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Digital Archive International History Declassified

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China and the Korean War

 A collection of materials documenting China's involvement in all stages of the Korean War. (Image: Chen Geng, Peng Dehuai, and Deng Hua, commanders of the Chinese People's Volunteer Army, stand together for a group photo)

  • 1949

    Report on the 164th and the 166th Division

    The history and basic information on the 164th and the 166th Divisions of the People's Liberation Army, or the divisions composed mainly of ethnic Koreans.

  • May 18, 1949

    Telegram from the leader of the group of Soviet specialists in Northeast China to the Chairman of the USSR Council of Ministers about the results of the Chinese-Korean talks on military cooperation

    A telegram from the leader of the group of Soviet specialists in Northeast China to the Chairman of the USSR Council of Ministers about the results of Chinese-Korean talks on military cooperation.

  • December 29, 1949

    Telegram to Mao Zedong from Nie Rongzhen concerning the Repatriation of Ethnic Korean Soldiers to North Korea

    Lin Biao asks for instructions on whether to send ethnic Korean officers and soldiers to North Korea.

  • 1950

    Register of Letters Received from China

    A list of letters of support from China received by the North Korean government during the Korean War.

  • January 11, 1950

    Cable, Central Military Commission to Lin Biao, Deng Zihui, Tan Zhen, Xiao Ke, and Zhao Erlu

    To the question of whether to send back the ethnic Korean officers back to Korea, the Central Military Commission answers in the affirmative and writes that CMC has already asked for Korean officers to come to China to reorganize the troops and bring them back home.

  • January 11, 1950

    The Military Commission Agrees to Allow the 4th Field Army's Ethnic Korean Officers and Soldiers Repatriate to Korea

    China asked three representatives from DPRK to prepare to receive the ethnic Korean troops.

  • January 22, 1950

    Telegram from Liu Shaoqi to Mao Zedong

    Liu Shaoqi reports to Mao Zedong that the ethnic Korean officers have arrived to bring back the ethnic Koreans to Korea. To the request of the North Korean officers in bringing back the weapons ethnic Korean officers had used, Mao responds in the affirmative.

  • April 10, 1950

    Ciphered telegram, Soviet Representative Aleksei Ignatieff in Pyongyang to Vyshinsky

    In a discussion between Mao Zedong and Ri Ju-yeon, Mao expresses a positive attitude toward China-North Korea relations, though indicates he is unaware that Kim Il Sung was then in the Soviet Union.

  • May 12, 1950

    Telegram from Shtykov to Vyshinski regarding meeting with Kim Il Sung

    Shtykov reports of a meeting with Kim Il Sung, in which Kim Il Sung tells Shtykov the questions he means to ask Mao Zedong in a following meeting in Beijing the next day.

  • May 13, 1950

    Cable from Roshchin to Stalin, Relaying Mao's Request for Clarification on North Korea Taking Action Against South Korea

    The telegram relays a request from Mao, conveyed via Chinese Foreign Minister Zhou Enlai, seeking Stalin’s “personal clarifications” of his stand on a potential North Korean action to reunify the country. Mao sought the information after hearing a report from Kim, who had arrived that day in the Chinese capital for a secret two-day visit and clearly claimed that he had received Stalin’s blessing.

  • May 14, 1950

    Cable from Vyshinsky to Mao Zedong, Relaying Stalin's Stance on Permission for North Korea to attack South Korea

    The cable contains Stalin’s personal response to Mao's 13 May telegram. Using the code-name “Filippov,” Stalin confirms his agreement with the North Korean proposal to “move toward reunification,” contingent on Beijing’s assent.

  • May 16, 1950

    Telegram from Filippov (Stalin) to Mao Zedong via the Soviet ambassador

    Stalin notifies Mao Zedong that he believes the signing of a treaty pact between China and North Korea should only come after Korean reunification.

  • July 04, 1950

    On the Return of Korean Nationals to North Korea

    A Chinese Foreign Ministry report on the management of Korean nationals living in China during the Korean War.

  • July 08, 1950

    Ciphered telegram, Filippov (Stalin) to Soviet Ambassador Roshchin in PRC transmitting message to Mao Zedong

    Telegram from Stalin to Beijing advising that they send a representative to Korea.

  • July 13, 1950

    Ciphered telegram, Filippov (Stalin) to Zhou Enlai or Mao Zedong (via Roshchin)

    Telegram from Stalin to Mao and Zhou Enlai detailing his response to the English protest concerning "the Korean question." Also, a request for confirmation of Chinese troop movements to the Sino-Korea border, in case of a repulse of North Korean forces. Finally, a confirmation of the plans to train Chinese pilots on Soviet jets, to be followed by the transfer of the jets to Chinese possession.

  • July 18, 1950

    Telegram from the Chinese Communist Party Central Committee to Gao Gang

    The Chinese attempt to mobilize the ethnic Koreans living in northeast China to return and serve North Korea in the war.

  • July 22, 1950

    Report from Zhou Enlai and Nie Rongzhen to Mao Zedong

    Zhou Enlai and Nie Rongzhen suggest methods to solve the problem of supply and improve coordination in the army command in the northeast China region.

  • July 25, 1950

    Ciphered telegram, Vyshinsky to Roshchin transmitting Message from Stalin to Zhou Enlai

    Telegram relaying message from Stalin to Mao and Zhou Enlai agreeing with proposal to train Chinese pilots on Soviet jet planes.

  • August 23, 1950

    Telegram from Zhou Enlai to Ni Zhiliang

    North Korea requests train locomotives and air force pilots from China, to which China agrees to the train locomotives.

  • September 03, 1950

    Letter from Zhou Enlai to Gao Gang

    Zhou Enlai instructs on logisitical details related to ammunition, aircraft, warehouse and airport locations, and other equipments.