China enters the Vietnam War on the North Vietnamese side

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China enters the Vietnam War on the North Vietnamese side

Post by Futurist » 06 Jan 2020 07:51

Apparently Mao Zedong (China's Communist dictator back then) wanted to have China enter the Vietnam War on the North Vietnamese side in the event of a US invasion of North Vietnam (as was previously the case in regards to North Korea in 1950):

https://www.wilsoncenter.org/article/ch ... ms-scholar

Anyway, had the US decided to launch an invasion of North Vietnam sometime in the mid-1960s or late 1960s and China would have subsequently entered the Vietnam War on the North Vietnamese side, how would the Vietnam War have subsequently progressed? Also, would China's military performance have been weaker in Vietnam than in Korea due to the effects of the Cultural Revolution?

Any thoughts on all of this?

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Re: China enters the Vietnam War on the North Vietnamese side

Post by Kingfish » 06 Jan 2020 10:37

Futurist wrote:
06 Jan 2020 07:51
Anyway, had the US decided to launch an invasion of North Vietnam sometime in the mid-1960s or late 1960s and China would have subsequently entered the Vietnam War on the North Vietnamese side, how would the Vietnam War have subsequently progressed?
The answer depends a lot on the scope and scale of the US invasion. A full occupation of North Vietnam is out of the question, so what is left?
The gods do not deduct from a man's allotted span the hours spent in fishing.
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Re: China enters the Vietnam War on the North Vietnamese side

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 06 Jan 2020 12:41

Kingfish wrote:
06 Jan 2020 10:37
... The answer depends a lot on the scope and scale of the US invasion. A full occupation of North Vietnam is out of the question, so what is left?
There was at least one plan written up for cutting the Ho Chi Minh trail via a invasion of the two southern most province of N Vietnam. Its bee 30+ years since I read about it, but IIRC it kicked off with the bulk of three US divisions & one ARVN. More would follow up boosting this to a 'army' sized operation.

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Re: China enters the Vietnam War on the North Vietnamese side

Post by Takao » 06 Jan 2020 15:32

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
06 Jan 2020 12:41
Kingfish wrote:
06 Jan 2020 10:37
... The answer depends a lot on the scope and scale of the US invasion. A full occupation of North Vietnam is out of the question, so what is left?
There was at least one plan written up for cutting the Ho Chi Minh trail via a invasion of the two southern most province of N Vietnam. Its bee 30+ years since I read about it, but IIRC it kicked off with the bulk of three US divisions & one ARVN. More would follow up boosting this to a 'army' sized operation.
It was planned to invade Laos, not North Vietnam.with 3 Army divisions. The plan was dropped because LBJ did not want to widen the war.

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Re: China enters the Vietnam War on the North Vietnamese side

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 07 Jan 2020 03:39

The plan I'm aware of was described in the Marine Corps Gazette sometime circa 1985-1990. The author had been on the 1st Marine Div staff, or I Corps staff I can't recall which. Cant recall the date.

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Re: China enters the Vietnam War on the North Vietnamese side

Post by Takao » 07 Jan 2020 11:02

Thanks, the only one I was aware of was Westy's invasion plans for Laos. But, now that I think of it, one of LBJ's advisors, Rostow, IIRC, was a big proponent of invading North. But, I didn't think anything came of it.

Will have to dig into the matter.

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Re: China enters the Vietnam War on the North Vietnamese side

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 07 Jan 2020 18:19

I'm thinking the plan described in the Gazette was made in 1968 or later.

Would take me several hours to locate the article.

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Re: China enters the Vietnam War on the North Vietnamese side

Post by Futurist » 10 Jan 2020 08:50

Kingfish wrote:
06 Jan 2020 10:37
Futurist wrote:
06 Jan 2020 07:51
Anyway, had the US decided to launch an invasion of North Vietnam sometime in the mid-1960s or late 1960s and China would have subsequently entered the Vietnam War on the North Vietnamese side, how would the Vietnam War have subsequently progressed?
The answer depends a lot on the scope and scale of the US invasion. A full occupation of North Vietnam is out of the question, so what is left?
Would it be out of the question due to the US's fear of a Chinese militarily intervention on behalf of the North Vietnamese a la North Korea in 1950?

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Re: China enters the Vietnam War on the North Vietnamese side

Post by Kingfish » 10 Jan 2020 11:09

Futurist wrote:
10 Jan 2020 08:50
Would it be out of the question due to the US's fear of a Chinese militarily intervention on behalf of the North Vietnamese a la North Korea in 1950?
There are several reasons, but the one that towers above all the others is: why?

What would be the military goal in occupying all of NV?
Now consider the commitment in manpower and logistical needed to fulfill that goal.

I can't think of a rational answer to the question that would justify that kind of commitment.
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Re: China enters the Vietnam War on the North Vietnamese side

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 10 Jan 2020 15:06

Was already fighting one guerillia war in the south. Adding NV, & probably China just makes things more difficult. LBJ original strategic objective was to A. Stabilize the SV Republic. B. Get a new peace accord for SE Asia. By early 1968 neither had been achieved.

However, theres claims that the North VN leaders did fear a US invasion circa 1960-65. They just might have agreed to a new peace accord had such a invasion scared them bad enough. Theirs was a long term strategy, arcing out into the 1970s & beyond. A agreement that got the US military back to wherever it came from would be a acceptable short term outcome. One of the forgotten details of the war is the NV leaders were originally opposed to the emergence of the Viet Cong & general revolt in the south as late as 1963. They felt they could not support such a event, and that it could lead to a US invasion. The success of the VC & support from the USSR & China changed their strategy. They also were relieved to see LBJs approval of the incremental escalation strategy. That bought them time to reorganize and asorb Soviet assistance, expand the Ho Chi Minh Trail operation, ect... in the early 1960s they had the belief a large & swift invasion by the US was possible.

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Re: China enters the Vietnam War on the North Vietnamese side

Post by Futurist » 12 Jan 2020 02:42

Is it true that Le Duan was the one who was pushing for a forcible conquest of South Vietnam while Ho Chi Minh advocated for a more conciliatory approach in regards to this--as in, aiming for some sort of peaceful coexistence with South Vietnam in the hope that maybe it would eventually voluntarily agree to unite together with North Vietnam and form one unified Vietnam?

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Re: China enters the Vietnam War on the North Vietnamese side

Post by Rickshaw_665 » 05 Feb 2020 10:53

I was always under the impression that both Chinas (PRC and ROC) entered the Vietnam war. What I think you're talking about is the idea that PRC would send combat troops to aid the North, rather than just the railway troops and AA advisors that they did send to North Vietnam's aid (some 10,000 IIRC).

The PRC was apparently fearful of an American invasion of North Vietnam just as the USA was fearful of a PRC move south. The situation resembled Korea in too many respects. The PRC didn't like the idea of Western democracies on it's borders and the US Military wanted to take the fight there.

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Re: China enters the Vietnam War on the North Vietnamese side

Post by Takao » 05 Feb 2020 13:15

Futurist wrote:
12 Jan 2020 02:42
Is it true that Le Duan was the one who was pushing for a forcible conquest of South Vietnam while Ho Chi Minh advocated for a more conciliatory approach in regards to this--as in, aiming for some sort of peaceful coexistence with South Vietnam in the hope that maybe it would eventually voluntarily agree to unite together with North Vietnam and form one unified Vietnam?
I believe that both, early on, advocated for a forcible conquest of SVN. However, China foresaw the problem this would bring with the US. As China had their own plate full with internal problems at home, they did not want to get drawn into a war with the US. So, they convinced NVN, that a long haul solution was the best practical option.

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Re: China enters the Vietnam War on the North Vietnamese side

Post by History Learner » 03 Mar 2020 19:57

Futurist wrote:
06 Jan 2020 07:51
Apparently Mao Zedong (China's Communist dictator back then) wanted to have China enter the Vietnam War on the North Vietnamese side in the event of a US invasion of North Vietnam (as was previously the case in regards to North Korea in 1950):

https://www.wilsoncenter.org/article/ch ... ms-scholar

Anyway, had the US decided to launch an invasion of North Vietnam sometime in the mid-1960s or late 1960s and China would have subsequently entered the Vietnam War on the North Vietnamese side, how would the Vietnam War have subsequently progressed? Also, would China's military performance have been weaker in Vietnam than in Korea due to the effects of the Cultural Revolution?

Any thoughts on all of this?
Obviously there could be no "Nixon goes to China" moment, but perhaps instead a "Johnson/Nixon goes to Moscow" one, given the ongoing border battles between the two Communist powers.

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Re: China enters the Vietnam War on the North Vietnamese side

Post by Futurist » 04 Mar 2020 00:35

History Learner wrote:
03 Mar 2020 19:57
Futurist wrote:
06 Jan 2020 07:51
Apparently Mao Zedong (China's Communist dictator back then) wanted to have China enter the Vietnam War on the North Vietnamese side in the event of a US invasion of North Vietnam (as was previously the case in regards to North Korea in 1950):

https://www.wilsoncenter.org/article/ch ... ms-scholar

Anyway, had the US decided to launch an invasion of North Vietnam sometime in the mid-1960s or late 1960s and China would have subsequently entered the Vietnam War on the North Vietnamese side, how would the Vietnam War have subsequently progressed? Also, would China's military performance have been weaker in Vietnam than in Korea due to the effects of the Cultural Revolution?

Any thoughts on all of this?
Obviously there could be no "Nixon goes to China" moment, but perhaps instead a "Johnson/Nixon goes to Moscow" one, given the ongoing border battles between the two Communist powers.
Didn't Nixon already aim at detente between the US and the Soviet Union, though?

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