In-depth research. Perceptive insights.
In-depth research. Perceptive insights.
Monday, June 5, 2023
Tan Meng Wah
In-depth research. Perceptive insights.
2.1 Korean War under Truman & Mao (1950 - 53)
1 January 2017
The Korean War (1950 – 1953)
China and the US crossed swords soon after the birth of New China under the leadership of Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in 1949. In October 1950, Chinese PLA expeditionary force, under the name of the Chinese People’s Volunteer Army (PVA 中国人民志愿军), crossed the Yalu River to assist North Korean armies in the Korean War, engaging the UN-sanctioned US-led coalition troops (hereon known as the Allied forces) which was far stronger in terms of military equipment and logistical supply than China.
The Korean War began on June 25, 1950 when 223,000 North Korean People’s Army (KPA) soldiers supported by 150 tanks poured across the 38th parallel, the boundary between the Soviet-backed Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) to the north and the pro-Western Republic of Korea (ROK) to the south. This division was intended to last only four years, after which an independent Korean government was to be elected. However, driven by ideological interests and Cold War tensions, the Soviets and Americans, though officially committed to the establishment of a unified Korea, encouraged the formation of separate governments. By 1948, North Korea and South Korea became independent nation-states. Despite so, the Koreans had never accepted the division as legitimate or permanent and the bitterly opposing governments of the North and South were both determined to reunify the country under their own control.
Tensions between the two Koreas increased in 1949-50, as their leaders engaged in aggressive political rhetoric. Both claimed to be the legitimate government of Korea, and neither accepted the border as permanent. As the tension rose, they fortified the 38th parallel border and increased their military presence there, leading to cross-border shootings and skirmishes. In June 1950, one of these border clashes sparked a full scale invasion of South Korea by the North Korean People’s Army (KPA).
A Civil War or a War between the Superpowers?
This invasion was the first military action of the Cold War. Even though the civil war was widely anticipated since 1949 due to the mounting tension at the border of the two Koreas, the Truman administration was unprepared for the invasion. In fact, in the months preceding June 1950, US officials had actually publicly declared that US would not intervene should North Korea attempt to reunify the peninsula by force. Military strategists were more concerned with the security of Europe against the Soviet Union. In the Pacific, the focus was on the strategic Asian defensive perimeter stretching from Ryukyus to the Philippine Islands. Korea was therefore not even included in the plan outlined by Secretary of State Dean Acheson in January 1950.
When the invasion from the North started, the Truman administration was initially worried that the war was Stalin’s ploy of a diversionary assault preceding a Soviet attack on the Western Europe once the United States committed in Korea. There were also concerns that the civil war could quickly widen into another world war should the Chinese or Soviets decide to get involved. Moreover, because of the shift of emphasis to a building a nuclear deterrence and of defense cuts instituted after the end of WWII, the US military force had been significantly downsized.
Notwithstanding, it did not take long for President Truman to soon arrive at the conclusion that the US was obligated to act. To begin with, memories of the mistake of appeasement of Hitler’s aggressions in the 1930s were still fresh. Truman also viewed the North Korean invasion as a likely probing action by Stalin to test the Western resolve and concluded that the Cold War with the Soviet Union had entered a new and more dangerous stage. Fearing that the seemingly border dispute could be a first salvo of a broader communist campaign in Asia waged by the Soviet Union, President Truman decided that non-intervention was not an option.
Another factor that could have caused Truman to change his mind was the considerations of US policy towards Japan. After the fall of China to the Communists, US policy makers saw Japan as the critical counterweight to the Soviet Union and China in the region. Hence, even though there was no US policy dealing with South Korea directly as a national interest, its proximity to Japan increased the importance of South Korea.
Finally, Truman’s change of heart was influenced in no small part by the National Security Council Paper (NSC-68) issued by the US State Department in April 1950. The report started from the assumption that the Kremlin sought “to impose its absolute authority over the rest of the world” and concluded that Soviet efforts, now aimed at gaining domination over the Eurasian land mass, had grown bolder in response to America’s relative military weakness due predominantly to extensive defence budget cut and to the shift in emphasis to building a nuclear bomber force. It further warned that any American failure to respond to Soviet aggression, which would more likely be “piecemeal” than total war, could lead to “a descending spiral of too little and too late” and “of gradual withdrawals under pressure until we discover one day that we have sacrificed positions of vital interest.”
In any case, what started as a civil war for unification soon evolved in to an ideological war against communism and the expansionism of the Soviet Union. For every decision made and military action carried out, the American policy makers were obsessed with the implied ‘message’ sent to the Soviet Union. Besides helping to defend South Korea, they believed that the US needed to also prepare itself militarily and politically to meet the next act of Soviet aggression. Consequently, the administration moved quickly to implement the massive rearmament plan drawn up earlier that year, to defend Taiwan and the French position in Indochina, to solidify NATO, and to rearm West Germany. In addition, US also concluded a separate peace agreement with Japan and maintained military forces in Okinawa.
Counter-offensives of the Allied Forces
After North Korea failed to heed a United Nations resolution to withdraw from the South, a 21-nation multilateral military force was mobilized to help defend South Korea. The US provided 88% of the military personnel. By July 1950, the Allied forces, led by General Douglas MacArthur, the US commander in charge of the Asian theatre, had entered the war on South Korea’s behalf.
The initial phase went badly for the Allies. The KPA soldiers were well trained and equipped and outnumbered the Allied forces. Tactics were based on Soviet doctrine which emphasised rapid advances spearheaded by armoured and infantry assaults. The quality and power of the KPA’s initial invasion resulted in its opponents being forced back to the southern tip of the Korean peninsula. After holding its ground at Pusan, MacArthur launched a counteroffensive on September 15, 1950, by conducting a major coastal hook landing on the beaches of Inchon behind the North Korean lines. The operation cut off the supply line of KPA rendering it powerless to resist the ensuing counter attack by the Allied forces breaking out of Pusan. A hasty and disorganised retreat resulted in KPA suffering massive casualties and materiel losses. Within two weeks, the Allied not only recaptured Seoul but also marched deep into North Korea. By this stage, the war for MacArthur had been transformed from a defensive one to defend South Korea to an offensive one to destroy the Pyongyang regime and to rid the peninsular of communism.
As the Allied forces approached the Yalu River, the border between North Korea and Communist China, however, the alarmed Chinese began to worry about possible “armed aggression against Chinese territory.” The situation was exacerbated by MacArthur’s public statements calling for a war with China, arguing that Chinese bases were supplying the North Koreans. On 25 October 1950, after warnings for the Allied forces to stay away from the border went unheeded, hundreds of thousands of Chinese troops, which had earlier crossed the frozen Yalu River undetected, suddenly launched a massive attack at many points along the Allied forces front.
China’s Motivations to Fight in the Korean War
Notably, the economy of the nascent People’s Republic of China at that point remained shattered after years of fighting the Japanese and the Nationalists. Fiscal budget was extremely tight while the severe lack of material resources resulted in high inflation. Meanwhile, China was still facing growing attacks, sabotages, and assassinations from the remnants of Kuomintang (KMT) agents. Intelligence acquired by the public security ministry at the time even revealed that a bombardment of Tiananmen on the celebration of National Day on October 1 was likely. Moreover, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) itself was in fact on the verge of embarking on battles in Taiwan to unify the whole of China. Despite the highly unfavourable domestic conditions and the limited war-waging capabilities of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), the Chinese leaders proceeded with the intervention but not before soliciting Stalin’s promises of supports in terms of equipment, advice, and particularly the support of Soviet Air Force units to counter American air superiority.
For the Chinese, the decision to help the North Koreans was motivated by several factors.
First, North Korean served as an important buffer to Beijing. There were concerns that a concentration of American troops near the North-eastern border region would force China to focus most of its troops and resources on the border. That would be both fiscally expensive and politically dangerous. Moreover, the northeast region was also critical for the economic reconstruction of China because of its rich endowment in resources including steel, coal and hydropower which supported the growth of China’s heavy industries. Allowing the US troops to proceed to the Yalu River would put those industries ‘within range of enemy bombers’.
Second, as a young nation state just emerged from a civil war, the CCP had yet to firmly establish its authority. It was feared that a victory by the American troops could bolster both the international and domestic reactionary forces against China. By sending troops to combat the US forces and prevent their arrival at the border regions, the CCP leaders hoped that it could consolidate the party’s authority at home and prevent the enemy from fanning counterrevolution sentiments and threatening China’s domestic unity and security.
Next, Mao and the CCP leaders also believed that because of ideological differences, confrontation between communist China and capitalist United States was inevitable sooner or later.
Finally, Mao also felt that China has an internationalist duty to assist the Korean revolution and to boost revolutionary morale among communist movements in the whole of East Asia. Stalin was reported to have told Liu Shaoqi that “he hoped to see the Chinese and the Soviets divide their spheres of responsibilities within the international communist movement. . . . As the Chinese had greater influence upon colonial and semi-colonial countries in the East, it would be easier for China to help promote Eastern revolution than for the Soviet Union.” Hence, intervening in Korea would also promote China’s status as an avant garde of world communist revolution particularly in the East.
Early Success of the Chinese PVA
China began to amass its forces as the Allied forces approached the Chinese border on two widely divergent axes. On October 19, 1950, the same day the Allied forced captured Pyongyang, the PVA crossed the frozen Yalu River, led by Peng Dehuai, a brilliant military strategist who played an instrumental role in defeating the Nationalists in the civil war. Six days later, the fighting involving the PVA began. By this time, what remained of a reorganised KPA played a much-reduced role in operations and the Korean war had become essentially a Chinese war fought on behalf of the Korean.
The US intelligence failed to detect the Chinese preparations for the intervention as well as the activities of Chinese soldiers operating in North Korea. By early November, to the surprise of the Allied forces, the intervention of the PVA, which had by then grown to a strength of around 300,000, stopped the Allied offensive. By December, the Chinese PVA had pushed the Allied forces out of North Korea beyond the 38th parallel.
The setbacks of the Allied forces could be attributed to the US lack of understanding in the nascent Chinese communist state. To begin with, the American policy makers failed to understand the importance of the North Korean as a buffer to Beijing. At the tactical level, the US military not only overrated the importance of its own air superiority but also grossly underestimated the overall capabilities of the Chinese forces, based on their earlier experience with the Chinese Nationalist forces. Even though the PVA was a light infantry army having only a limited number of heavy weapons such as artillery, very few anti-aircraft guns, and no armoured vehicles, the Chinese soldiers were physically tough and committed and were led by officers who were competent and experienced.
Moreover, Chinese tactics relied on overwhelming the enemy with numbers, frequently launching human wave assaults against their foes to achieve battlefield success. Its commander, Peng, fully appreciated the significance of US air superiority over the battlefield as well as the effectiveness of U.S. armour and artillery. To overcome the disadvantages, Peng adopted the hybrid insurgent tactics used by the CCP in the Chinese Civil War against the better-equipped Nationalists. Light infantry formations designed to move and attack at night were employed to avoid US airpower and concentrated ground firepower. In short, the PVA was a relatively poorly-equipped tenacious and formidable army. The element of surprise and the numerical superiority of the PVA overwhelmed the US forces, which failed to comprehend the magnitude of Chinese intervention, until it was too late to do anything but retreat.
By the end of 1950, the PVA had recovered much of the lost territory in North Korea, to the shock of General MacArthur.
PVA’s Early Success Turning into Stalemate Due to Inadequate Air Support
As the fighting progressed, however, the early Chinese successes soon turned into a stalemate. Even though the PVA succeeded in pushing the frontline into South Korea by mid-February 1951, it became increasingly difficult for the Chinese soldiers to outmanoeuvre the motorized enemy forces while under constant US air bombardment.
Despite his earlier promises, Stalin's fear of a direct confrontation with the US limited the actual extent of Soviet’s involvement and assistance, particularly in terms of air support. As a result, the PVA faced not only inadequate direct air support for ground operations but also inadequate protection for its long supply lines. According to Peng Dehuai report to Mao, only "sixty to seventy percent of supplies" could reach the PVA’s soldiers at the front. The shortage of logistical supply and the bitter cold added to the misery of the Chinese soldiers. Thousands of PVA soldiers in Korea died from malnutrition, inadequate medical care and freezing winters with sufficient blankets or uniforms. It became obvious to the PVA’s commanders that to win the next phase of the war, it is critical to secure adequate direct air support to protect the supply lines and to support the conduct of the ground battles.
Understandably, the Chinese felt betrayed by Stalin’s withholding of the promised air support. At the start of the ground assault in late October 1950, the newly established but fast expanding Chinese air force consisted of only two fighter divisions, one bomber regiment, and one attack aircraft regiment, with a total of two hundred combat planes.
The top leadership was worried about committing its nascent air force to face the numerically and technologically more superior US air force which wiped out the North Korean Air Force during the first month of the war. Zhou Enlai, for example, reportedly argued with the Soviet military advisor in Beijing that China would "have no problem to endure losses of fifty thousand or one million army soldier, but would not make sacrifice of our newly built air force" in Korea. According to the premier, China's Air Force remained small and it would be difficult to develop one if the air force was sapped severely in the war.
Despite the disadvantage in terms of numbers and capabilities of the planes, however, the Chinese were confident that its Air Force could prevail against US air strength by avoiding a war of attrition and concentrating the forces on carrying out timely attacks on the Americans. Moreover, it was thought that the air force should play only a supporting role and the war ultimately has to be won by the ground troops.
Recent Chinese sources reveal that as the battle progressed, the Chinese Air Force leaders was contemplating the alternatives of either moving the air assets into Korea to provide direct support for the PVA’s ground operations or to base the air force units only inside China to engage the US aircraft over Korea. The former would give ground troops more direct support than the latter, but also would entail a greater risk for losing the entire air force. By early 1951, with the frontline now stretching into South Korea, it became clear that air force units had to be located within North Korea to protect the long supply lines and to support the troops at the front. A desperate Peng suggested to Soviet chief military advisor in Beijing that two Soviet air divisions extend their air cover of the PVA’s supply lines all the way down to the 38th parallel, but received a negative response. On 1 March 1951, Mao forwarded Peng's appeal to Stalin who agreed within two days to move two Soviet air divisions from Manchuria into Korean territory to provide protection for the rear of China and North Korea but insisted that the air defense at the frontline in the Andong area be shouldered by two Chinese air divisions. On 15 March, worried that the Chinese air strength would not match that of the Allied forces, Stalin had a change of heart and agreed to dispatch an additional large fighter division (three regiments and 90 MiG-15s) to Andong if and when the two Chinese air divisions were deployed.
Meanwhile, responding to Beijing's complaints about the low quality of MiG-9s in late May, Stalin declared that the Soviet Union would send 375 MiG-15s to the Chinese to replace the antiquated jets within two months. In addition to instructing Soviet air units in China to retrain Chinese pilots from three air divisions on MiG-15s, he also asserted that the Chinese leadership divert from central and southern China to the front five or six MiG-9 divisions, which would still operate effectively against bombers.
To accommodate the deployment of the air units, however, Peng failed to find any airfield operational inside North Korea. At the same time, Allied forces’ air superiority and the Peng’s lack of reliable air force to provide cover also posed a great challenge to constructing airfields. Upon Mao’s appeal, Stalin quickly agreed to provide the Chinese with two sets of metal strip for use in Korea as well as antiaircraft guns and shells for the protection of airfields. He also requested the Chinese to prepare four additional airfields with concrete runways for the Soviet MiG units to use. China employed some two million person-days, and shipped 30,000 tons of cement, 36,000 pieces of steel plate, and other supplies and equipment to construct the airfields. After working day and night, the Chinese troops completed the construction at four locations including Pyongyang by the end of May 1951. However, they failed to prevent Allied aircrafts from bombing and damaging the runways and surrounding facilities rendering the airfields “unserviceable” in the end. As a result of this setback, the Chinese was forced to abandon their plan for ground support and opted to use only airfields inside China to engage UN planes over Korea. Peng’s hope for air support from both Chinese and Soviet air force units fell through.
By summer 1951, the ground war developed into a stalemate at the front lines just north of the 38th parallel, while the ceasefire talks began at Kaesong. In view of the lack of air support, plans to mount another major offensive were shelved. A disappointed but undeterred Peng sought to involve the Soviets more directly in the war by recommending in September 1951 the creation of a Sino-Soviet-Korean joint command at his armies’ headquarter. However, his request for 83 Soviet advisors to assist Chinese generals in planning and organizing warfare in Korea was denied by Stalin who sent only 5 out of fear that the presence of large group of Soviet generals would result in Soviet assuming heavy responsibilities in military operations. Similarly, back at the Yalu River where Soviet pilots from two fighter divisions intensified their operations in large-scale dogfights with Allied aircrafts over the "MiG Alley", efforts by the Chinese to form a joint command with the Soviet also failed. Soviet pilots continued to operate independently from the Chinese and North Korean pilots throughout the war. The lack of a single command system and coordination between Soviet air units and Sino-Korean forces caused confusion.
Firing of MacArthur and the Armistice
On the side of the Allied forces, the humiliating retreat back to the 38th parallel prompted General MacArthur to want to expand the war against the “Red China”. In a letter to Representative Joseph W. Martin on March 20, 1951, General MacArthur declared that there was “no substitute for victory” and anything short of it represented “appeasement” of the communists. To him, “Asia is where the communist conspirators have elected to make their play for global conquest” and “if we lose the war to communism in Asia the fall of Europe is inevitable.” He therefore called for “meeting force with maximum counterforce”.
MacArthur’s plan involved the use of 30-50 tactical atomic bombs on air bases and depots across the neck of Manchuria from just across the Yalu at northwest tip of Korea to northeast tip near the border of the USSR, to prevent new Chinese troops from entering the battles or bombing attacks originating from those bases. The Nationalist Chinese forces from Formosa (i.e. Taiwan), reinforced by two US Marine divisions, would then be mobilized against the communist China.
MacArthur’s plan, however, failed to win over President Harry Truman (1945 – 1953) who judged that Europe, not Asia, was where the Cold War would be won. Moreover, the world had just survived a widely destructive world war and situation in Europe was still volatile with the onset of Cold War. Truman therefore wanted to contain the fighting within the Korean Peninsula. The last thing Truman wanted at that point was a wider war in Asia, which would weaken the American position in Europe.
After Truman flatly rejected McArthur requests, a very public argument developed between the two men with MacArthur complaining that the president was tying his hands by forbidding the bombing of China, thereby sacrificing American lives and endangering American freedom. In April 1951, Truman fired the five-star general for insubordination In an interview conducted on his 74th birthday in 1954, MacArthur asserted that had he been allowed to carry out his plan, he could have altered the course of history by winning the Korean War in no more than 10 days with considerably fewer casualties than were suffered.
In any case, with MacArthur out of the way, peace talk began in July 1951. There was agreement in key strategic issues but poor communication combined with reputational concerns on both sides, inflated minor issues, such as POW repatriation, causing the war to drag on for nearly two years before the impasse was only broken in 1953 when the newly elected President Eisenhower (served 1953 -1961) threatened the use of US’ nuclear arsenal to break the military stalemate in Korea. Finally in July 1953, an armistice (i.e. not a peace treaty meaning the two Koreas are technically still at war today) ended the bloody and frustrating war that lasted three years.
Notably, the Korean War produced no tangible change in sovereignty, government or territory despite the high human and financial costs. At its peak, the strength of PVA swelled to more than two million Chinese soldiers, all supposedly volunteers. All in all, the three-year war claimed the life of thirty-six thousand Americans, a quarter million Chinese, and half a million or more Koreans. Because of the extent of Chinese involvement, the Korean War has been touted by some as the first Sino-American War.
Impacts of the Korean War on China’s Relation with Soviet Union and the US
Despite the much higher Chinese death toll than the US, Mao considered the war in which the poorly equipped PVA fought the world's greatest power to a stalemate not only a success in the face of overwhelming odds but also atonement for the century of humiliations China suffered in the hands of imperialist Western powers. The Korean War therefore not only galvanized China’s image among the newly independent states in the Third World but also enhanced Mao’s reputation, both as a military strategist and a communist leader prepared to stand up to the West.
On the negative side, however, China’s participation in the Korean War also entailed significant political costs. At American urging, the United Nations passed a resolution condemning China as an aggressor state. As a result, ‘China’ was represented at the UN by the Taiwan-based Republic of China (ROC) government from 1953. The mainland People’s Republic of China (PRC) was not admitted to the UN only until 1971. Moreover, China was also subjected to years of international isolation and trade embargoes until Nixon reached out to Mao in 1972 in an effort to further divide the two great communist powers, by then in discord, and to put pressure on the Soviets into making conciliations to several issues.
As for the impacts on China’s relation with the Soviet which China had looked up to as the Big Brother, the Korean War heralded a bad start for the two brotherly communist states. With the onset of the Cold War, Stalin already had his hands full with the extensive manoeuvring and deployments in Eastern Europe. Soviet Union therefore needed China as its important security bulwark in East Asia. With Cold War tension already running high in Europe, Stalin wanted to avoid any possibility of direct confrontation with the US in East Asia. By promising China with materials and air support, Stalin encouraged China's direct intervention in Korea while doing everything he could to deceive the world on Soviet’s involvement. Besides making Soviet pilots wore Chinese uniforms and disguising Soviet planes in North Korean colours, Stalin also prescribed rules to prevent Soviet pilots from flying over the sea or close to the front lines as well as from speaking in Russian over the radio.
More importantly, because of his fear of direct confrontation with the US, Stalin also tried to limit Soviet participation by withholding the promised air support right from the start of the PVA campaign in Korea. In October 1950, for example, China was left to mount military operations in Korea without full air cover even though Soviet air units had been assigned to support China since August 1950. It wasn’t that Stalin did not understand the importance of having effective air control in a battle fight. Calculating that China needs a strong air force to fight an independent air war, for example, he encouraged China to build an air force of 200 air regiments, instead of the 150 projected earlier, and even promised to supply new fighters with speeds of 1,000-1,100 kilometers-per-hour to help China match the Western technological advantage.
Yet throughout the PVA campaign, China failed to secure a full air commitment from the Soviet Air Force. Even though the Soviets had agreed to provide more air cover in Korea, it was the Chinese responsibility to prepare the airfields but without effective air cover from the Soviet side, the Chinese could not protect the newly-constructed airfields from bombardment by air units from the Allied forces. In the end, the air support that failed to materialized severely crippled Peng’s ground operations, causing high PVA casualties as well as undue hardship due to shortages in resupply. Stalin’s failures to live up to his promise due to his fear of engaging the US bred China’s distrust in Soviet Union as a reliable ally.
Besides the issue of air support, China was also upset with having to bear the financial costs of Soviet’s material support. The Chinese leaders had expected the Soviet support to be unconditional just as the Chinese supported the North Korean unconditionally. Recently available documents revealed that Russian production capacity was already stretched by its own post-WWII reconstruction to begin with. A severely strained economy thus forced Moscow to keep the war in Korea, as well as its assistance to China, within strictly limited parameters. By the time the fighting stopped, the Chinese not only sustained great losses in terms of human costs but also found themselves laden with a huge war debt to the Soviet Union totalling about $650 million even though China was fighting a common enemy of the Soviet Union in a war which the Soviet Union also had an interests in. The debt "made the Soviets seem more like arms merchants than genuine Communist internationalists".
Soviet’s penny-pinching approach matched a pattern of dealing with fellow communist ally states pre-existing even before the breakout of the Korean War. During Soviet’s earlier negotiations with North Korea in 1949 and with China in 1950 for extending “aid” to the two communist allies, for example, the tone of discussion suggested hard bargaining and the pact ultimately concluded was on terms economically unfavourable to both China and North Korea.
As a whole, the Korean War experience thus suggested to the Chinese that the Soviet Union was an unreliable ally and that China had to be self-reliance with regards to its national security. Indeed, by 1962, the two mostly powerful communist states broke off diplomatic relations.
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 See History.com. “Korean War”.
 See Alpha History. “The Korean War”.
 See “Excerpts From Acheson's Speech To The National Press Club.” January 12, 1950.
 See David W. Hunter. (1991). “Western Trade Pressure on the Soviet Union: An Interdependence Perspective on Sanctions.” Springer; J. Swift. (2003). “The Palgrave Concise Historical Atlas of the Cold War.” Springer.
 See Kim, Yǒng-jin. (1973). “Major Powers and Korea”. Silver Spring. MD: Research Institute on Korean Affairs.
 See “NSC-68, A Report to the National Security Council by the Executive Secretary on United States Objectives and Programs for National Security.” April 14, 1950.
 See Kathryn Weathersby. (1993). “Soviet Aims in Korea and the Origins Of The Korean War, 1945-1950: New Evidence From Russian Archives.” Florida State University. Pg. 5.
 See The Korean War Memorial Foundation. “A Brief History of the Korean War.”
 See Zhang Xiaoming. (2002). “China, the Soviet Union, and the Korean War: From an Abortive Air War Plan to a Wartime Relationship.” The Journal of Conflict Studies. Vol. XXII No. 1 Spring 2002.
 This section on factors motivating China’s participation in the Korean War draws heavily from the paper by Bangning Zhou. (2015). “Explaining China's Intervention in the Korean War in 1950.” Journal of International Affairs. Vol. 2014/2015 No. 1.
 See Christensen, T. J. ‘Threats, Assurances, and the Last Chance for Peace: The Lessons of Mao’s Korean War Telegrams’, International Security, 17 (1992), pp. Pg 135; Quoted in Bangning Zhou. (2015). “Explaining China's Intervention in the Korean War in 1950.” Journal of International Affairs. Vol. 2014/2015 No. 1
 See Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China, Zhou Enlai Waijiao Wenxuan (周恩来文选Selected Diplomatic Works of Zhou Enlai) (Beijing, Zhongyang Wenxian Chubanshe (中央出版社Central Document Press), 1990), p. 28-29.
 See Chen, J. (1994). “China’s Road to the Korean War: The Making of the Sino-American Confrontation.” Columbia University Press. Pg 124; Hao, Y. Zhai, Z. (1990). “China’s Decision to Enter the Korean War: History Revisited.” The China Quarterly, 121 (1990), Pg. 106.
 Shi Zhe, “Random Reflections of Comrade Liu Shaoqi,” Geming huiyilu (革命回忆录Revolutionary Memoirs), supplementary issue, No. l (October 1983), 110-11; Shi Zhe, “I Accompanied Chairman Mao to the Soviet Union,” Quoted in Kathryn Weathersby. (1993).
 See Robert Farley. (2017).
 See AnzacCentenary.gov.au. “The Korean War.”
 See Zhang Xiaoming. (2002).
 See Wei Bihai, "Air Operations during the War to Oppose America and Aid Korea in Historical Retrospect: An Interview with Wang Bingzhang." Junshi lishi, 6 (2000), p. 32. Quoted in Zhang Xiaoming. (2002).
 See Zhang Xiaoming. (2002).
 Letter to Representative Joseph W. Martin, Jr., (20 March 1951); read to the House by Martin on April 5.
 See Blaine Taylor. (2017). “Douglas MacArthur: Atomic Bombs Will Win The Korean War?” Warfare History Network. August 14, 2017.
 See History.com. “Truman relieves MacArthur of duties in Korea.”
 Seen Blaine Taylor. (2017). “Douglas MacArthur: Atomic Bombs Will Win The Korean War?” Warfare History Network. August 14, 2017.
 See Robert Farley. (2017). “China vs. America: Why the Korean War Was Total Hell (And It’s Not Over).” National Interest. September 6, 2017.
 See Alpha History. “The Korean War”.
 See Robert Farley. (2017). “China vs. America: Why the Korean War Was Total Hell (And It’s Not Over).” National Interest. September 6, 2017.
 See Alpha History. “The Korean War”.
 See Georgi Lobov, "Black Spots of History: In the Skies of North Korea," JPRS Report, JPRS-UAC-91-003 (28 June 1991), p. 30. Quoted in Zhang Xiaoming. (2002).
 Conversation minutes between Stalin and Zhou, 3 September 1952. Quoted in Zhang Xiaoming. (2002).
 Mao to Stalin, 28 March 1952 telegram, “Archives of the President of the Russian Federation (APRF).” Pg. 270-72.