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  • Cited by 6
  • Cited by
    This article has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Chang, Cheng-Yun 2016. Were Those Decisions Righteously Made? The Chinese Tradition of Righteous War and China’s Decisions for War, 1950–1979. Foreign Policy Analysis, p. orw025.

    Quek, K. 2015. Discontinuities in signaling behavior upon the decision for war: an analysis of China's prewar signaling behavior. International Relations of the Asia-Pacific, Vol. 15, Issue. 2, p. 279.

    Easley, Leif-Eric 2012. Middle Power National Identity? South Korea and Vietnam in US-China Geopolitics. Pacific Focus, Vol. 27, Issue. 3, p. 421.

    Path, Kosal 2012. China's Economic Sanctions against Vietnam, 1975–1978. The China Quarterly, Vol. 212, p. 1040.

    Sun, Xuefeng and Huang, Yuxing 2012. Revisiting China's Use of Force in Asia: Dynamic, Level and Beyond*. Pacific Focus, Vol. 27, Issue. 3, p. 393.

    Taylor Fravel, M. 2010. International Relations Theory and China’s Rise: Assessing China’s Potential for Territorial Expansion. International Studies Review, Vol. 12, Issue. 4, p. 505.

  • The China Quarterly, Volume 184
  • December 2005, pp. 851-874

China's 1979 War with Vietnam: A Reassessment


This article attempts to reveal China's own perceptions of the 1979 war with Vietnam. It includes China's historical relations with Vietnam and their influence on Beijing's approach towards the war, as well as the role of Deng Xiaoping, Chinese military strategy and preparations for the attack. It shows how Beijing's approach to warfare has a distinctive set of Chinese characteristics: calculating when and how to use military power, the underlying aim during the war, and the basis upon which success was evaluated. The article reviews the repercussions of the conflict, both politically and militarily, and lessons learned as seen by Chinese themselves.

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I greatly benefited from comments and suggestions by Nick Sarantakes, Andrew Scobell, Toshi Yoshihara and Zhai Qiang. The views expressed in this article are mine and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Air Force, the Department of Defense or the US government.
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The China Quarterly
  • ISSN: 0305-7410
  • EISSN: 1468-2648
  • URL: /core/journals/china-quarterly
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