The Sino-Vietnam War of 1979

After the death of Stalin, relations between the Soviet Union and China turned sour while the Russians and the Vietnamese developed a closer relationship.

To counter this perceived threat, China encouraged Cambodia to take aggressive action against Vietnam. By the end of 1978, the Cambodians under the leadership of Pol Pot launched a series of attacks along the Vietnam border.

The Vietnamese retaliated with armored units and captured the capital of Cambodia on January 7, 1979.

Since 10 thousand Chinese military advisers in Camboida became prisoners, China loses face.

On February 15, 1979, China says that it’s going to invade and teach Vietnam a lesson.

The Vietnamese decided to hold back their regular army and defend the border with militia units using guerilla tactics in the hills and rainforest similar to how they fought America.

China takes heavy casualties after attacking and soon returns to China.

China has a long history with Vietnam. The First Chinese domination of Vietnam took place in 207 BC to 39 AD. The second occupation was from 43 to 544 AD.  The third was from 602 to 905 AD.  The fourth was between 1407 to 1427 AD.

Then France ruled over Vietnam from 1862 until the Japanese invaded during World War II. The French would return in 1946 and fight the Vietnamese until 1954.

This week, the US and Vietnam, once enemies during the American-Vietnam War (1961 – 1975), become allies to block China’s territorial claims in the South China Sea.  Source: Goldsea Asian American News


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. 

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