China in Korea and Tibet

The Cold War in Asia

East Asia 1951.0909

China in Korea and Tibet

Korean War, Indochina War, Vietnam War, Invasion of Tibet, Mao Zedong (9 September 1951)

Historical Map of East Asia & the Western Pacific

China's intervention in Korea forced the surprised UN forces to retreat, but the Chinese were unable to conquer the South and a stalemate ensued. Meanwhile, the People's Republic was moving to reassert Chinese authority over Tibet. In a short campaign over the disputed Chamdo region, it forced Tibet to sue for peace and accept Chinese sovereignty.

Main Events

Chinese intervention in Korea

On 25 October 1950, the Chinese People's Volunteer Army (PVA) launched the First Phase Campaign, attacking United Nations forces in North Korea before withdrawing. This was followed by the Second Phase Campaign on 25 November, in which the PVA drove the UN from much of North Korea, retaking Pyongyang in early December. The Third Phase Campaign began in late December, with the PVA crossing the 38th Parallel and recapturing Seoul on 4 January 1951.

17 Point Agreement on Tibet

A Tibetan delegation to Beijing led by Ngapoi Ngawang Jigme signed the Seventeen Point Agreement for the Peaceful Liberation of Tibet with the People's Republic of China (PRC), effectively affirming Chinese sovereignty over Tibet. The Tibetan government-in-exile would later repudiate the agreement on the grounds that the Tibetan delegation had not been authorized to sign any treaty and only did so under duress.

Kaesong Negotiations

Talks over an armistice to help end the Korean War started at Kaesong, a North Korean-occupied town near the front-line. After two weeks discussion, an agenda was agreed upon to discuss items such as a demarcation line and prisoners of war. However, negotiations would not resume until October, when they would move to the nearby village of Panmunjom.

Treaty of San Francisco

Treaty of Peace with Japan signed in San Francisco, officially ending World War II

Occupation of Tibet

In accordance with the Seventeen Point Agreement, forces of the People's Republic of China entered Lhasa, Tibet, on 9 September 1951 and Gyantse on 29 November. This initial occupation was largely peaceful and accepted by the young 14th Dalai Lama, the head of the Tibetan government and spiritual leader of Tibet.

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