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Xi Jinping’s Speech at the 60th Anniversary Symposium of the Korean War

[Editor’s Note: The following is an excerpt from Xi Jinping’s speech marking the 60th anniversary of the Korean War. In his speech, Xi said that the Chinese army was sent to the Korean War because it was “a just war that safeguarded peace and forestalled invasion.” “Sixty years ago, the Chinese people sent our volunteer troops to resist America because we were driven beyond the limits of forbearance. It was a righteous act carried out only to safeguard the peace and resist invasion.”] [1]

The Chinese nation has an outstanding tradition of loving peace. In modern times, the Chinese people, who have suffered invasions and subjugation at the hands of imperialist powers, deeply understand the brutality of war and how precious it is to safeguard peace. Sixty years ago, the imperialist invaders imposed this war on the Chinese people. After the outbreak of the Korean civil war, the Truman Administration in the U.S. dispatched troops to carry out an armed intervention and started the Korean War. The troops ignored the Chinese government’s multiple warnings, crossed the military demarcation line (the 38th Parallel), pressed on to the Sino-North Korean border at the Yalu River and the Tumen River, launched air raids to bomb our northeastern cities and villages, and brought the war to the territory of the newly established People’s Republic of China. …

The Korean War was the first large-scale international regional war after World War II. The number of troops in the battlefield from both sides reached three million. The level of weaponry was extremely disparate. The American troops used advanced weapons and had air supremacy and command of the sea. Its ground forces were completely mechanized. In contrast, the Chinese People’s Volunteer Army basically relied on the infantry and a small amount of artillery, with quite outdated weaponry. Its air force, which entered the war only later, was only able to shield the major transportation lines and partially participate in air combat. It could not directly support the combat troops on the ground.

Despite the extreme inequities and difficult conditions, the Chinese People’s Volunteer Army, fighting side-by-side with the Korean People’s Army, won one glorious victory after another. From October 25, 1950, to June 10, 1951, the Chinese People’s Volunteer Army coordinated closely with the Korean People’s Army to wage five battles, including the battles at Liangshuidong, Yunshan City, the Qingchuan River, and Changjin Lake. The campaigns pushed the invaders back to the 38th Parallel, recovered the vast northern territory, and laid the foundation for victory in the war against aggression. Thereafter, the Chinese People’s Volunteer Army constructed an impregnable defense bastion and crushed the enemy’s multiple attacks and their germ warfare. The Sino-North Korean army not only stabilized the war front around the 38th Parallel but initiated several offensive attacks that forced the invader to stop and sit down for peace talks. In the arduous fight, the Chinese People’s Volunteer Army and the Korean People’s Army struck a heavy blow against the imperialist invader. On July 27, 1953, we forced them to sign the ceasefire agreement.

The great Korean War was a just war that safeguarded peace and forestalled invasion. The Chinese People’s Volunteer Army, motivated by a just cause, was victorious in this great anti-American Korean War. Sixty years ago, the Chinese people sent out volunteer troops to resist America because we were driven beyond the limits of forbearance. It was a righteous action carried out solely to protect the peace and resist invasion. Therefore, in the war, the volunteer officers and soldiers, with exuberant fighting spirit and soaring morale, were able to achieve a miracle that startled the world. This righteous war also won sympathy, support, and aid from peace-loving countries and people around the world. In the end, our troops won the war, disrupted the spread of imperialist expansion, and maintained the peace in Asia as well as the world. Facts have proven that a nation that has been awakened—and that dares to fight for its own glory, independence, and security—is invincible!

The great Korean War demonstrated the new China’s national prestige and the military might of the people’s army. It showed that a weak army can defeat a strong enemy. Our victory in the Korean War was achieved despite great disparity in strength. The American army used all kinds of new weapons, except the nuclear weapon. It put one third of its army, one fifth of its air force, and the majority of its navy into this war. The Chinese People’s Volunteer Army officers and soldiers used inferior equipment. …

The great Korean War made a great contribution to world peace and to human progress. Our victory in the Korean War protected the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and the infant People’s Republic of China. It deeply influenced and changed the political structure of Asia and the world after WWII. This victory was a convincing demonstration that China was a nation with no fear of violence, one that had the determination and strength to maintain world peace. This victory greatly improved our country’s status in the world, inspired the oppressed nations to strive for independence and liberation, and advanced world peace and human progress. …

This commemoration of our victory in the Korean War will serve to highlight our fight for world peace and human progress. The smoke from the gunpowder in the Korean War dispersed more than 50 years ago, but the wounds and memories of that cruel war will never fade. It is a necessary requirement in order for China to carry out its peaceful development and also to follow its inevitable path to promote and develop a peaceful and harmonious world, even as it adjusts to the present profound and complex changes in the world. Further, it must build and stabilize the international environment, a friendly neighborhood environment, an equal and mutually beneficial economic and trade environment, and a trustworthy, cooperative security environment. Mountains and rivers in the Korean Peninsula connect with those in China. Peace and stability in the Korean Peninsula and Northeast Asia matter for world peace and stability. China has been consistent in its basic stance and policy advocacy on the Korean issue, which is dedication to the peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula, resolution of differences through diplomatic means including dialogs and negotiations, and, finally, a complete solution to the Korean Peninsula issue.

[1] Xinhua, October 25, 2010