Chinese troops are believed to have halted their advances across the North Vietnamese border. But?
Chinese troops are believed to have halted their advances across the North Vietnamese border. But Reuters reports from Thailand say that fighting continues in five northern provinces where China launched major attacks on 17 February, Radio Hanoi claims that North Vietnamese regular troops and local militia have wiped out three and a half thousand Chinese troops and eighty tanks in the first two days of fighting.
SYNOPSIS: In two days of fighting Chinese troops forces their way about ten kilometres (six miles) into Vietnamese territory. According to Vietnamese officials the Chinese have overrun the towns of Dong Dang on the eastern border and Muong Khuong near the western border.
The Chinese invading forces were mainly infantry divisions backed by armour artillery and air strikes. Although the Vietnamese claim to have inflicted heavy losses on the invading forces ...they admi that Chinese artillery barrages on Saturday (17 February) had caused heavy loses of life and damage to property.
The Chinese claim that their invasion is a limited one. They say that early in February Vietnamese forces launched a border raid against China...and they produced a bullet holed uniform to prove it. Peking Television claims that a number of Chinese troops were seriously injure in that clash.
The Chinese regard the current invasion as a counter attack in response to what it sees as Vietnamese provocations along its border and the Vietnamese sponsored takeover in Kampuchea.
China's army newspaper said that fighting with Vietnam would end as soon as peace and stability had been restored along the border region. But its clear that China has made preparations to ensure that the normal life of its people living along the North Vietnamese border will....continue with as little disruption as possible. Reuters reports China's senior vice premier, Teng Hsiao-ping (Deng Xiaoping) as saying that China needs peace to give the people of China the standard of living and development that the government feels they should have.
In the U.S.S.R. students have been demonstrating against the Chinese invasion of North Vietnam. There's been unanimous condemnation of the invasion by Soviet mass media and Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko has warned China to withdraw its forces before it is too late. Political commentators seized the chance to tell western governments that they had been wrong to believe that by seeking closer relations with Peking that China would moderate her policies. The government newspaper Isvestia has claimed that the Chinese attack coming so soon after the visit of Vice-Premier Teng to Washington has embarrassed the United States government.
The Vietnamese Embassy in Paris has been the focus of attention for world news media and governments wanting information about the Chinese border attacks. The embassy issued a statement on Monday (19 February) saying that it did not consider the fighting an incident...but large scale aggression.
The Vietnamese Ambassador to France, Vo Van Sung said that before the fighting broke out there were twenty-one Chinese divisions massed on the border. He said he did not know how many were engaged in the conflict but said that what was certain was that China was still pouring thousands of men across the border. Mr Sung said that while the initial attack was met by local militia, regular troops rushed to the border had now surrounded many of the attacking forces and were inflicting heavy losses on them. Mr. Sung admitted that the Vietnamese army was still heavily committed in Kampuchea former Khmer Rough government.