An honor guard of Chinese soldiers carries the remains of Chinese "volunteers" who fell in the Korean War. (Source: Russian.people.com.cn)
The Russian China expert Yuri Tavrovsky, who has authored a biography of Chinese President Xi Jin Ping and a book on his political thought takes note of the renewed emphasis on China's intervention in the Korean War to save the Communist North Korean regime of Kim Il Sung. When Sino-American relations were cordial, China hardly bothered to mark the occasion, but now the return of the remains of Chinese "volunteers" for reinternment in China receives top billing. This change goes hand in hand with the Chinese Communist Party's decision taken in August to prepare the populace for a possible military conflict with the United States and counteract popular admiration for the Americans.
Tvarovsky's article follows below:
Yuri Tvarovsky (Source: Izborsk.md)
"The Cold War between America and China is getting “hotter”. This is connected to the presidential elections in the United States (which will occur at the very beginning of November) and with the plenum of the CPC [Communist Party of China] Central Committee (which will happen at the very end of October).
"The forgotten Korean War of 1950-1953 suddenly became very topical in today’s China. The formal occasion was the 70th anniversary of the participation of hundreds of thousands of 'Chinese people's volunteers' in the civil war between North and South Korea. On October 25, 1950, amidst the defeat of [North Korean leader] Kim Il Sung’s armies, the first Chinese divisions crossed the Yalu River in order to provide him with help. A heroic and bloody epic, which was called the 'War to Resist US Aggression and Aid Korea' began. Over the past decades, there have been several anniversary dates of those battles ending with five or zero, but they passed almost unnoticed. Not this time, however ...
"On Sunday, September 27, PRC Central Television made the return of the remains of volunteers from South Korea the lead story. The latest Y-20 military transport aircraft with tail number 01 was sent to Korea to pick up the remains of 117 fighters. On the airfield of Incheon city, on whose outskirts, the heaviest fighting took place in 1950, honor guards of the Chinese and South Korean armed forces were arrayed. Coffins made of precious woods were passed from hand to hand as if they were museum quality. As the transport plane crossed the border, it was escorted by a PLA [People’s Liberation Army] fighter regiment. The plane landed at the airport in Shenyang, the capital of Liaoning province, which was a rear during the Korean War. Motorcyclists accompanied the cavalcade of hearses to the burial place at the military cemetery. There, 117 'martyrs' (as they are called in China) joined their comrades brought from South Korea over the past 5 years. Media reports noted that during the Korean War “at least 190,000 martyrs died”. The total losses of China in killed, wounded, captured and missing personnel are officially estimated at 390 thousand people. According to estimates by foreign experts’ [China’s total losses] reached one million victims!
"A series of large and small commemorative events began on September 19, with a ceremony on the reopening of The Memorial of the War to Resist US Aggression and Aid Korea. It was opened back in 1958 in the border city of Dandong in Liaoning province. Since the relations with America began to improve, the museum ceased to be relevant and for several years 'was under repair'. Now the renewed and expanded exhibition on the first day was visited by thousands of veterans, Komsomol members and communists.
"The statements quoted by the popular in the PRC patriotic circles Huangqiu Shibao (Global Times) newspaper were most characteristic: “I served in North Korea for 50 months. I grieve for the lost comrades. Today we need to apply the spirit of the War to Resist US Aggression and Aid to Korea in order to actualize what they did not manage to do.' The 93-year-old veteran’s words echoed those of a scholar from the Liaoning Provincial Academy of Social Sciences: 'The root of the Korean War participants' fighting spirit lies in the resilience and determination of the Chinese to defend their homeland in the face of external threats, even if the enemy’s might far exceed ours. After decades of peace and friendship with the United States, some young Chinese have come to admire and fear them. Neither the former nor the latter is acceptable under current conditions.'
"The commemoration dates of the Korean War will end by the end of October, but its subject matter will remain in the media space for at least several more months. This is evidenced by the fact that [the corresponding] feature films and television series are at different production stages. The October premiere of the blockbuster 'Jingan Chuan' about the battles against the Americans in the Jinganshan mountains on the border of China and Korea has already been announced. Guan Hu, the director of this film has recently released another military thriller 'Eight Hundred', which grossed a record amount of money in post-COVID movie theaters of the Middle Kingdom."
Chinese Propaganda Elevates Korean War To Same Status As War Against Japan
"The intensity of Chinese propaganda on the anniversary of the Korean War is comparable to the intensity of events held in connection with the 75th anniversary of the victory in the 'War of Chinese People's Resistance Against Japanese Aggression and the World Anti-Fascist War'. On September 3, during a ceremonial meeting President Xi Jinping emphasized 'the need to adhere to a great spirit of resistance to aggression in the new era in an effort to achieve a great renaissance of the Chinese nation'.
Poster commemorating Chinese volunteers (Source: Topwar.ru)
"At first glance, this is rather strange. After all, the war with the Japanese lasted for 14 years, from 1931 to 1945, and the losses are estimated by Chinese historians at 35 million people. The war in Korea lasted for 2 years and 9 months, and the assessment of losses vary from 190 thousand to one million people. However, it is worth considering that Japan, at least at the current stage, does not pose a real threat [to China]. America has become a threat [that is] both real and immediate. In the cold war against the 'Middle Kingdom', the latter may need 'the great spirit of resistance to aggression'.
"The psychological preparation for confrontation with America began in the spring [of this year]. “To prepare consciously for the worst case, to intensify military and combat training, to deal effectively and in a timely manner with all kinds of difficult situations and to defend strongly the sovereignty, security and development interests of the state.” This order was given by Xi Jinping on May 26 during a meeting with military personnel - members of the Chinese parliament.
Top Level Party Meeting Determines To Prepare China For War Militarily And Psychologically
"The strategic decisions were made during the traditional August meeting of Chinese leaders at the seaside resort of Beidaihe, near Shandong province. Since the days of Mao Zedong, these meetings have been held in an informal and secretive atmosphere, but the decisions to one degree or another become known through the system of internal party information and targeted leaks to the Chinese and foreign media. The decisions of “Beidaihe-2020” confirmed via various sources were the following:
"Firmly renounce all illusions about the United States and mobilize the people. Vigorously promote the spirit of the “War to Resist US Aggression and Aid to Korea”;
"To accelerate the development and production of nuclear weapons. Use powerful nuclear deterrence to prevent mad plans of the United States;
"To increase the defense spending to more than 4% of GDP and vigorously develop advanced weapons systems. Reach a balance of power with the United States and the entire group of imperialist countries. In turn [China needs to] unite all the forces that can be united. Create an alliance of nations against imperialism and hegemonism;
"Comprehensively remove American companies in China from the most profitable financial and service sectors. The financial and agricultural sectors will no longer be open to the United States. If we [China] are going to fight, then the Americans must feel the pain in advance;
"To prepare for war by creating strategic food and energy reserves. Use military thinking to drive the economy. To sell all US bonds and reclaim Chinese gold reserves. To return scientists and students back [to China]. To be prepared for a complete rupture in relations with the United States;
"To prevent the United States from strategically containing China. To liberate Taiwan with great determination, to break through the first and second chain of islands used by the United States to encircle China.
"Over the past few weeks, some of the decisions attributed to the party’s Beidaihe 2020 summit have become a reality. [For example], anti-American propaganda has noticeably increased. The development of the internal market (instead of external ones) is stimulated in every possible way. Students and scientists are returning [to the country] by the hundreds of thousands. The nuclear arsenal is being increased rapidly. PLA activity is growing near Taiwan and the 'second chain' of islands in the South China Sea; [naval] maneuvers are being conducted there with live firing.
"All this does not mean that China is going to start a war. Most likely, we are talking about a preemptive psychological counterattack. Beijing is desperately trying to prevent thoughtless US actions during an extremely dangerous period before and after the presidential elections. Donald Trump, who has declared himself to be a 'wartime president', is quite capable of starting a 'small victorious war', in order to increase his popularity on the eve of the voting. A diversionary tactic is also possible in a period of uncertainty after the [US] elections, the results of which are likely to be challenged by both candidates. However, it is unlikely that it will come to a frontal 'spear point to spear point' confrontation. But a large-scale provocation using Taiwan’s separatist regime is quite likely. It is not for nothing that in recent months the flow of military equipment to the island has been growing, joint military exercises are being held ever more frequently, and the level of Washington officials announcing in Taipei support for the separatists has been increasing.
"A few weeks remain before important political events in the United States and China can produce numerous surprises for the entire world. The echo of the Korean War still remains audible today."
 Mk.ru, October 5, 2020.