Brother enemy : the war after the war by Nayan Chanda

By Nayan Chanda

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China protested privately against what it called the "forced naturalization" of Chinese nationals in Vietnam. But three secret meetings held to discuss the issue in February and April 1976 proved fruitless . The Vietnamese continued to hold, as Vietnam's ambassador to Peking, Nguyen Trong Vinh, explained to me three years later, that there was no mention of the term voluntarily in the 1955 agreement. Two years later Hanoi's treatment of the ethnic Chinese would produce the spark to ignite Sino-Vietnamese confrontation.

In June 1974 Hoang Tung had told a Thai journalist, "Southeast Asia belongs to the Southeast Asian people. . " 16 When Tung made this statement, Hanoi did not foresee taking over the South so rapidly. But once the Thieu army began to crumble, Hanoi could hardly be expected to stand idly by and watch China occupy the Spratlys in the same manner as it had the Paraeels the year before . '1 refer to the city as Saigon when the events described take place before April 30, 1975. 19 BROTHER ENEMY The Paracel and Spratly archipelagos in the South China Sea are made up of 150 specks of land, coral reef, and sandbanks.

S. imperialists and had demanded the dismantling of U. S. bases in Thailand and the Philippines. But by the end of 1975 the Vietnamese had seen China's determined bid to woo the ASEAN countries to its anti-Soviet and anti-Vietnamese strategy. It had noted in particular Peking's effort to be a matchmaker between Cambodia and Thailand. Barely a month after the fall of Saigon, China had normalized relations with Thailand. In October 1975, while Vietnam had yet to establish relations with Thailand, through China's intercession Ieng Sary had made the icebreaking trip to Bangkok aboard a Chinese aircraft .

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