The British government under Prime Minister Clement Attlee recognizes the People's Republic of China (PRC), the new Chinese nation that had been proclaimed three months earlier by Communist leader Mao Zedong. Britain's recognition of the PRC caused a diplomatic crisis with the United States, which supported the Chinese Nationalists in their struggle against Mao's Communists. Most Nationalist forces had fled to Taiwan, but a few pockets of Nationalist resistance still remained on the mainland. Some U.S. officials accused Britain of essentially condemning the Nationalist troops to death by recognizing China's communist government.
Later that year, however, Britain and the United States presented a united front against communist China when Chinese forces entered the Korean War on the side of the North Koreans, engaging British and American troops in fierce fighting on the Korean peninsula.