Visit Your Local PBS Station PBS Home PBS Home Programs A-Z TV Schedules Watch Video Donate Shop PBS Search PBS
Montage of images and link description. MacArthur Imagemap: linked to kids and home
The Film and More
Imagemap(text links below) of menu items
The American Experience
The Film & More
Interview Transcripts | Bibliography | Primary Sources

Chen Jian on: Mao's Reasons for Entering Korean Conflict
Chen Jian CHEN JIAN: For Mao, intervention in Korea was not just for the purpose of supporting a friendly regime, it was also a decisive step taken to spread the influence of the Chinese revolution. So, unless the Chinese could morally justify the decision to intervene, the Chinese would not send troops to Korea and in this regard the cooperation and the willing invitation from Kim Il-sung became very important and then no American analysis had ever mentioned this.

And in terms of MacArthur -- obviously as a military commander he knew many small details of Chinese ways of fighting war. But on the most important point he ignored the Chinese willingness to make a strategic decision to intervene in Korea and that is the Chinese resistance to the so-called American arrogance [of] which MacArthur was the typical representative. Or in other words the Chinese had to fight in Korea not just because they are concerned about the security of Chinese border area, not just because they are concerned about the safety of a friendly regime, Kim Il-sung's regime, but because they are concerned about establishing a new image of new China. China now had to emerge as a central actor in the world revolution and this was something that MacArthur did not take into full consideration.

back to Interview Transcripts