Seventy years ago, beginning on Oct. 25, 1950, the Chinese People’s Volunteer Army (PVA) crossed the Yalu River into the Korean Peninsula in defense of the Korean Revolution. Earlier that month, a coalition of United States and United Nations forces had invaded the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (socialist north Korea) and engaged in a vicious scorched-earth campaign against Korean revolutionary forces led by Kim Il Sung.
The imperialist occupiers, led by war criminal Douglas MacArthur, killed tens of thousands of innocent people and committed countless atrocities as they marched north through the Korean countryside. Fearing that the imperialist forces would not stop at the Chinese border, Mao Zedong ordered the army to reorganize and plan an offensive against the U.S. and U.N. forces occupying Korea.
The united Chinese and north Korean forces started their counteroffensive with a victory at the Battle of Unsan in late October 1950 and pushed the imperialist forces as far south as the 38th parallel, the current location of the border between the DPRK and the U.S. puppet state of south Korea.
The first and second wave offensives, as they were called, were a stunning victory by the global working class against imperialist aggression. The Korean-Chinese offensive in the fall of 1950 was a great victory that came at a great sacrifice. Among the many soldiers and workers who were killed was Mao Zedong’s son, Mao Anying, who was killed in a U.S. bombing run.
Less than five years earlier, revolutionaries in both China and Korea had been fighting brutal, defensive wars against Japanese invaders. Both nations were recovering from the resulting devastation. Furthermore, both countries were relatively poor economically on the global scale. Yet, the united working-class revolutionary forces of China and north Korea repelled the combined armies of multiple, wealthy, industrialized, imperialist nations.