Active Defense: From Manchuria to Korea

  • Xiaobing LiEmail author
Part of the New Directions in East Asian History book series (NDEAH)


The Chinese defense strategy was rooted in three elements underlying Mao’s intent: political legitimacy for the new regime, a geopolitical context in Cold War East Asia, and military and economic sources available for national defense. Mao’s thought process can be divided into three phases with a gradual increase in his commitment. The first phase indicated China’s “assistance role” during July–August 1950. The second phase, in September, evolved into a “proactive defense” as Mao believed it necessary to send Chinese troops to defend Manchuria in North Korea. The third phase consisted of an “immediate intervention” made in early October, when Mao decided to fight a full-scale war against the U.S. forces. Thereafter, the Korean War essentially became a conflict between China and the United States.


Mao’s intention War decision Manchuria Border security Aid to Korea Proactive defense Military assistance Intervention Foreign war 

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Central OklahomaEdmondUSA

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