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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)

  • October 02, 1950

    Telegram from Zhou Enlai to Ni Zhiliang

    Zhou Enlai notifies Ambassador Ni Zhiliang about the estimated arrival of Pak Il-u and advises Kim Il Sung to order the troops that were cut off by the opposing side and have no way to retreat to persist in guerrilla actions where they are.

  • October 04, 1950

    Cable, Zhou Enlai to Gao Gang, He Jinnian, and Ni Zhiliang

    Zhou Enlai gives instructions on the mobilization of Korean drivers in the northeast.

  • October 07, 1950

    Telegram from Zhou Enlai to Ni Zhiliang

    Zhou Enlai informs Ambassador Ni Zhiliang that questions about North Korea battle operations have been discussed with Pak Il-u, making further disclosure of opinions with the North Korean side unnecessary.

  • October 07, 1950

    Telegram from Soviet Ambassador to China N.V. Roshchin to Stalin

    Ambassador Roshchin passes a message from Mao to Stalin regarding the Chinese deployment of troops to Korea.

  • October 08, 1950

    Telegram from Shtykov to the Soviet Council of Ministers

    Telegram of the ambassador of the USSR in the DPRK to the Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the USSR with information from the North Korean government about the decision of China to send a volunteer army to Korea

  • October 13, 1950

    Ciphered Telegram, Roshchin to Filippov (Stalin)

    Message to Stalin from Roshchin relaying the rationale for Mao's reversal of his earlier hesitance to send Chinese troops to the aid of the North Koreans. General plans for the deployment are stated as well as a request for arms on credit from the Soviet Union.

  • October 14, 1950

    Letter from Zhou Enlai to Stalin

    Zhou Enlai requests military equipment and support for Chinese operations from the Soviet side, and asks for instructions on solving the issue of command relationships between the North Korean, Chinese, and Soviet forces.

  • November 08, 1950

    Ciphered telegram, Mao Zedong to Filippov (Stalin)

    Request from Mao to Stalin for infantry arms, detailing specifically types and amounts of requested munitions.

  • November 08, 1950

    Telegram from Zhou Enlai to Chai Junwu

    Zhou Enlai gives instructions on advising Kim Il Sung to remain optimistic and publicize the Chinese People's volunteer Army's involvement in the Korean War, stating that the opposing side is not prepared for a protracted war and thus is prone to panic.

  • November 12, 1950

    Cable, Zhou Enlai to Chai Junwu

    Zhou Enlai instructs Chai Junwu to ask Kim Il Sung to change the wording of his statement at the Central Committee of the Motherland's United Front meeting, and also to ask whether Chai can accompany Kim in his visit to Peng Dehuai.

  • November 17, 1950

    Telegram from Mao Zedong to Peng Dehuai

    Mao Zedong informs Peng Dehuai and Gao Gang that Stalin has approved of a single central command led by the Chinese, and that they are now waiting to see how Kim Il Sung will respond.

  • December 03, 1950

    Telegram from Zhou Enlai to Wu Xiuquan and Qiao Guanhua

    Zhou Enlai gives instructions on how the Chinese side should respond when confronted with questions of whether China should back down in regards to the North Korean issue and the Taiwan issue. In particular, he emphasizes that the Chinese side should focus on blaming American imperialism for the invasions of North Korea and Taiwan and maintaining that China's involvement in these issues is essential.

  • December 07, 1950

    Ciphered telegram from Roshchin conveying message from Zhou Enlai to Soviet Government

    A telegram from Roshchin in Beijing to Moscow, informing the Soviet leadership of the terms under which the Chinese will consider an armistice on the Korean Peninsula.

  • December 08, 1950

    Telegram from the Chinese Communist Party Central Committee to Wu Xiuquan and Qiao Guanhua

    The CCP Central Committee gives instructions to the Chinese representatives to the UN on how to reply to confrontation over the Korean issue. The Chinese representatives are to express willingness to end military action as well as desire to know the UN and the U.S.'s positions on the conditions for an armistice.

  • December 08, 1950

    Draft Agreement by the Party Central Committee on Establishing a Sino-North Korea Joint Headquarters

    The agreement establishes a Joint Headquarters between the Chinese and North Korean sides that will command the North Korean People's Army, the Chinese People's Volunteer Army, and all guerrilla forces, and details the leadership and specific powers and operations of the Joint Headquarters.

  • December 16, 1950

    Telegram from Zhou Enlai to Wu Xiuquan and Qiao Guanhua

    Zhou Enlai advises the Chinese UN representatives on how to explain and respond to representatives from other countries regarding the Korea issue and the proposed armistice.

  • January 16, 1951

    Telegram from Mao Zedong to I.V. Stalin, transmitting 14 January 1951 Message from Mao to Peng Dehuai with Message from Kim Il Sung

    Mao asks Stalin on his opinion regarding the incorporation of Korean troops into the Chinese army, as well as the possible response of the enemy.

  • January 27, 1951

    Telegram from Mao Zedong to I.V. Stalin, Conveying the 19 January 1951 Telegram from Peng Dehuai to Mao Zedong regarding Meetings with Kim Il Sung

    The telegram from Peng Dehuai discusses the results of a meeting with Kim Il Sung, including Kim Il Sung’s belief that the Korean People’s Army cannot defeat the Americans alone, the defense of the Korea's coast, the re-staffing of five corps, and preparations for soldiers to carry out work in the newly liberated areas.

  • January 29, 1951

    Telegram from Mao Zedong to I.V. Stalin, conveying 28 January 1951 telegram from Mao Zedong to Peng Dehuai

    A forward to Stalin of a message sent earlier by Mao to Peng Dehuai. It outlines operational plans for the PLA and KPA in and around Seoul and talks about the need to gain an advantageous military position with negotiations in mind.

  • June 05, 1951

    Telegram from Mao Zedong to Stalin

    Mao asks Stalin to receive Gao Gang and Kim Il Sung in Moscow so that they may discuss military operations in Korea.