Building Ho's ArmyChinese Military Assistance to North Vietnam

Building Ho's ArmyChinese Military Assistance to North Vietnam

Xiaobing Li

Print publication date: 2020

ISBN: 9780813177946

Publisher: University Press of Kentucky


As a Communist state bordering Vietnam, China actively supported Ho Chi Minh’s wars against France in 1950–1954 and then America in 1965–1970. This book uses new Communist sources to offer an unprecedented Chinese military perspective on the Vietnam War. By documenting the level of Chinese military assistance to Vietnam, it reveals the extent to which the Chinese support of Ho’s military and political objective in the wars was a crucial and indispensable factor in North Vietnam’s victory. The study offers an overview and the particulars of Chinese aid to Ho’s army, or PAVN, in terms of training, weaponry, logistics, advisors, and technology during its transformative years of 1950–1956 in depth and detail based on a foundation of multiple documentary sources, memoirs, interviews, and secondary sources both in China and in Vietnam. With Chinese assistance, the PAVN experienced three important transformative changes from a peasant, rebellion force to a regular, national army. In retrospect, international Communist support to North Vietnam proved to be the decisive edge that enabled the PAVN, or NVA, to survive the American Rolling Thunder bombing campaign and helped the NLF, also known as the Viet Cong, to prevail in the war of attrition and eventually defeat South Vietnam. An international perspective may help students and the public in the West to gain a better understanding of America’s long war.