The current relationship between the People's Republic of China and North Vietnam is not merely a question of military aid.
The current relationship between the People's Republic of China and North Vietnam is not merely a question of military aid. Both peoples are united with a common bond of communism and against what they see as a common enemy.
North Vietnam receives aid from every communist country in the world, except Yugoslavia. But China has given more in all respects than any other country.
Chinese troops first swept down to the Vietnamese border in 1949 and set up the beginnings of a relationship which has led to constant military and financial assistance.
Solidarity of the people has been a key factor in the relationship -- massive demonstrations both in Hanoi and in Peking have followed every key point in the Indochina war, and frequent visits by Government leaders are made between both capitals.
North Vietnam, however, is a very independent country. Russian and Chinese aid have not influenced the people to any visible extent Chinese Prime Minister Chou En-lai publicly pledged more help at the end of hi visit to hanoi last year, and constantly referred to American presence in South Vietnam as a grave threat to China. Until the American forces leave, China will continue to supply aid, he added.
SYNOPSIS: The People's Republic of China has always held an interest in North Vietnam. As early as 1954, Chinese Prime Minister Chou En-lai was involved in the Geneva negotiations which led to the demarkation line with South Vietnam.
The Chinese have also publicly shown that their relationship with the North Vietnamese is not merely one of financial and military aid. More than a million people protested in Peking in 1965 over American bombings on Hanoi. They showed the basic solidarity which has held the two peoples together in more than just a geographical sense since the days of French occupation of Indochina.
Government leaders from China and North Vietnam frequently exchange visits. When Chou En-lai visited Hanoi last year he promised more aid for the North Vietnamese for what he termed their heroic struggle against American aggression. The Chinese Prime Minister spoke of doubling existing financial grants, and of doubling military aid, which had consisted mainly of small arms and ammunition up to that time. The North Vietnamese reacted well to his visit which was termed as a morale booster by Western newspapers.
The Soviet Union has contributed more significantly to the North Vietnamese war effort than the Chinese, supplying Hanoi with modern jet aircraft, ground-to-air missiles and helicopters.
Peking has been the champion of the North Vietnamese cause in Indochina since the conflict there first began. The Chinese have supplied military equipment, technical knowledge, training and economic aid for the war effort. They have boosted the morale of the communist forces fighting in other Indochina countries in the cause of communism. Chinese aid and Chinese influence have constantly helped the North Vietnamese to continue the war. Peking leaders have promised that the aid will continue, at least until the war is over, and the assistance programmes over the last three years have more than doubled.