and Conflicts Between China and the United States
Soldier in the Korean War
series of wars and conflicts between China and the United
States can be known as the Sino-American Wars (i.e.
Chinese-American Wars). While only two of the
Chinese-American conflicts can be considered major wars,
the relations between the two world powers have been
tense and hostile for over a half century now. As China
emerges into a formidable economic, diplomatic, and
military force in Asia and the world, the possibility of
a future conflict between the United States and China
will continue to grow.
(1899-1901)--A Chinese secret society called the
Righteous Harmony Society, and called "The Boxers" by
Western observers, began an uprising to drive Western
influence from China. While the rebels also at first
opposed the ruling government, called the Manchu Dynasty,
the government soon managed to direct most of the
violence against European, American, and Japanese
cultural, political, military, and diplomatic interests
in China. After the rebels and the Chinese government's
military began a siege of the Foreign Legations (foreign
embassies) in the capital of Beijing (known as Peking at
the time), an unlikely alliance of eight nations gathered
military forces to invade China and save their embassies,
as well as to preserve the power and influence they had
long held in China. These allies included: Great Britain,
France, Germany, Italy, Austria-Hungary, Russia, the
United States, and Japan. This China Relief Expedition
totaled nearly 45,000 men, and quickly invaded China,
seizing Beijing. China was forced to pay war reparations,
(in other words, they had to repay their enemies for the
financial cost of the war), accept more foreign troops on
States Marines from the 4th Marine Regiment in Shanghai,
(1927-1941) The United States, sent troops to protect
American citizens and American property in the Shanghai
International Settlement during the Chinese Civil War and
the Second Sino-Japanese War. These troops, along with
other foreign troops were allowed under the treaties the
Chinese government had been forced to sign with many
(1950-1953)--When the Communist North Koreans invaded
South Korea, the United States and many other nations
sent troops to defend South Korea. As these forces drove
the North Koreans back, the goal changed from saving
South Korea to liberating the North from Communist rule.
The new Communist governement of China responded by
sending hundreds of thousands of soldiers to aid the
North Koreans. This resulted in heavy combat between
Chinese and American forces until the fighting ended in
1953 with an Armistice.
(1954-1955)--The People's Republic of China (Communist
China), attacked islands under the control of the
Republic of China (the Nationalist Chinese government in
Taiwan). The United States was not part of the fighting,
but was very supportive of the Nationalists, to the point
of considering military action and the possible use of
nuclear weapons on mainland China.
(1965-1975)--The dates listed here represent the years
that Chinese military forces were stationed in North
Vietnam during the war. China sent Anti-Aircraft
Artillery batteries (and the troops to man them) in large
numbers to help the North Vietnamese battle American
warplanes over North Vietnam. At one point, in 1967,
China had over 170,000 troops in 16 AAA divisions serving
in North Vietnam. Chinese also supplied missiles,
artillery and logistics, railroad, engineer and mine
sweeping forces to aid the Vietnamese Communists in their
war with the United States.
(2001)--A U.S. Navy EP-3 reconnaissance aircraft
operating above the waters of the South China Sea was
struck by a Chinese Air Force interceptor jet. The
Chinese plane and pilot were lost at sea, and the
American plane made a forced landing on China's Hainan
Island. The U.S. crew were released after eleven days of
captivity. The Chinese kept the U.S. plane and gained
much useful intelligence about classified American
equipment and materials related to the aircraft’s
Naval Incidents Between the U.S. and
March and June of 2009, several incidents took place
between the military forces of the United States and the
military forces of the People's Republic of China at
2009, a Chinese submarine collided with a sonar array
towed by a U.S. destroyer near the
2013, a Chinese warship set itself onto a collision
course with an American naval vessel, the USS Cowpens. A
collision was only avoided due to evasive action taken by
the American ship.
2016, a Chinese warship intercepted and seized an
unmanned American undersea drone ( U.U.V.) as an American
naval vessel, the USS Bowditch, was attempting to recover
it in waters off the Philippines. . The U.S. government
complained, and the Chinese declared that they would
return the drone. This incident came shortly after
President-Elect Donald Trump irritated the Chinese
government by conducting a phone conversation with the
leader of Taiwan.
and Resources on Chinese-American
War with China is Possible, Says
Support for North Vietnam during the Vietnam War: The
--Military History Online
War: The Chinese
the United States Army history website.
Hainan Island Incident, Ten Years
and Matsu: An Historical Footnote
Robert B. Norris
Agrees to Return Seized Drone, Ending Standoff, Pentagon
Times, Dec. 17, 2016
Dupuy, and Dupuy Trevor N. The
Harper Encyclopedia of Military History: From 3500 B.C.
to the Present.
New York: Harper & Row, 1970.
George C. Dictionary
New York: Facts On File Publications. 1986.
and William L. Langer., ed. An
Encyclopedia of World History.
Massachusetts: Houghton Mifflin, 2002.
S., ed. Political
Handbook of the World.
5th ed. Binghamton, NY: CQ Press, 2004.