SHI YU/CHINA DAILY
The 70th anniversary of the War to Resist US Aggression and Aid Korea (1950-53), to be observed on Oct 25, once again underscores the importance of safeguarding national interests and fighting for global peace.
The United States intervened in the Korean War (1950-53), exploiting the Soviet Union's boycott of and the People's Republic of China's absence from the United Nations Security Council meeting in 1950 to form a UN Command against the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. Due to the US-led intervention, the contacts and supplies of the Korean People's Army of the DPRK were cut off, which changed the war situation and extended it to the border of China.
Moreover, Washington ignored Beijing's diplomatic message and warning that it would be forced to take part in the war if the US troops crossed the 38th parallel. Worse, the US sent the Seventh Fleet to the Taiwan Straits, which was a direct interference in China's internal affairs.
On the appeal of the DPRK and to protect China's national interests, Beijing sent the Chinese People's Volunteer Army and turned the course of the Korean War, which changed from a civil war to the first localized regional and international war after World War II.
In-depth studies, declassified documents and the memoirs of major players in the war show that China's involvement in the Korean War was passive. Since the PRC was making efforts to regain its legitimate seat in the UN despite Western countries' obstructions and help build an international order centered on the UN, there was no reason for China to challenge the world order and the UN by joining the Korean War as a belligerent party.
It is important to view the war from a historical perspective to really understand the events between 1950 and 1953. The CPVA was dispatched to the Korean Peninsula to neutralize the security risks that Northeast China faced because of the Korean War and the threat of a nuclear strike by the US-led forces. And since the US was trying to root out communism from the Korean Peninsula, the War to Resist US Aggression and Aid Korea was a countermeasure against the US' imperialist designs and the West's ideological war against socialist societies.
China has always followed a defensive military policy, according the highest priority to peace. And as history shows, the War to Resist US Aggression and Aid Korea helped China to prevent the US-led forces from crossing the 38th parallel and advancing toward China.
The US ignored China's warning, because the US intelligence community and policymakers did not think China would intervene militarily in the Korean War. Not only did the US intelligence community commit a strategic mistake, but also the then US administration underestimated China's will to defend its national security and territorial integrity in the face of aggression, although, Omar Bradley, then US general had said that extending the Korean War to China would involve the US in the wrong war, at the wrong place, at the wrong time and with the wrong enemy.
Therefore, the commemoration of the War to Resist US Aggression and Aid Korea does not mean China seeks war; instead, it means China cherishes peace. But while the Chinese people are averse to war, they are ready to fight against aggressors and countries that aim to harm China's core interests.
The international community is still unstable, and some Western politicians and media outlets have been hyping the "China threat" theory and talking about a new "Cold War", prompting China to intensely safeguard its sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Globalization has brought the world closer than ever before. And Sino-US ties have become the world's most important bilateral relations, because they concern not only the well-being of the people in China and the US but also global peace, stability, development and prosperity. China attaches great importance to Sino-US relations, yet the US administration has been groundlessly blaming China for all the US' ills and taken provocative military actions against China, which have soured bilateral ties.
Although China has adapted to the fast-changing world, it retains its peace-loving spirit and will always safeguard national interests. And while it has made remarkable progress in national defense, it still cherishes peace, and therefore pursues peaceful co-existence, co-development and common prosperity, in order to help build a community with a shared future for mankind.
The author is a professor and executive director of the Institute of Strategy and Security, National University of Defense Technology.