Ib History Ia: Why Did Mao Intervene in the Korean War?

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History Internal Assessment|
Why did Mao intervene in the Korean War from 1950-53?|
Gyeonggi Academy of Fo reign LanguagesHa Rim Kim006370-008| 2013-04-20|

Word Count: 1997|

A: Plan of Investigation
The research question that will be addressed is: Why did Mao decide to intervene in the Korean War (1950-53)? As far as the scope is concerned, I will be looking at the three major reasons behind Mao’s intervention in the war: Mao’s need of Soviet support, apprehension of American aggression, and his obligation to help North Korea. Thus, to achieve accuracy and depth in my research, I used relevant secondary sources such as books written by reputable authors with expert knowledge in history of modern China such as Spence, Fenby and Cumings, and also used journal articles. I followed a chronological approach in the summary of evidence, and a thematic approach in the analysis.

B: Summary of Evidence
1931
* September 18th Manchurian Incident: Japanese troops stationed in Korea invade the Chinese border (Spence 370). 1937-45
* 90,000 Koreans fought on the CCP’s side in the anti-Japanese resistance, and among them only 28,000 returned to Korea (Cumings 143-44). * Kim Song Ju joined the CCP’s Northeast Anti-Japanese United Army and fought against the Japanese in Manchuria (Behnke 33). 1947-49

* America supported the GMD in the Chinese Civil War (Lynch China: From Empire 125). * Kim Il Sung sent numerous soldiers to help the CCP in the Chinese Civil War (Behnke 44). 1949
* Chiang Kai-Shek retreated to Taiwan (Spence 500).
* Mao confirmed that China will be on Soviet’s side by stating that he is “leaning toone side” (Spence 498). * Mao sought to unite China and Taiwan (Spence 500).
* Mao issued propaganda saying America will try to hinder the revolution by sending “their troops to invade and harass China’s frontiers” (Chen 16). * October 1st Mao announces the creation of the PRC (People’s Republic of China) (Lynch China: From Empire 124). * Concerned with the American attempt to sabotage the Chinese revolution, Mao mentioned in a Politburo meeting that there was a high chance that America would directly impede the revolution (Chen 15). * Mao’s biggest and most difficult task was to consolidate the PRC government (Chen 128).

1950
* Realizing that the invasion of Taiwan would be a difficult task, a PLA general stated, “[Taiwan] cannot be occupied without sufficient transport, suitable equipment, and adequate supplies” (Spence 501). * “Mao had played no part in the planning of the initial North Korean invasion” (Lynch Mao 150). * June 25th The Korean War begins (Hastings 513).

* America sends the Seventh Fleet to Taiwan (Hastings 65). * Zhou Enlai called America’s intervention in Taiwan an “armed aggression against the territory of China” (Spence 503). * After the Seventh Fleet was sent, 30,000 troops from Fujian were transferred to Mukden (Spence 503). * July 1st America intervenes in the Korean War (Hastings 513). * Mao’s government, remembering how the Japanese imperialists penetrated through the North Korean-Chinese border, greatly worried that America might invade China if North Korea faltered in the war, and this concern led to China’s intervention in the Korean War (Lynch Mao 151; Fenby 366; Chen 127; Crocker 34; Hanhimaki and Odd 178). * Chiang offered America and the UN 30,000 Nationalist Chinese troops to fight on their side in Korea, and thus exacerbated “Chinese suspicions of American aggression” (Crocker 34). * One Chinese statement said U.S. intervention in the Korean War “seriously threatens the security of China in particular … North Korea’s defense is our defense” (Spence 504). * “After the outbreak of the Korean War policymakers in Beijing widely believed that the U.S. intervention in Korea and Taiwan represented a general plot to surround and attack China from three directions—Korea, Taiwan, and...
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