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Artist: Qian Daxin
Publisher: Lushan Book and Picture Company
Size (mm): 530x771
Condition: Very good, folds, creasing to margins, small tears to margins, repairs to margins on rear, discolouration to margins
The text on the sheet on right begins: kang Mei yuan Chao; aiguo gongyue (resist US aggression and support Korea; Patriotic Pledge).
On 15 September 1950 the United Nations force landed at Inchon, Korea to push back the North Korean army, which had taken control of most of the Korean peninsula after its invasion of the South in June. China sent troops to assist the North in the Korean War (1950-1953) in October after UN troops led by the United States began nearing its border on the Yalu River. The Chinese People's Volunteer Army (see image), commanded by Peng Dehuai, was committed by Mao Zedong to the conflict despite opposition from within the Politburo and after Stalin had pledged and then rescinded offers of assistance. China formed the 'Chinese People's Committee to Defend World Peace and Combat US Aggression' on 26 October 1950, and launched the kang Mei yuan Chao movement across the country. The People's Volunteer Army fought in Korea until the signing of the armistice in July 1953, and remained in the country until 1958 when the movement ended. Official statistics from the 1980s total Chinese casualties during the conflict to be around 300,000, although other estimates are far higher.
As exhorted in this poster, the newly formed People's Republic was forced to increase its economic and industrial output to support its troops during the war, which placed great pressure on a nation in the midst of constructing and rebuilding its own economy. It is likely that a combination of the perceived threat from the United States and ideological factors, along with the requirements of the party to shore up domestic support for the new regime, contributed to the decision to engage in the conflict.
Qian Daxin was born in Shanghai in 1922. Joining the Shanghai People's Fine Art Publishing House in 1952, he was assigned to the editorial office of new year prints and propaganda posters where he rose to occupy various senior posts. Along with his colleague Ha Qiongwen (1925-2012), Qian is considered one of the major influences on propaganda posters. He was awarded a nationwide propaganda poster award in 1983 and is a member of the Chinese Artists Council.