”The Great Movement to Resist America and Assist Korea”: How Beijing Sold the Korean War

Gary Rawnsley, David Welch, Jo Fox

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (SciVal)


The Chinese entered the Korean War one year after the creation of the People’s Republic of China. Given the considerable economic, social and political problems facing the new state after decades of foreign occupation and civil war, how did the new Communist Government of China persuade both the people and the military to intervene in a foreign war? Described as the ‘Great Movement to Resist America and Assist Korea’ and an opportunity to ‘Beat American Arrogance’, the propaganda promoted the Korean War as a chance to challenge the US presence in Asia, and project China’s rise as a regional, if not a world power. More important,the propaganda indicates the war was used to strengthen the Communist Party’s domestic support and legitimacy, mobilize the population around the party’s agenda(especially its vision of a ‘new’ China), and help consolidate the party’s authority in the immediate aftermath of the civil war. Focusing primarily on posters, this article chronicles the development of propaganda themes and methods against the background of first Chinese hesitation to enter the Korean War and then acceptance of a prolonged war by the end of the first year.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)285-315
Number of pages31
JournalMedia, War and Conflict
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • China
  • Korean War
  • propaganda


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