Chinese President Xi Jinping used the 70th anniversary of the Korean War, which erupted three years before his birth, to declare the conflict a milestone in China’s march toward national rejuvenation, which he has termed the Chinese Dream.
In a major speech, Xi — who is also head of the Communist Party and commander in chief of the armed forces — asserted that China was not afraid of war and, in fact, he seemed to endorse a preemptive war, one that “must be fought to deter invasion.”
While he did not mention the United States, his words were clearly a response to aggressive language emanating from the Trump administration in recent months.
“The Chinese nation will never cower before threats or be subdued by suppression,” he said. It was necessary, he added, to speak to invaders “in the language they know: that is, a war must be fought to deter invasion, and violence must be met by violence.”
This martial language on October 23 was continued at the fifth plenum of the Communist Party’s 19th Central Committee, which issued a communique October 29 calling for “comprehensively strengthening training in preparation for war.”
As for the Korean War, since 1950, China has called the conflict “the war to resist US aggression and aid Korea.”
It left out the inconvenient truth that it was North Korea that launched the war by invading South Korea, earning condemnation from the United Nations Security Council.