From Confrontation to the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations

  • James Tuck-Hong Tang


Revolutionary China became engaged in a direct military conflict with the West over events in Korea at the end of October in 1950. Soon after crossing the 38th parallel in June North Korean troops had driven the South Koreans towards the southern tip of the peninsula. The North Korean victory did not last long. The military situation was changed dramatically when American forces under the command of General MacArthur landed at Inchon on 15 September; very quickly the tide of military fortunes turned against the North Koreans. By the end of the month UN forces which were primarily comprised of American troops had pushed them back to the 38th parallel. The UN objective of restoring the status quo in Korea had been achieved. The question then was whether or not its forces should push on to eliminate the North Korean regime and establish a unified Korea friendly to the West. The US decision to advance northwards beyond their initial objective prompted China’s military involvement in Korea.’


Chinese Government Policy Implementation British Government Diplomatic Relation China Policy 
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  1. 1.
    A useful account of the Korean War with extensive references to British attitude is P. Lowe, The Origins of the Korean War (London: Longman, 1986).Google Scholar
  2. 11.
    H.C. Deb, Vol. 481, Foreign Affairs Debate, 30 November 1950; Attlee’s announcement in Col 1440; A record of Truman’s press conference on 30 November 1950 in Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Harry S. Truman, 1950 (Washington D.C.: 1965) pp. 724–28.Google Scholar
  3. R Jenkins, Truman (London: Collins, 1986) p. 178.Google Scholar
  4. 12.
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    John Colville, The Fringes of Power, Downing Street Diaries, 1939–1955 (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1985), p. 633.Google Scholar
  8. On Anglo-American special relations in this period see A. Seldon, Churchill’s Indian Summer: The Conservative Government, 1951–55 (London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1981), pp. 387–388.Google Scholar
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    A study of the Conference by a participant is James Cable, The Geneva Conference of 1954 on Indochina (London: Macmillan, 1986).Google Scholar
  10. Eden’s first meeting with Zhou was recorded in E. Shuckburgh, Descent to Suez: Diaries 1951–56 (London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1986) pp. 183–4.Google Scholar
  11. Eden’s own account of the dinner meeting is in Anthony Eden, The Memoirs of Sir Anthony Eden: Full Circle (London: Cassel, 1960) p. 123.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© James Tuck-Hong Tang 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • James Tuck-Hong Tang
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Hong KongChina

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