China and the Korean War 

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  • China and Korean War
    • On June 25th 1950, 135,000 NK troops invaded Capitalist SK.
      • UN forced repelled the invasion and advanced to the Chinese boarder - Mao took military action.
        • He fought UN to a standstill to a ceasefire in 1953.
        • The conflict was primarily between the communist-backed North Korea, and the US-and-capitalist-backed South Korea, with each vying for outright control of this significant peninsular of land.
          • After World War II, the historic nation of Korea had, therefore, been split into two separate countries along what became known as the 38 the parallel, and this border was at times actively disputed by either side and was at the root of the war that erupted.
    • There were a number of benefits from the War.
      • It helped enhance China's power. In the first few years after establishment, China needed support to keep the Communist regime alive - by fighting a war against Capitalist America, this proved China as a suitable ally for the Soviet Union.
        • Russia supported China militarily, however, this was not a gift and had to be paid back.
          • The war cost the PRC an estimated $10 billion.
      • It provided an excuse to lock up political prisoners and denounce non-Communists as spies, capitalist sympathisers or traitors.
      • It allowed for conscription and to raise taxes as well as forcing farmers to give up their crops towards the war effort.
      • The Communists launched the 'Resist America, Aid Korea' campaign which mobilised public support for the army.
        • Workers were encouraged to donate wages to the war effort which created a sense of national pride and unity.
      • Having his PLA fight against such a huge power such as America helped to put China back on the map and allowed Mao to be viewed as a brave and heroic leader.
      • China had previously been seen as the 'sick old man of Asia', but the military efforts and areas of success in the war meant that China was finally beginning to be feared and respected in the West.
    • However, China had not yet recovered from the impacts of the Japanese invasion and the Second WW.
      • Of the 3 million soldiers sent to Korea, 400,000 died.
      • Forced requisition of grain to the soldiers led to a famine in some parts of the country.
      • As a result of the war, much-needed reforms in education, heath-care, transport and infrastructure did not happen.
        • Russia supported China militarily, however, this was not a gift and had to be paid back.
          • The war cost the PRC an estimated $10 billion.

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