Vs. The United States in Wars and Conflicts
Soldier in the Korean War
The series of wars and
conflicts between China and the United States can be known as the
Sino-American Wars (i.e. China vs. America 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 continues to emerge
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 grow.
How many wars between
China and America have been fought? See the list of
(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 Chinese soil.
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 Western nations.
(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
(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 surveillance mission.
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 sea.
In June, 2009, a
Chinese submarine collided with a sonar array towed by a U.S.
destroyer near the Philippines.
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
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
and Resources on Chinese-American Conflicts:
War with China is Possible, Says
Support for North Vietnam during the Vietnam War: The Decisive
War: The Chinese Intervention--From
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
Dec. 17, 2016
R. Ernest, Dupuy, and
Dupuy Trevor N. The
Harper Encyclopedia of Military History: From 3500 B.C. to the
New York: Harper & Row, 1970.
George C. Dictionary
New York: Facts On File Publications. 1986.
Steems, Peter and
William L. Langer., ed. An
Encyclopedia of World History. Boston,
Massachusetts: Houghton Mifflin, 2002.
Banks, Arthur S., ed.
Handbook of the World.
5th ed. Binghamton, NY: CQ Press, 2004.