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Korean War in the Eye of An Ethnic Chinese South Korean

28 June 2010

The following is the English translation of an online article by a Chinese author:

Mr Zhang is a South Korean with ethnic Chinese background and soon I met him we became good friends. One day, we ascended Bada Hill and he told me that when he was a little boy he witnessed a bloody battle unfolding around the hill rages.

He recalled how the American troops were well-wrapped up in warm clothes while Chinese armies wore cotton-padded hat, cotton-padded jackets and cotton-padded trousers, looked rather thinly clad for the weather. What made him most astonishing is that in the freezing condition of Korea's harsh winter with the temperature frequently reaching minus 20 to 30 degree celsius, the Chinese soldiers had only rubber shoes on their feet.

Mr Zhang didn’t know that many Chinese volunteers were barefoot when fighting in the snowy field.

Pointing at rice paddy fields at the hill foot, Mr Zhang reflected the battle scene of the day. The Chinese armies launched repeated charges at defense lines on the Bada Hill; when one group of the soldiers fell, another group of soldiers swiftly surged ahead, and the rice fields down the hill and the soil on the hilltop were all soaked in blood and became red. He never quite understood why Chinese soldiers could be so fearless, and what made them keep fighting under the most adverse circumstance like this.

The combat finally concluded with the Chinese claimed victory and replaced the Americans to take charge of the region. The locals did not feel afraid of the Chinese armies, since the soldiers were pretty friendly. Like other South Korean civilians, Mr Zhang’s family lived a life on the run, trying their best to escape from war. They were hungry and cold and homeless. It was Chinese soldiers who distributed food and clothes to the refugees, which allowed them to hold out through the winter. He still remembered vividly how a Chinese Volunteer handed him a corn bread, which he said was a moment that he would never forget.

"The locals would flee when heard the news that the Korean or American troops were coming, but if it was Chinese army, we would stay ‘cause we knew Chinese Volunteers would not hurt the civilians," added Mr Zhang.

I felt my eyes dimmed with moisture.

Due to constant US air strike, Chinese armies had difficulties to receive their food supplies, and many soldiers survived on snow and cold potatoes. But they gave away their corn bread to the South Koreans.

Chinese Volunteer Army occupied Seoul during the Korean War

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