Term Paper: China, United States and Vietnam

By | April 28, 2011

Sample Term Paper

U.S foreign policy makers have been enshrouded in an omni-present anti communist extremism that never quite let them come to mutually beneficial terms with China (Garson). Eisenhower’s successor, John Kennedy, who became president in 1961, had ministers and policy makers in his government interpreting China’s position at the time as a key ally to Vietnam. Even if attributed to be as a silent assassin, China was deemed an adversary that could easily extend an arm of friendship out to Vietnam in the wake of clashes in Hanoi. In fact, from Kennedy’s side, “the standing Joint Chiefs of Staff credited Beijing with the capacity for inserting and supporting thirteen infantry divisions in Vietnam” (Prados).

However, China was never too keen on serving the wartime needs of its neighbor. Indeed the country itself was economically drained, having just emerged from two exhaustive wars, the last one being civil, ending in 1949. This was for good reason, for the recent tensions instigated by Mao Tse-Tung with the U.S had not phased out completely, and any obvious hints of a looming threat may shove China into the depths of war once again. Till the late 1950s, thus, Vietnam’s cries for help were not met with eager responses. In 1959, the Prime Minister of Vietnam made a formal request to Mao Tse-Tung for military aid and personnel, which was again met with subtle denial, although an assessment team was sent to Vietnam to address their needs. As the insistence grew, China finally responded by the mid 1960s and agreed to Pham Van Dong’s military strategy against the U.S where as accentuating a need for economic development in the North. During this time, the U.S was busy bolstering its support for the insurgents in South Vietnam, with more troops, aid, etc. 60s became the crucial era of China’s involvement in the Vietnam War.

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