Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Revolutionary Communist League of Britain

China and Vietnam: What Is The Truth?

Issued: 1979.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Sam Richards and Paul Saba
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All of a sudden ’China-bashing’ has become popular again. All sorts of people who call themselves Socialists have joined together to attack China.

The ’New’ and the Old ’Communist Parties’, the Trotskyites and others all agree with Brezhnev when he calls China “the greatest threat to world peace”. They even march together to show their hatred of people’s China.

They say that China intends to annex Vietnam and, no doubt, the whole world!

But why should this strange band of people all join together? What is the truth about the fighting in South-East Asia?


On February 17th the Chinese People’s Liberation Army launched an attack on Vietnamese troops on the border between China and Vietnam. This was not an invasion or a ’war of aggression’. It was a counterattack.

For over two years the Vietnamese authorities have been carrying out an anti-China and anti-Chinese policy. They have victimized and expelled many Vietnamese of Chinese origin. They have attacked Chinese troops and peasants in. the border regions. Last year alone Vietnamese troops attacked China an over 1000 occasions.

Many times the Chinese have proposed negotiations to restore peace along the border. The Hanoi government has not been interested. When the attacks continued and intensified, China warned Vietnam that unless they stopped China would hit back. On December 24th the Chinese government stated:

China has never bullied and will never bully any other country; neither will it allow itself to be bullied by others. It will not attack unless it is attacked. But if it is attacked it will certainly counterattack.

This is what has now happened. China will not annex an inch of Vietnamese territory. It will make sure that its own borders are safe from attack.

Who then is the “greatest threat to world peace”?


Facts are stubborn things. They show a picture of the world quite different from that invented by our’ socialist’ friends. They show the Soviet Union, whose leaders speak so piously in the name of peace, committing acts of aggression against the people all over the world.

IN EUROPE Soviet, troops occupy Czechoslovakia. They carry out attacks on the countries of Scandinavia.

IN THE CARIBBEAN the Soviet Union has been able to subvert the struggle of the Cuban people, and has tied Cuba to its war chariot.

IN AFRICA the Soviet Union has used Cuban troops against the peoples of Angola, Ethiopia, Somalia and Eritrea.

IN ASIA the Soviet Union has fomented coups in Afghanistan and the Yemen.

It has carried out military provocations against the peoples of Japan, Indonesia and Malaysia.

THROUGHOUT THE WORLD the Soviet Union is building up its armed forces, threatening and exploiting independent countries and trying to get control of the World’s supply routes.


In 1975 Vietnam, Kampuchea and Laos, the three countries of Indo-China, won final victory against US Imperialism. They began the difficult task of building socialism in their lands.

Instead of helping them in this task, the ’socialist’ Soviet Union saw this as a Golden opportunity to increase its own power. Its strategy was simple – it would use Vietnam in Asia like it, had used Cuba in Africa. Soviet money, arms and advisers were poured into Vietnam. This was not for nothing. In return Vietnam was to carry out Soviet policy in. Asia. The Vietnamese authorities were encouraged in their dreams to dominate the whole of Indochina. 40,000 Vietnamese troops were sent into Laos. Attacks began on socialist Kampuchea.


Kampuchea defeated US Imperialism without any ’help’ from the Soviet Union.

After liberation the Kampuchean Government refuse d to allow outsiders to interfere in the internal affairs of the country. For this reason Kampuchea became the main obstacle to Soviet plans in Indochina, and the main target of attack.

These attacks began in 1975. Early last year Vietnam, with Soviet advice and support, mounted a full scale invasion which was defeated. It has tried to hatch coups inside Kampuchea – these too have failed.

In December 1978,one month after signing a ’friendship’ treaty with the Soviet Union, Vietnam carried out a massive invasion of Kampuchea. There are now 150,000 Vietnamese troops in Kampuchea.

This act of aggression has been covered up by the Soviet Union and its ’socialist’ friends. In fact they have rejoiced at the “overthrow of Pol Pot”, the legitimate government of Kampuchea. History will show that their rejoicing is premature. The war in Kampuchea is continuing. Pol Pot and the Kampuchean people have not been defeated, and already the massive invasion force is in serious difficulties. It is cut off in the main towns, without proper supplies and under attack from all sides.


These are the facts of the matter, and it is just no good for the Soviet Union and its friends to shout, about, “Chinese aggression”. Events will show that their indignant love of peace is just a hollow sham.

CHINA supports the peoples of the world in their struggles against oppression.

THE SOVIET UNION wants to rule the world, and to that end it bullies independent countries, subverts national liberation movements and invades sovereign territories.

CHINA will withdraw for Vietnamese territory.

THE SOVIET UNION will continue its wars of aggression.

As the heroic struggle of the people of Kampuchea shows, this aggression will only be defeated when the peoples and countries of the world stand up to it and fight back. China’s action against Vietnam supports that fight.

It is in the real interests of world peace.


Distributed by the Revolutionary Communist League of Britain

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