Dandong – China

Veteran Stories

>> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> Her name is Nijing Wan. First, her name was Nijing Wan. It's similar to the name of the South Korea president, so she changed her name to Nijing Wan. >> Hmm. When was she born, her birthday? >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> She was born in 1934, September 9th, Chinese calendar. She's 84 years old now, and she was born in Chaozhou, Guan province. >> Mm. How old was she when she joined the army? >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> She joined the army in 1949, December, and she learned how to [INAUDIBLE]. In 1950, she graduated from it. Then she went to Korea in 1951, April. >> Did she volunteer, or she was drafted to go to ... >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> She's volunteer. >> Why? >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> Huh? >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> She's a volunteer for the time that American come to our gate, and a lot of people, a lot of Chinese come to ... want to make them away, make them [INAUDIBLE] away, and she's sick that time, and first she's refused, but one day, her [INAUDIBLE] come back, she want [INAUDIBLE] to go again, and they make her in. >> She was so young. Wasn't she scared? >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> She's not [INAUDIBLE], and she go there by the Jeep, the American Jeep, with her [INAUDIBLE]. At that time, there's the [INAUDIBLE] there, and one take her how to [INAUDIBLE]. She cannot get it, cannot pick it up, but she's not afraid. She's full of hard glass. She want peace. >> Mm. Did she meet her husband there? >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> She met her husband after the war. >> Ooh. >> And she just talk about their condition is very bad during the war. They had no chair, no table, and they must have dinners at night for, in the daytime if there's smoke, the [INAUDIBLE] see that. >> When did she end her service in the war? >> Pardon? >> When did she leave Korea? >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> She came back in 1956, and her husband came back in 1958. In 1960, they got married ... >> Mm. >> ... [INAUDIBLE] in Beijing. >> The war they stopped fighting in 1953, but why does she come back 3 years after? >> It's over 1953? >> '53, it's armistice, stop fighting. >> She knows. [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> Just that they need to make them do some service there. >> Mm. >> Yeah. And they fall in love 6 years. >> Mm. >> After 6 years, they got married. >> Mm. Ask her what she remembers most about the Korean War. >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> Okay. She's in the dangerous condition many times such as one day they had their meeting on a hill, but the enemies come by plane, and they shoot, so they help each other. >> Hmm. >> It's really dangerous. >> Did she ever see people dying? >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> What does she think about Chinese involvement in the Korean War? >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> Because Korea is not her country, but so many Chinese went and died. >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> Because the government said that Korea is our neighbor. >> Mm. >> If they take the Korea ... >> Mm. >> ... and they are next, it will be China. >> Mm. Mm. So she was very patriotic. >> Yes. >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> She ... >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> She has one thing she cannot forget. The one thing, she was just 16 or 17 years old, very young, and she didn't know how to shoot, use a gun. There's some enemy on the hill. They shoot, means that the enemy will come, just she in the working house, very dangerous. If they know you're younger in the house, they will come to shoot her. >> Mm-hmm. >> Yeah, but it's lucky that they're not coming. >> Mm. Yeah. So she must have been so lonely, far away from family and scared. >> Yeah! That time, only she in the working house. >> So she is very rare because she's a female. Were there very many other female veterans? >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> Not so much. For the first, they didn't know what's the condition in Korea, but in general, there are several people female, so just go there. They say it's okay for the female, so some will go. >> Mm. >> She joined in the April. >> Does she have friends right now? Does she know other Korea War veterans right now? >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> We have a regional group. >> Ooh! >> Yeah. >> Really? >> Yeah. They collect each other. >> And they meet? >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> Sometimes [INAUDIBLE] many. >> Is there a veteran's association? >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> Yeah. >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> Mm! They have a association group? >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> Most of the time, they just talk on WeChat. >> Mm. >> For most of them, they are older. >> Older. Oh. >> Yeah. >> But how did they find each other? >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> Mm. >> They collect each other one by one. >> Mm. >> Yeah. >> Can you point where you are? What does the article say in the headline? >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> What is this article about? >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> The veterans all come from Guandong Province of China. >> Mm! >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> This is her leader. >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> Mm. >> Others, two other leaders, another six boys and six girls, the soldiers. >> Did they all live? >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] They didn't collect two the boy soldier. >> Mm. >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> That one is [INAUDIBLE]. >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> This is in Shandong Province [INAUDIBLE]. >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> And the two [INAUDIBLE]. >> Mm. >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> Has she been to Korea, North Korea or South Korea? >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> North Korea or South Korea. >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> Wow! Three times! >> Yeah. She had been to Korea three times in 2008, 2011, 2013. She want to go there again. >> Ooh. North Korea or South Korea? >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> North Korea or South Korea? >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> This is the last time that ... >> North Korea or South Korea? >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> I think it's North Korea. >> Oh, three times North Korea? >> Yes. >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> And some of Mister Mau ... >> I know. >> ... is also there. >> I know, died. >> Yeah. >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> Because the Koreans, they have our names of the veterans. She want to get the names. >> Mm. >> Yeah. >> Does she ever want to visit South Korea? >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> She want to go there, the whole of Korea. >> Mm, all Korea. >> Yeah. >> Mm. >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> What does she think about the current ... >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> ... peace process? >> With ... >> What does she think about the current peace process? >> What peace process? >> She knows. Peace process. Peace. >> Wait. >> Between North and South Korea. Peace process. They're talking about peace. >> Wait, wait. [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> What does that mean? >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> Today's newspaper. >> Mm-hmm. What does that mean? >> The railway and the road, they collapse it of Korea. >> Mm. So what does she think about it? >> She's happy about it. >> Mm, mm, mm. >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> Mm. >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> Mm. >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> Mm. Because we want peace, right? >> Yeah. >> Yes. >> Ask her. That's why I'm here. Tell her I'm here because I want peace for North Korea, South Korea, China and the world, her heart. >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] >> Thank you so much. >> Thank you. >> Thank you so much. >> Thank you. Thank you.

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    Memorial Site

    The People’s Republic of China participated in the Korean War from October 1950 to July 1953.
    Along with the Soviet Union, China fought on the side of North Korea. Under the leadership of Mao Zedong, China sent the People’s Volunteer Army to support the North Koreans in the war.

    In total, China deployed an estimated 2.7 million soldiers and suffered roughly between 149,000 to 400,000 casualties. The specifics on the number of Chinese killed, wounded, or missing in action as well as prisoners of war are still unclear.

    The Korean War Memorial in China is located in Dandong, less than 2 miles away from the Amrok River and the Sino-Korean Friendship Bridge leading into North Korea. The memorial itself is located inside a museum dedicated entirely to the Korean War.