China's Battle for Korea

China's Battle for Korea

The 1951 Spring Offensive
Xiaobing Li
Distribution: World
Publication date: 05/28/2014
Format: Hardback 12 b&w illus., 19 maps
ISBN: 978-0-253-01157-2
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2015 Best Scholarly Publication Award for Original Research, Association of Chinese Professors of Social Sciences

Between November 1950 and the end of fighting in June 1953, China launched six major offensives against UN forces in Korea. The most important of these began on April 22, 1951, and was the largest Communist military operation of the war. The UN forces put up a strong defense, prevented the capture of the South Korean capital of Seoul, and finally pushed the Chinese back above the 38th parallel. After China’s defeat in this epic five-week battle, Mao Zedong and the Chinese leadership became willing to conclude the war short of total victory. China's Battle for Korea offers new perspectives on Chinese decision making, planning, and execution; the roles of command, political control, and technology; and the interaction between Beijing, Pyongyang, and Moscow, while providing valuable insight into Chinese military doctrine and the reasons for the UN’s military success.

Author Bio

Xiaobing Li is Professor and Chair of the Department of History and Geography and Director of the Western Pacific Institute at the University of Central Oklahoma. He is author, editor, or co-author of China at War; A History of the Modern Chinese Army; Voices from the Korean War: Personal Stories of American, Korean, and Chinese Soldiers (with Richard Peters); Mao’s Generals Remember Korea (with Allan R. Millett); and other books and articles on the Korean War. He served in the People’s Liberation Army in China.


“One of the limitations of much that has been written about the Korean War in English has been a serious lack of analysis of Chinese sources. As in his previous works, Xiaobing Li shows that even in a one-party state like the PRC there is much useful material available to be interpreted by those with the requisite diligence and linguistic capability. In analyzing the 1951 spring offensive in as much depth as the sources allow from the Chinese rather than the American perspective he is making a major and very necessary contribution to the history of the Korean War.”
 — S. P. MacKenzie, author of The Imjin and Kapyong Battles, Korea, 1951 (IUP, 2013)

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Note on Transliteration
List of Abbreviations
Introduction: China’s War against America
1. Beijing’s Decision
2. From the Yalu to Seoul
3. The Last Attempt for Victory
4. The First Step: Three Problems
5. The Costly Offensive in the West
6. The Second Step: the Offensive in the East
7. Disastrous Withdraw to the North
8. From Battleground to Negotiating Table
Conclusion: What China Learned
Selected Bibliography

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