Geography Reference
In-Depth Information
fact, however, UN forces were gradually succeeding in pushing
Chinese and North Korean forces back north of the 38th parallel when
the war ended. The Chinese “victory” was achieved at an enormous
and disproportionate burden to China: over one million died in com-
bat. Not all of the Chinese troops were volunteers, and some 14,000
of them who were captured elected to go to Chiang Kai-shek's Taiwan
rather than live under communism in mainland China.
Chinese intervention in the Korean War did not fundamentally alter
the situation in Korea. The war started and ended with the Communist
North Koreans largely confined north of the 38th parallel and the non-
Communist South Koreans south of it. This situation remains to this
day, with a truce rather than a formal treaty keeping the peace
between the two sides of the divided Korean peninsula. Today North
Korea is still internationally isolated and economically backward, but
China has in recent years reined in some of North Korea's excesses
and encouraged it to open to the outside world.
The Chinese Communist use of brainwashing or coercive indoctrina-
tion became known to the outside world in the 1950s, especially after
the outbreak of the KoreanWar, when Chinese Communist forces began
capturing UN troops and the practice came to the attention of Western
governments and media. The Chinese Communists called the practice
“thought reform” or “reform through labor”; the term “brainwashing”
was coined by the American journalist Edward Hunter in 1950 to
describe the way the Chinese Communists used “struggle groups,”
physical and mental abuse, and social deprivation to coerce reluctant
or defiant individuals into supporting their cause. The effects of brain-
washing were not always long lasting, although the practice did suc-
ceed in permanently altering the thinking of some people.
Two examples of more lasting effects of brainwashing are the cases
of Allyn and Adele Rickett, married students of Chinese language at
the University of Pennsylvania who received Fulbright grants in 1948
to study in China. In Beijing they engaged in intelligence work for the
U.S. Naval Intelligence Service, and after the outbreak of the Korean
War they were arrested and imprisoned for espionage. During their
captivity the Ricketts were subjected to psychological and physical tor-
ment, including verbal abuse and being forced to wear handcuffs for
long periods or to stand for several hours at a time. Adele Rickett
recalled her treatment in a Chinese Communist prison camp in the
following terms:
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