To sense China's mood, look at what its top-grossing movie is
In 1950, following significant successes against the communists in what's now South Korea, United Nations forces pushed into North Korea, threatening the new Chinese communist government. Mao put guns in the hands of 120,000 farmers and sent them into the freezing mountains above the Chosin Reservoir, where they encircled U.N. and American forces. The U.N.'s and U.S.'s forced retreat was, in its own way, a triumph, especially for the Marines, who left no one behind, dead or alive, but it marked the end of any Western attempts to relieve North Korea from the heavy burden of communism. Now the Chinese Communist Party has released a propaganda film celebrating the Chinese victory there, and it's a massive hit.
The New York Post has the facts:
A Chinese propaganda movie depicting the defeat of the US Army has become the country's highest-grossing film of all time.
The three-hour-long war epic, "The Battle at Lake Changjin," has made a whopping $892 million in the communist country since it was released there on Sept. 30.
It has now surpassed the 2017 action flick "Wolf Warrior II," which previously held the record for China's highest-grossing movie, with $882 million in box office receipts.
As the Chinese box office is the largest in the world, "The Battle at Lake Changjin" is also now the highest-grossing film of 2021 worldwide, according to Variety.
It has even outearned the James Bond flick, "No Time To Die," which has grossed just north of $700 million internationally.
The film is based on the Battle of Chosin Reservoir — a military campaign that occurred during the Korean War. The brutal, 17-day battle took place in late 1950, shortly after the People's Republic of China entered the war in support of North Korea.
Against all odds, 120,000 Chinese troops managed to encircle and attack US forces and their allies. While the Americans were eventually able to break free, they were subsequently forced to evacuate the region, marking their complete withdrawal from North Korea.
Many years ago, I watched a documentary on PBS about the Battle of Chosin Reservoir. What I've never forgotten is that, while Mao gave those Chinese farmers guns, he didn't bother to equip them for a battle in the freezing mountains. They were wearing their simple cotton clothes and their cotton shoes with woven straw soles. Those who surrendered to the American troops had their feet so frozen that they had expanded into giant, grotesque ice cubes, the likes of which I'd never seen before and have never seen since.
Image: Chinese military parade in 2021. YouTube screen grab.
The American troops didn't fare much better. Their fancy, modern rubber boots made their feet sweat right up until the moment they were in the snow. At that point, the boots provided no insulation whatsoever, causing their perspiration to freeze. When they pulled their feet out of the boots, many of them left their soles behind.
I think the story of the Chinese troops' frozen feet matters because it shows that the communists don't care about the individual. The American military at least made the effort to give its troops good gear; it just failed in that attempt.
The communists, though, care only about the collective. The point is victory at all costs. Currently, while the leftists have been busy making sure that our military is a haven for race-hatred and transgenderism, the Chinese have gone on a massive building binge (helped a great deal by technology they've stolen from the West). They currently have the largest military in the world, and even the woke Pentagon is getting worried, especially because of that hypersonic weapon.
As its military grows, China is rattling its sabers with increasing fervor. It has continued taking over existing islands and creating new ones in the South China Sea. It's repeatedly threatened Australia for taking any stands against it, and it has made no secret of its desire to conquer Taiwan and bring it back into the communist fold.
With that backdrop, the fact that the Chinese population is eating up a film about simple, ill-equipped Chinese peasants successfully sneaking up on United Nations and American forces and causing them to retreat — no matter how noble that retreat was — is adding fuel to the fire of China's dreams of worldwide military conquest.
Elmer Fudd would have known what to say: "Be afwaid. Be vewy afwaid."
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