How Significant Was China’s Intervention In Deciding The Course And Outcome Of The Korean War

1008 words - 5 pages

How significant was China’s intervention in deciding the course and outcome of the Korean War? (30 Marks)
Some argue that China’s intervention in the Korean War played a very significant role in deciding the course and outcome of the war in several ways. One of the most significant factors is the role that was played by the Chinese volunteer army which managed to push the UN forces back to the 38th Parallel which then prolonged a conflict which the UN was going to win. The lack of this intervention would mean that the Armistice would have never happened which was very crucial. In addition if China had not intervened (much to Truman’s dismay) MacArthur would not have been fired an ...view middle of the document...

As the UN forces began to move along the border China became increasingly worried about their own security against attack from the US and was particularly concerned by USA’s new desire to rollback communism. On 27th November 1950 Chinese troops crossed over the border adding a force of 200,000 troops to the 150,000 North Koreans (using human wave tactics) and UN forces were pushed into a rapid retreat. US declared a state of National Emergency with MacArthur recommending using atomic bombs to cut off supplies.
As previously mentioned a major factor that emphasises the significance of China’s intervention is was the role played by the ‘volunteer’ army which was provided by Mao Zedong. The army was made up of 300,000 soldiers who were poorly equipped but despite this they had previously fought in the Chinese Civil War (which was from August 1927 to December 1936 then resumed in March 1946 until it ended in May 1950.) These soldiers had admirable tactics and immediately engaged in the war with the UN. For the opposing army it may have seemed like the Chinese intervention was too late and they lost the first major battle with the UN forces. There were many risks involved in moving into North Korea. There were vast amounts of Chinese divisions in Manchuria, north of the Yalu River
.Then in October 1950 the Republic of Korea troops crossed the 38th Parallel and then on the 2nd of October, Zhou Enlai, the Chinese Prime Minister summoned the Indian ambassador to inform him when the US forces crossed the borders.
Furthermore, a further reason which reinforces the significance of the Chinese intervention is that MacArthur publicly spoke (much to Truman’s...

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