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Digital Archive International History Declassified

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Sino-Vietnamese War, 1979

The Sino-Vietnamese War was a brief but significant border war fought between two former socialist allies from February through March 1979.

  • February 16, 1979

    Memorandum of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam on the Chinese Authorities' Intensified Armed Activities on the Viet Nam Border and their Frantic War Preparations against Viet Nam

    A Vietnamese Foreign Ministry Report outlining its allegations that China is provoking hostilities on the Sino-Vietnamese border.

  • February 16, 1979

    Memorandum dated 14 February 1979 of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam on the Chinese Authorities' Intensified Armed Activities on the Viet Nam Border and their Frantic War Preparations against Viet Nam

    Vietnam claims that China has "intensified armed activities" on the Sino-Vietnamese border.

  • February 17, 1979

    Statement of the Government of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam on the Chinese Invasion of Vietnam

    The Vietnamese government denounced the Chinese invasion on February 17, 1979.

  • February 17, 1979

    Statement by Xinhua News Agency upon Authorization

  • March 16, 1979

    Notes on a Meeting held in the Secretary-General's Office on Friday, 16 March 1979, at 10.30 pm

    Ambassador Chen Chu and Secretary-General Kurt Waldheim discuss the situation in Indochina.

  • March 27, 1979

    'Decisions of the NVR from 9 March 1979: Oral Report on China’s Aggression against the Socialist Republic of Vietnam'

    A report on the Sino-Vietnamese Conflict, outlining the military forces on both sides and a description of combat operations from 17 February to 8 March.

  • April 07, 1979

    Telegram to the Direct of the Korean Central Intelligence Agency from the Minister of Foreign Affairs, “Report on DPRK’s Foreign Minister Heo Dam’s Visit to Yugoslavia, etc."

    Report on Foreign Minister of North Korea Heo Dam's visit to Yugoslavia. The report covers the conversation between Heo and Yugoslavia on the matter of the Non-Aligned movement, Yugoslavia's support for North Korea's inter-Korean reunification, and the political situation in Indochina.

  • April 12, 1979

    Mongolian Memorandum of Conversation with O.B. Rakhmanin

    Rakhmanin reports on the status of the Sino-Soviet treaty, which he says hinges on the Sino-Vietnamese situation, which he tries to explain in terms of territory and aid to the Vietnamese.

  • April 30, 1979

    Notes on a Meeting held during the Secretary-General's Visit to Peking on 30 April 1979

    Prince Nordom Sihanouk weighs in on the situation in Cambodia, stating that though the situation is grim, "his own policy was to wait and see" what would happen next.

  • April 30, 1979

    Notes on a Meeting in the Great People's Palace in Peking on 30 April 1979 at 9 A.M

    Huang Hua says that "the Vietnamese were the Cubans of Asia but rather more dangerous." In addition to commenting on the situation in Indochina, Huang weighs in on Soviet and Cuban policies toward the Third World, events in the Middle East, and China's involvement in the United Nations.

  • May 01, 1979

    Notes on a Meeting held during the Secretary-General's Visit to Peking, 1 May 1979

    Deng Xiaoping criticizes Vietnam as a regional hegemon in his a meeting with Secretary-General Kurt Waldheim.

  • May 16, 1979

    Conspect of Conversations with Cde. V. I. Potapov, Head of the Romania Sector of the CPSU CC Section

    V.I Potapov informs on foreign and domestic policies of the Romanian leadership, including the education of the population in a nationalist and anti-Russian spirit, publications describing Russo-Romanian and Soviet-Romanian relations regarding Moldova, the anti-Soviet course of the Romanian leadership abroad, including the pursuit of separate relations with China. Soviet representatives claim that Ceausescu is the principal animator of the RCP’s separate course, which he wishes to use to consolidate his power.

  • July, 1979

    Informational Note from the Meeting of Secretaries of CC Fraternal Countries in Berlin (July 1979)

    Reports on the participants at this meeting in Berlin, noting that the situation with China and Vietnam were discussed at length.

  • July 28, 1979

    Transcript, Meeting of East German leader Erich Honecker and Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev, Crimea, 27 July 1979 (excerpt)

    Brezhnev reports to Honecker on international affairs.

  • August 05, 1979

    Annex A/1: Intervention at the Opening of the Talks (Wednesday, 25 July)

    In this note, the Italian delegation gives some introductory remarks stressing the importance of the ongoing negotiations for peace between China and Vietnam - following the conflict of February 1979 - and China and the Soviet Union - for a new start of state-to-state relations.

  • August 05, 1979

    Annex A/3: Developments in the International Situation and the PCI's Policy

    In this note, the Italian delegation stresses the importance of the negotiations between China and Vietnam, the international crisis and the advance of the rightist parties at the European elections and the energy crisis. A special focus is devoted to a critical approach to Chinese hostility towards the Soviet Union.

  • August 05, 1979

    Annex B/2: On the International Situation (Information Notes by Feng Xuan, CCP Member and Deputy Minister of the International Liaison Department)

    The Chinese delegation stresses that Soviet social-imperialism is the main offensive threat to world peace today. Europe is its main target to win over the US in the global hegemonic race. The Soviet Union is in an offensive posture while the US is on a defensive one. It also describes China's position on the conflict with Vietnam.

  • August 20, 1979

    Information Regarding the Meeting and Conversation in the Crimea of L. I. Brezhnev with N. Ceausescu, on 1 August 1979

    V.I Potapov informs on the discussion between Brezhnev and Ceausescu in Crimea in 1979. The Soviets are worried about the separate course followed by the RCP leadership with regards to domestic and international issues. Topics involve the Soviet criticism of the publications of the SRR regarding the Moldavian “territorial question”, the attitude of the Romanian leaders towards the Warsaw Treaty Organization, and towards the Chinese problem.

  • December 01, 1979

    Conversation between Jambyn Batmunkh and Pham Van Dong

    In December 1979 Mongolian party and government delegation headed by the Chairman of the Council of Ministers of Mongolia Jambyn Batmunkh visited Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos and had held talks with the leaders of these countries on issues pertinent to the Sino-Vietnamese war of 1979, Pol Pot’s regime, situation in Indochina and Chinese foreign policy in Asia.

  • December, 1979

    Additional information for the Soviet comrades on the visit of the Mongolian party and government delegation to Indochina

    This report informs the Soviet side about the issues of implementing a common declaration following the Sino-Soviet conflict and North Korea's support for China.