A spokesman for the Vietnamese Ambassador to France has accused China of committing horrific war crimes during the recent month-long border conflict.
A spokesman for the Vietnamese Ambassador to France has accused China of committing horrific war crimes during the recent month-long border conflict. Mr. Tran Thien Can made the allegations during a news conference in Paris on Wednesday (16 Ma) at the Vietnamese Embassy.
SYNOPSIS: The same day as the Vietnamese statement, the Peking government announced that China and Vietnam would exchange prisoners of war next week. There have been four sessions of peace talks to settle the Sino-Vietnamese dispute, but little progress has been made.
Mr. Tran's statement was similar in tone to a communique issued in Hanoi the day before by a Vietnamese group investigating the alleged Chinese war crimes. Mr. Tran likened the Chinese troops that crossed the Vietnamese border in February to Nazis. He said they had carried out a policy of ruthless killing of civilians which was barbarous in the extreme.
He cited allegations of Chinese forces beheading women and children and then dismembering their bodies. Mr. Tran claimed that forty-three civilians had been massacred in one village at Tong Chup, the majority of whom were pregnant mothers and infants, on the ninth of March, four days after Peking announced the...withdrawal of Chinese troops from Vietnam. Mr. Tran claimed this incident as extreme, but not unique during the month of fighting.
Mr. Tran claimed the conflict destroyed almost seven hundred nurseries, many hospitals and schools. He said some ten thousand refugee children now had no place of education and that twenty thousand people had been made homeless. China described its invasion of Vietnam as "punitive", claiming it was forced to take action because of repeated border incidents. Sino-Vietnamese relations have been particularly strained since the Chinese community in Vietnam claimed it was being persecuted a year ago. China then accused Vietnam of ousting the pro-Peking government of Pol Pot in Kampuchea earlier this year, although Hanoi claimed the overthrow was carried out by Kampuchean guerrillas.