena, diplomacy has become front line work.” Cited in Yan (2002). Page 8 [↩] [Cite]
“…during the Chinese Civil War, 34,855 ethnic Koreans from the five counties of Yanbian, Jilin, fought for the CCP, and over 100 thousand ethnic Koreans joined local communist-led military organizations ,such as the public security troops and militias.”
Shen (2008). Page 5 [Cite] In 1949 Mao Zedong mentions one of the motives to support DRK
“In view of the long association of North Korean Communists with the CCP when they had their headquarters in Yenan and because of the military assistance given the Chinese communists by Korean volunteers in fighting the Nationalists in Manchuria the CCP owed a debt of gratitude to the Korean Communists which they could not ignore” Zhai (1994). Page 71 [↩] [Cite]
Shen (2008). Page 5 [↩] [Cite]
Hwang (2010). Page 103. [Cite]
Kim Il sung twice failed in provoking a general uprising in the South, the Autumn Rebellion in 1946, and Cheju-do Rebellion in 1948-1949.
05-03-1949 Stalin’s meeting with Kim Il Sung [↩]
Shen (2012b). Page 127 [↩] [Cite]
"At Stalin's suggestion, Kim did not inform Mao of the specific schedule of Pyongyang's military campaign. Thus after Kim's departure on May 15, Beijing continued, or more accurately, accelerated, its preparation for the Taiwan campaign. By mid-May, with the completion of the military campaign in Hainan Island, Mao's next target was Taiwan." Qing (2007). Page 152. [Cite]
See also Christensen (2011). Page 87. [Cite] See for more details chapter 3 Alliance problems, signalling and escalation of Asian conflict. [↩]
“Although Stalin did not consult Mao before he gave Kim Il-sung the go-ahead to launch a war of reunification in March 1950, he did tell Kim that his blessing was conditional on Mao’s consent. Stalin would not commit Soviet military forces to assist if Kim’s plan failed and the United States came into the conflict. Kim could only count on Mao’s support to save him under such circumstances. Thus, Stalin granted Mao veto power.” Sheng (2014). Page 274 [↩] [Cite]
Bajanov (1996). Page 87 [↩] [Cite]
See also Matray (2002). [↩] [Cite]
Kim (2011). "Stalin’s Korean U-Turn: The USSR’s evolving security strategy and the origins of the Korean War." [↩] [Cite]
Shen (2000). Page 60 [↩] [Cite]
These troops are meant to reinforce the defense of North Korea, not to invade South Korea. This is also part of the demobilization of the PLA which starts on May 16, 1950. After the PLA had entered south China, Korean morale was deteriorating, and Koreans were asking to be sent home to Korea. [↩]
Ross (2001). Page 144 [↩] [Cite]
07-07-1950 Resolution of 7 July 1950. The U.S. and South Korea called it the “Korean War.” North Korea termed it “War of Fatherland Liberation,” while the Chinese named it “the War to Resist America and Aid [North] Korea.”
27-08-1950 Letter from Filipov (Stalin) to Soviet Ambassador in Prague, conveying message to CSSR leader Klement Gottwald [↩]
Brown (2007) argues that in places like “rugged Guizhou” (107) the Chinese Civil War had not yet ended when the Korean War began, and, in fact, continued through 1950 and 1951. However, the new regime implemented harsh measures in which former PLA resisters in Guizhou “were allowed to repent and then fight against the world’s most powerful army in Korea” 108. In other words, at least in this case and in this area, the new regime decided to consolidate rule through leaving a “legacy of terror and war” 129. Brown (2007). Page 107 [↩] [Cite]
Cited in Chen (1992). Page 26 [Cite]"...the preparation work for entering the Korean War was "too onerous and urgent to be completed in August." Viewing this difficulty, Mao issued another instruction to the NEDBA on 18 August, ordering them to "step up and make sure to fulfill every preparatory work by 30 September." Page 27 [↩]
On October 29, Stalin ordered the Soviet air force to move into position on the Chinese-Korean border; on November 1, the Soviet air force started to operate in North Korea, contrary to what Stalin had told Zhou in mid-October.” Sheng(2014). Page 284. [Cite]
15-11-1950 Ciphered telegram, Mao Zedong to Filippov (Stalin) via Zakharov to reinforce Soviet air forces and air defense in China and Manchuria. "I express gratitude to the Soviet pilots for the heroism and effort they have displayed in battle, and for the fact that over the last 12 days they downed 23 invading American planes."
See also the article of Shen (2010). Pages 211-230.
15-11-1950 Ciphered telegram, Mao Zedong to Filippov (Stalin) via Zakharov [↩]
Ho (No date). Page 10 [↩] [Cite]
Kim (1998). Page 138. [Cite]
Peng Dehuai asked his cadres: "Would it be better for us to relax for a while and fight a war three to five years from now? Of course it would be better. However, we would still have to fight a war three to five years from now. Such a war would destroy our small industry, whose construction will have taken us three to five years. At that time, American imperialists will have armed Japan, and Japan will be able to dispatch a relatively large number of troops, so it would not be easy for us to stop an invasion. By that time, American imperialists will probably also have armed West Germany, and we should not neglect the huge output of iron and steel of West Germany. .. Therefore, it is better for us to fight an early war rather than a late one. 65" Cited in King (2016). Page 161.
During the Chinese Civil War, as the GMD troops advanced into Southern Manchuria in the summer of 1946, Kim-il Sung arranged for shelter for the families of the Northeast Bureau leadership, earning the gratitude of both Mao Zedong and Gao Gang. [↩] [Cite]
On February 17, 1958 Zhou Enlai expresses in his speech at CVA cadre's gathering "The confrontation between U.S. imperialists and us was inevitable; the question was the choice of location. This was not a decision for the imperialists to make only; we had our say, too. The American imperialists decided [to have this showdown] in the Korean battlefield, this was advantageous to us, and we decided to confront the Americans and assist the Koreans [by our own choice]. Looking back, it is understood that everything considered it would have been much more difficult for us if [we had chosen] Vietnam to fight, let alone the off-shore islands [in the Taiwan Strait]" Cited in Sheng (2002). Page 58 [↩] [Cite]
Yu (2001). Page 84 [↩] [Cite]
Weathersby (2002). Page 13 [↩] [Cite]
Cathcart (2011). Page 34 [Cite]
"The Chinese government, aided by the North Korean embassy in Beijing, estimated that the number of refugees in China in late 1950 had already surpassed 10,000 people." Page 37
"On 4 October 1950, Stalin had suggested that Kim Il-Sung retreat into Manchuria with a government-in-exile. Although the Chinese were opposed to the idea—their invasion of Korea could be seen as an action undertaken to prevent such a scenario..." Page 39 [↩]
Hunt (1992). Page 471. [Cite]
Kim (2016)."The US actions created uncertainty in China’s domestic economy and ideological confusion as well. For example, on 28 June, in large cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, and Tianjin, cash withdrawals from banks rapidly increased, and stock markets collapsed. Commodity prices also soared, as people rushed to purchase large quantities of daily necessities. At the same time, rumours began to appear that the Korean War was the ‘prelude to the Third World War’ and that ‘China should give up on Taiwan to avoid a conflict with the US’" Kim (2016). Page 8. [Cite]
He also remarks; "From January to October in 1950, 816 armed revolts occurred to overthrow the China’s communist government and the number of people who got arrested for being a spy totaled up to 25,041 by august, and the Chinese government executed 639 of them:" Page 10 note 31 [↩]
RMRB 25-12-1952 "Continue to strengthen the great struggle to resist US aggression and aid Korea" [↩]
Cathcart (2011). Page 29 [Cite]
"...the Northeast Bureau of the CCP...were invited to Pyongyang to open the CCP’s Office of the Northeast Bureau in Korea (..) late in the summer of 1946.31" Kraus (2014). Page 50. [Cite]
In the 1930’s Kim Il sung fought with a Chinese – Korean army unit against the Japanese troops. Chinese communists nearly executed him on suspicion of being a member of a pro-Japanese Korean group.
See also Shen (2018). Pages 19-20 [↩] [Cite]
Chen (1994). Pages 23-25 [↩] [Cite]
Chen (2016). Pages 40-41 [↩] [Cite]
Cited in McLeod (2000). Pages 11-12 [↩] [Cite]
Hwang (2010). Page 112. [Cite]
"When General Peng arrived at the old imperial Zhongnanhai compound (October 4, 1950) abutting central Beijing’s Forbidden City, he was completely unaware that he would be asked to command China’s secret invasion of Korea set to commence in less than 2 weeks." See Tkacik (2006). Page 140 [↩] [Cite]
Sautin (2020). Pages 226-227 [↩] [Cite]
Zhou Enlai attendit plus d’un mois pour en informer Mao Zedong et la tragédie demeura secrète – l’épouse même de Mao Anying ne fut informée qu’en 1953 417 ! Pour le sommet du Parti, ce fut un choc, tant Mao Anying faisait figure de prince héritier.
Translation: Zhou Enlai waited more than a month to inform Mao Zedong and the tragedy remained secret - Mao Anying's own wife was only informed about 1953 417! For the Party top, it was a shock, as Mao Anying was seen as a kind of Crown Prince. Domenach (2012). Page 128 [↩] [Cite]
Chen (2018). Page 16 [↩] [Cite]
Zhang (1992).Page 128 [↩] [Cite]
05-06-1951 Telegram from (Stalin) to Mao Zedong, via Krasovsky. Su Yu ( Deputy Chief of PLA General Staff) repeats this argument on March 11, 1952 "One should examine the impact of the armistice of the Korean War from two aspects: a quick armistice is good for [domestic] construction, while a delayed one is good for the exercise (of the army)." cited in Chen (2015). Page 183. [Cite]
Chen also observes "During the period of positional warfare in Korea, China’s military leadership understood the value of learning the lessons of modern combat and took measures to promote them both on the frontline and at home, for instance, rotating combat units to Korea to gain frontline experience and updating the training programme for units deployed in China." Page 208 [↩]
Stanley (2009) enumerates some reasons why the SU wants to prolong the war “First, it tied down U.S. forces, which hindered U.S. efforts to engage militarily in Europe, drained U.S. economic resources, and caused domestic political problems for President Harry Truman. Second, it created a rift between the United States and its allies over tactics in the Korean War. Third, it provided the Soviets with an excellent opportunity to gather intelligence on U.S. technology and military organization. Not only could it field-test its new equipment against American technology, but it could gain information from U.S. POWs. Finally, it created hostility between China and the United States and tied China more firmly to Moscow through dependence on Soviet military and economic assistance.” Page 64. There are also disadvantages in this strategy “For example, the war also galvanized the United States into approving National Security Council Paper 68 (NSC-68), dramatically increasing military spending, strengthening NATO, and starting to rearm Germany—all of which arguably imposed costs on the Soviet Union in terms of the wider bipolar superpower conflict.” [↩] [Cite]
See 20-08-1952 Minutes of Conversation between I.V. Stalin and Zhou Enlai
Mao Zedong “Did we then have any experience in fighting the U.S. aggressors? No, we did not. Did we then know much about the U.S. troops? No, we did not. Now, all this has changed.” 12-09-1953 Mao Zedong “Our great victory in the war to resist US aggression and aid Korea and our future tasks” [↩]
Bajanov (1996). Page 90. [Cite]
In 1952 Stalin argues “The quantity of arms, ammunition and other military goods which you requested oversteps the limits of our possibilities in 1953,..” 27-12-1952 Telegram from Stalin to Mao Zedong [↩]
Zhong (2013). Page 27 [↩] [Cite]
"Many of the Chinese soldiers in the CPV had originally been in the Nationalist Chinese army, and some of these were likely to prefer to go to Taiwan rather than being forced to return to Communist China.” Boose (2000). Page 108. [Cite]
The choice is often determined by: “...choice of prison compound leaders, for reasons of conviction, interest calculation, coercion, and threat of retribution from leaders” Chang (2011). Page 16. [Cite]
21 American POW don't wish to return to the US. [↩]
04-09-1952 Record of a Conversation between Stalin, Kim Il Sung, Pak Heon-yeong, Zhou Enlai, and Peng Dehuai
19-09-1952 Minutes of Conversation between I.V. Stalin and Zhou Enlai Stalin, however, made clear that the Soviet Union would only provide further economic assistance to China on the condition that China continued its involvement in the war. [↩]
See Boose (2000). Page 111. [Cite]
“Between Aug. 5, 1953 and Dec. 23, 1953, Operation Big Switch took effect repatriating an even larger number than before of POWs captured during the war. The total returned by the United Nations Command under this operation was 75 ,823, consisting of 70,183 Koreans and 5,640 Chinese. The total returned by North Korea and China was 12,773, consisting of 7,862 Korean, 3,597 Americans, and 946 British troops.” Kemp (2010). No Pagenumber. [Cite]
"...only one third of the approximately 21,000 Chinese prisoners of war were repatriated to Communist China; the remaining two thirds, or more than 14,300 prisoners, went to Nationalist Taiwan in a propaganda coup." Chang (2011). Page XV. [Cite]
Zhu (2015) states "By October 1953, it appeared that close to onethird of the CPV’s POWs, totaling 7,110 soldiers, had agreed to be repatriated to Communist China.2 When they returned, they faced a disheartening situation. Forced confession, persecution, punishment, and humiliation turned the former “war heroes” into enemies of the state." Zhu (2015). Page 163 [↩] [Cite]
The USSR Council of Ministers decides after the death of Stalin: “…in present conditions we must simply mechanically continue the line followed until now in the question of the war in Korea and not attempt to display initiative or to use an initiative of the opposing side and to secure the withdrawal of Korea and China from the war in accordance with the fundamental interests of the Chinese and Korean peoples and also in accordance with the interests of all other peace loving peoples.”
19-03-1954 Resolution, USSR Council of Ministers with draft letters from Soviet Government to Mao Zedong and Kim Il Sung and directive to Soviet delegation at United Nations
In East Europe an uprising starts on June 4, 1953 in East Germany. Unrest has increased in Czechoslovakia and Romania. [↩]


  • 14-06-1950 – 23-06-1950: 2nd Session of the 1st CPPCC National Committee

  • 07-07-1950 and 10-07-1950: CMC 1st meeting on national defense

  • 04-08-1950: Politburo meeting on Korea

  • 02-10-1950: Politburo meeting on Korea

  • 03-10-1950: Enlarged Secretariat meeting

  • 06-10-1950: Enlarged CMC meeting on Korea

  • 13-10-1950: Politburo meeting on Korea

  • 18-10-1950: Politburo meeting on Korea

  • 02-10-1952 – 12-10-1952: Asia and Pacific Rim Peace Conference

  • Chapter 7 of Common Program