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Deng Xiaoping's Long WarThe Military Conflict between China and Vietnam, 1979-1991$
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Xiaoming Zhang

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781469621241

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469621241.001.0001

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Deng Xiaoping and China’s War Decision

Deng Xiaoping and China’s War Decision

Chapter:
(p.40) 2 Deng Xiaoping and China’s War Decision
Source:
Deng Xiaoping's Long War
Author(s):

Xiaoming Zhang

Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
DOI:10.5149/northcarolina/9781469621241.003.0002

This chapter examines Beijing's management of its deteriorating relationship with Vietnam in 1978, focusing on the basis of its decision to go to war. According to Chinese scholars, the decision to wage war against Vietnam was influenced by Chinese leaders' reaction to the Soviet Union's genuine threat, which caused them to pursue strategic cooperation with the United States against the Soviet Union. Because this policy emphasized confrontation, Beijing's approach to international crisis in the region became both adamant and militant. Chinese policymakers believed that a punitive attack on Vietnam would deal a blow to the USSR's global expansion strategy. Nevertheless, these studies by the Chinese scholars criticize their leaders for exaggerating the Soviet threat but do not adequately explain why those leaders did so.

Keywords:   China, Vietnam, Sino-Vietnamese conflict, Sino-American cooperation, war

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