Despite an official announcement from Chinese Foreign Minister Huang Hua on Friday (16 March) that all Chinese forces have now withdrawn from Vietnam, Vietnamese refugees from the border areas continue to travel south passing troops heading for the battle area.
GV Vietnamese refugees walking along road (3 shots)
GV Troops on truck passing refugees
CU PULL BACK TO Girl with bare feet walking in the mud
GV Troops on back of a truck
CU PULL OUT TO GV Water buffalo and herder
GV Troops on the back of truck (3 shots)
SV ZOOM INTO CU Young soldiers and GV other soldiers standing in rain.
GV Young boy carrying child on his back
GV Troops and civilians
On Friday (16 March) Laos accused China of sending troops across their common border three days before. Laos claims that the Chinese are plotting a coup. Laos is regarded as having a pro-Vietnamese, pro-Soviet Union foreign policy.
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Background: Despite an official announcement from Chinese Foreign Minister Huang Hua on Friday (16 March) that all Chinese forces have now withdrawn from Vietnam, Vietnamese refugees from the border areas continue to travel south passing troops heading for the battle area.
SYNOPSIS: Throughout the month-long war the province of Lang Son has been one of the most fiercely contested areas.
Hanoi has agreed to peace talks in the near future but as yet no date has been fixed and Vietnamese troops are continuing to move into the province while the refugees travel south in large numbers.
With the rainy season hampering troops movements, traffic going both north and south has had to contend with muddy and rutted roads. The animals of the evacuees seem better suited to the conditions than the heavy trucks of the advancing troops.
With almost all male Vietnamese now mobilised into regional militia, western sources believe the country has suffered extreme economic dislocation. Food shortages are predicted in coming months.
These young soldiers have known nothing but war all their lives. Since the Chinese attack last month an estimated five hundred thousand of them have been moved into the northern provinces.
A major problem for Vietnam, when the war ends, will be the rehabilitation of refugees. Reuters reports that thousands have fled or been evacuated from battle areas. Hanoi accuses the Chinese of practising a scorched earth policy in the provinces they occupied, destroying or removing everything from farm equipment to mosquito nets.