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Building Ho's ArmyChinese Military Assistance to North Vietnam$
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Xiaobing Li

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780813177946

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813177946.001.0001

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Advisors and Aid

Advisors and Aid

(p.39) 2 Advisors and Aid
Building Ho's Army

Xiaobing Li

University Press of Kentucky

Chapter 2 examines what the Viet Minh needed from China and Mao’s determination to support Ho’s war effort. It discusses Mao’s concerns about national security since Josef Stalin was not ready to send Soviet forces to defend Chinese borders against a foreign invasion. Mao therefore decided on a self-reliant, proactive defense to stop the Western powers outside the Chinese borders in neighboring countries like Vietnam and break the US military encirclement of China in East and Southeast Asia. Although external Cold War factors may appear to be one of the motives behind Mao’s decision, his strategy also was driven by significant internal factors. China’s power status depended more on its political stability and military strength than on its foreign relations. In this sense, Mao may have perceived China’s involvement in the French Indochina War as a chance to continue the Communist movement at home and to project New China’s power image abroad. The PLA’s victory in the civil war gave Mao and his generals confidence in their ability to help the Viet Minh drive the French Army out of Indochina and later to help Kim Il-sung to drive the UN force out of the Korean peninsula.

Keywords:   Mao Zedong, Josef Stalin, Chinese foreign policy, foreign aid, advisory assistance, Zhu De, Chinese Civil War, French Indochina War, Viet Minh, North Vietnamese Army

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