May 28, 2022

DUTY. HONOUR. CHINA.

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Biggest grossing movie of 2021 “The Battle at Lake Changjin” showcases heroic efforts of Chinese soldiers

The Chinese movie.”The Battle at Lake Changjin” is the highest grossing movie of 2021 bringing in an estimated $859 million as at November 11.

The movie depicts a company of Chinese “winter warriors” who epically defeated a well equipped American force in North Korea during the 1950s Korean War. The “winter warriors” known as the Chinese People Volunteers sacrificed their lives fending off the mighty US Army and Marines at Lake Changjin. The “bad guy” was General Douglas MacArthur.

Lake Changjin known as the Chosin Reservoir in the West, was the site of a decisive battle (Nov 27-Dec 13 1950) that marked the beginning of the end of UN forces that MacArthur requested for tactical nuclear bombs from President Truman.

Truman refused and fired MacArthur.

Chinese troops faced off a UN army made up of Americans, British and South Koreans and won the battle at great cost. They lost over 120,000 men while the Allies lost 40,000. It was a Chinese victory which marked the first time American forces were defeated after World War II. At the end of World War II America was the centre of the free world and capitalism with military bases spanning the globe. The Soviet Union the other victor took over the crumbling empires of Japan and Germany by spreading communism and the two ideas Capitalism and Communism clashed in Korea.

The movie’s release ahead of China’s National Day on October 1 evoked a nationalist spirit in the Chinese. School children in Henan Province role played as CPVs, crying after seeing in the movie the CPVs eating fried flour and frozen potatoes at Lake Changjin. In a teary voice a Chinese kid vowed to preserve freedom and stop complaining. In China the war is known as the “War to Resist US Aggression and Aid Korea” affected a young girl in Yunnan Province that in a viral video she burst into tears after trying to eat frozen potatoes.

In Chengdu, a 88 year old CPV veteran who lost his right eye and both hands in the battle raised his right arm in salute at the end of the movie expressing awe and respect for his fallen comrades.

Viewers of the movie can see the real heroes are not criminal misfits like the Suicide Squad, masters of Kung Fu like Shang Chi or deadly assassins like Black Widow but everyday common folk.

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