Term Paper: China’s efforts in the Vietnam War

By | April 28, 2011

Sample Term Paper

China then proceeded to send in more aid to help North Vietnam defend itself in the form of naval defense systems and bases in 1963 in the form of People’s Liberation Army personnel and advisors. August of 1964 saw the Gulf of Tonkin incident, which in effect, marked the beginning of direct combat between North Vietnam and the U.S (Prados). China, keenly observing every move of the U.S assault, was ready to intervene so long as the war was correctly interpreted as reaching its borders. Lyndon B. Johnson, president at the time wanted to keep the war limited for this very reason, and therefore refused to invade Laos and North Vietnam in direct conflict with advice from the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Pacific Command or American Commanders in South Vietnam, correctly reading China’s anticipation.

Further instigation was provided when several Chinese were killed in bombing raids in Laos. Vietnamese chief of staff General Van Tien Dung, in response to this, went to Beijing to ask for support, which was assured in case North Vietnam was invaded. A month later in August, U.S bombed North Vietnam, and the Chinese started taking charge by initiating countermeasure plans in Hanoi, starting with the second Tonkin Gulf incident, which rather strangely China claims never happened.

Nevertheless, efforts were underway to strengthen Chinese backup near Vietnam.

It sent the Democratic Republic of Vietnam thirty-six MiG-15 and MiG-17 jet fighters (Prados) while continuing military need assessments.

Such assessments by the People’s Liberation Army chiefs rejected the idea of full scale war with the U.S but to boost preparations nevertheless. As a result, the headquarters of the 7th Air Corps was moved from Guangdong to Nanning, Anti-aircraft divisions reengaged, and a naval fighter division was deployed to Hainan. Air and ground divisions were further enhanced and put on high alert, eight further air combatants plus an all-weather fighting force was reserved as backup  (Prados, J). The Guangxi Province alone saw a major rise in equipment, almost tripling its radar systems from 36 in 1964 to 94 1965.  At this point, both Vietnamese and Chinese generals had collaborated and decided to confine the war to South Vietnam, in order to prevent a full scale one. A division was subsequently deployed to South Vietnam, which caused severe damage to American bases at Pleiku and Qui Nhon, causing the U.S to engage ground troops on a much larger scale.

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