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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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Planning and Preparation for the Invasion

Planning and Preparation for the Invasion

(p.67) 3 Planning and Preparation for the Invasion
Deng Xiaoping's Long War

Xiaoming Zhang

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter explores the People's Liberation Army's (PLA) implementation of the invasion operations at the campaign and tactical levels in the context of Cold War history. The People's Republic of China (PRC) never planned to engage in a fight with the Socialist Republic of Vietnam (SRV), and the PLA had never before prepared for such a military action. Chinese forces were undermanned, underequipped, and poorly trained. The most serious difficulty was the lack of enthusiasm among the rank and file. Many soldiers did not understand why they would attack a country that seemed like—and had often been compared to—China's “little brother.” During the invasion, the characteristics of the PLA's operational art in military campaigns foreshadowed both continuities and changes for years to come. Preparations for war against Vietnam were a national undertaking in support of the Chinese leadership's strategic objectives.

Keywords:   People's Liberation Army, PLA, People's Republic of China, PRC, Socialist Republic of Vietnam, SRV, Chinese military strategy, military campaign

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