China has urged Vietnam to start negotiations to end their border war. The official Chinese?
China has urged Vietnam to start negotiations to end their border war. The official Chinese newspaper, "The People Daily" said on Monday (26 February) that it was hoped that the Vietnamese authorities would accept what it called "a reasonable proposal". The offer of negotiations came as the Chinese invasion of Vietnam entered its 11th day -- with the Vietnamese claiming that Chinese troops had penetrated deep into the country. Hanoi Radio has given few details of precise locations of the conflict. But, in the latest broadcasts, it is clear there is fierce fighting around the north eastern provincial capital, and in the Lang Son area. A camera team from Soviet Television has been in Lang Son, as well as Hanoi.
SYNOPSIS: Hanoi is once again in a state of battle preparation, with weapons training becoming part of everyday life. Although the city is not threatened by the scale of the conflict at the moment, Hanoi Radio has warned that Chinese force have penetrated twenty-five miles (40 kilometres) into their territory. This, they say, disproves Chinese statements that the conflict is only a limited one. The Vietnamese insist the war is being carried out on "a large and fierce scale". The broadcast said Chinese forces in Vietnam were deployed in six border provinces -- and consisted of twenty-five divisions. That, they say, was more than the Americans put into their war on Vietnam.
On Monday night (26 February) reports from border regions warned that a major battle appeared to be imminent in the Lang Son area. Lang son is on one of the two major rail lines linking China with Vietnam and is close to "friendship Pass", which marks the border between the two countries.
It is reported to be still in Vietnamese hands, but Chinese forces appeared to be preparing an assault. According to a spokesman for the United States State Department, the fighting in the Lang Son area has already been hard.
An undisclosed number of Chinese troops have been taken prisoner. One of these, shown to newsmen, was said to be a spy. Some reports quoted by Reuters news agency says the Chinese could have at least another hundred thousand troops in the border area who could be deployed within twenty-four hours if needed. But, while both sides strengthen their positions on the ground, the United Nations continues to seek a solution that would bring the dispute o the conference table.