Who are the Most Beloved People?

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Who are the Most Beloved People? (simplified Chinese: 谁是最可爱的人; traditional Chinese: 誰是最可愛的人; pinyin: Shéi Shì Zuì Kě Ài De Rén) is the title of a famous essay about the Chinese People's Volunteer Army (PVA) in Korea, and it is written by Chinese journalist Wei Wei.

Content[edit]

The essay revolves around the theme that the Chinese soldiers are the "most beloved people".[1] To illustrate this point, Wei Wei lists three examples of the soldiers' sacrifices. The first example describes the battle between the Chinese 38th Corps and the US 2nd Infantry Division at the Battle of the Ch'ongch'on River[2] and how a company of soldiers sacrificed themselves during combat. The second example shows an artilleryman rescued a child in the aftermath of an air strike and volunteers for rifleman duty in order to avenge the aggressions against the Korean people. The third example records a conversation from a soldier and his selfless commitment towards the liberation of Korea. The essay ends with a reminder that the peace at home is not possible without the sacrifices from the "most beloved people".[1]

Impacts[edit]

Described as smooth reading and moving,[1] the essay became instantly popular[3] in China after it was published on April 11, 1951 in the People's Daily newspaper.[4][5] The essay had also earned praises from the top Chinese leaders.[1] Considered as the most famous literary and propaganda piece produced by China during the Korean War,[1] the essay succeed in elevating the soldiers' traditionally low social status within the Confucian culture,[3] and it helped to boost the recruitment of soldiers for Korea.[3] In the decades following the essay's publication, the phrase "most beloved people" has become synonymous with the PVA in mainland China,[6] while the essay has become required reading in Chinese school curriculum.[1][3][6]

References[edit]

Citations[edit]

Bibliography[edit]

  • (Chinese) Chinese Military Science Academy (2000), History of War to Resist America and Aid Korea (抗美援朝战争史), Volume II, Beijing: Chinese Military Science Academy Publishing House, ISBN 7-80137-390-1 
  • Mahoney, Kevin (2001), Formidable Enemies : The North Korean and Chinese Soldier in the Korean War, Novato, CA: Presidio Press, ISBN 978-0-89141-738-5 
  • (Chinese) Wei, Wei (魏巍) (1951), Who are the Most Beloved People? (谁是最可爱的人), Beijing: People's Daily, retrieved 2009-11-20 
  • West, Philip; Levine, Steven I.; Hiltz, Jackie (1998), America's Wars in Asia: A Cultural Approach to History and Memory, Armonk, New York: M.E. Sharpe, ISBN 0-7656-0237-7 
  • Zhang, Hong (2002), The Making of Urban Chinese Images of the United States, 1945-1953, Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, ISBN 0-313-31001-7