In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

172 China Review International: Vol. 5, No. ?, Spring 1998 Chae-Jin Lee, in collaboration with Doo-Bok Park. China and Korea: Dynamic Relations. Stanford: Hoover Institution Press, 1996. x, 218 pp. Paperback $19.95, isBN 0-8179-9422-x. Chae-Jin Lee has pulled together historical materials and interview data to produce a compact, yet highly informative, work on China's changing military, diplomatic , and economic relations with Korea. His book documents the drastic shifts in China's policies toward North and South Korea over the last half-century . Lee maintains that three considerations have determined much of the evolution of its policies: "(1) China's internal political developments and shifting policy priorities, especially in regard to ideology, security, and economy; (2) China's evolving perceptions of North Korean and South Korean intentions and capabilities ; and (3) China's changing relations with the Soviet Union (Russia), the United States, and Japan" (p. 6; see also p. 169). The general argument is quite straightforward, but the author demonstrates powerfully through his cogent historical narrative the interactions between global and local forces. At the same time, he offers a number of specific and promising postulations. For instance, he argues that China's staunch support of Norm Korea can be explained by the presence of a large number of Korean War veterans among the senior officers ofthe People's Liberation Army (PLA). Finally, the author has interviewed a number of Chinese scholars and Korean War veterans and integrated this data into his discussion . The result is a narrative that is rich and robust, and particularly clear in the chapter on China's involvement in the Korean War. There are six chapters. Chapter 1 is a brief introduction, highlighting the long-standing hierarchical relations between China and Korea and providing an overview of China's shifting political outlooks after 1949. Chapter 2, "China and the Korean War," gives a detailed account of the Korean War and China's part in it. Lee begins by refuting a number of conventional arguments and maintains that Mao Zedong was informed and perhaps supportive of Kim Il Sung's decision to cross the thirty-eighth parallel. Mao supported Kim in part because of China's recent revolutionary success at the time and in part because of Kim's manipulation of the incipient Mao-Stalin rivalry. Later on, Mao decided to enter the War because ofhis concern for the industrial and strategic security of Manchuria, his zeal for anti-imperialist struggles, his sense of ideological solidarity with Kim, and, according to Lee, a subconscious desire to reassert China's traditional hege-© 1998 by University mony over Korea (p. 21). ofHawaii PressChapter 2 goes on to examine the military campaigns of the North Korean army and the Chinese People's Volunteers in Korea, the changing perceptions of the United States, the shifting strategies of the UN forces, and the processes that Reviews 173 led both sides to consider an armistice as the best solution. The tortuous process ofarmistice negotiations is detailed—in particular the exclusion ofthe Taiwan issue and the issue ofChina's seating in the United Nations. The chapter concludes with a thoughtful section evaluating the implications of the Korean War for the PRCs international standing, its opportunity to liberate Taiwan, its relations with the Soviet Union, and American policy toward China and North Korea. This concluding section is important, and one only wishes that it had been expanded. Chapter 3, "Military Policy," traces the development ofthe military-strategic relations between China and North Korea after the armistice. According to Lee, China's involvement in the Korean War, and in particular the presence ofa large number of senior PLA officers who had served in the war, led China to maintain a deep interest in Korean affairs. The need to ally with North Korea was bolstered by strained relations between China and the Soviet Union in the late 1960s, their intense competition in the early 1980s, the threat posed by the United States and Japan, and China's territorial conflicts with other countries. But the military-strategic outìooks of China and North Korea drifted progressively apart. Peace and stability on the Korean peninsula came to have greater appeal for...


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 172-174
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.