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Title: The 1979 Sino-Vietnamese war and Deng Xiaoping's China
Authors: Tan, Kirk Benjamin
Keywords: Humanities::History::Asia::China
Social sciences::Political science
Issue Date: 2020
Publisher: Nanyang Technological University
Abstract: This dissertation aims to show the impact of the 1979 Sino-Vietnamese War on China’s national interests until 1991. While the extant literature often portrays the war as a military and operational failure for China, accounts often overlook the benefits of the war for China’s strategic and political objectives in the 1980s. This dissertation argues that conducting the war led to geopolitical gains by lowering the Soviet-Vietnamese threat and contributed to the success of Deng Xiaoping’s domestic reform agenda in China. While Vietnam failed to withdraw from Cambodia and continued cooperation with the USSR, the invasion embarrassed the USSR as an unreliable defensive ally for Vietnam. The war also prolonged the Sino-Vietnamese border conflict which pinned down the People's Army of Vietnam on two fronts while serving as a pressure tool. Domestically, the conduct of the war justified suppression of military resources for the economy and gave vital combat experience for the People’s Liberation Army as it underwent fundamental changes to modernise. At the same time, the war contributed to Deng Xiaoping authority over generals and eventually Chinese Communist Party members. Overall, the Sino-Vietnamese War of 1979 created a positive outcome for China.
Fulltext Permission: restricted
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:RSIS Theses

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