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nology to attack aircraft and war- revisionism). Although the article included tries in Europe, Asia, and Africa," and that it ships so that we can knock out one some of Lin Biao's previous statements, Lin was difficult for “the U.S. reactionaries to enemy ship with a single missile. himself was not involved in its writing. When attack the Soviet Union before they could The enemy's strength is in its navy, Luo Ruiqing asked Lin for his instructions subjugate these countries."71 In the late air force, atomic bombs, and mis- about the composition of the article, the 1940s and throughout the greater part of the siles, but the strength in navy and Defense Minister said nothing. Zhou Enlai 1950s, Mao leaned to the side of the Soviet air force has its limits. If the enemy and other standing Politburo members read Union to balance against the perceived sends ground troops to invade the piece before its publication.67 The ar- American threat. But beginning in the late China, we are not afraid. There- ticle was approved by the Chinese leader- 1950s, with the emergence of Sino-Soviet fore, on the one hand we should be ship as a whole and was merely published in differences, Mao came to revise his characprepared for the enemy to come Lin Biao's name. Luo Ruiqing was purged terization of the international situation. He from all directions, including a joint in December 1965 primarily because of his saw China confronting two opponents: the invasion against China by many dispute with Lin Biao over domestic mili- United States and the Soviet Union. To countries. On the other, we should tary organization rather than over foreign oppose these two foes and break China's realize that the enemy lacks justifi- policy issues. 68 Luo did not oppose Mao on international isolation, Mao proposed the cation in sending troops.... This Vietnam policy. In fact he carried out loy- formation of an international united front. will decide the difference between ally every Vietnam-related order issued by Operating from the principle of making a just and an unjust war.62
the chairman. Mao completely dominated friends with countries in the “Two Interme
the decision making. The origins of the diate Zones," Mao promoted such antiZhu De remarked at the same meeting that “People's War” article point to the danger of American tendencies as French President “so long as we have made good preparations relying on public pronouncements to gauge De Gaulle's break with the United States in on every front, the enemy may not da to inner-party calculations and cast doubts on the first zone and championed national libcome. We must defend our offshore islands. the utility of the faction model in explaining eration movements in the second zone. For With these islands in our hands, the enemy Chinese foreign policy making. 69
Mao, the Vietnam conflict constituted a part will find it difficult to land. If the enemy
of a broader movement across Asia, Africa, should launch an attack, we will lure them Commitment to National Liberation and Latin America, which together repreinside China and then wipe them out com- Movements:
sented a challenge to imperialism as a whole.
The second factor that shaped Mao's China reached out to anti-colonial guerrillas Scholars have argued over Beijing's decision to support the DRV was his desire in Angola and Mozambique, to the “proreaction to the threat posed by U.S. interven- to form a broad international united front gressive” Sihanouk in Cambodia, to the lefttion in Vietnam. Much of this argument against both the United States and the Soviet ist regime under Sukarno in Indonesia, and focuses on the hypothesis of a “strategic Union. To Mao, national liberation move- to the anti-U.S. Castro in Cuba.72 Toward debate” in 1965 between Luo Ruiqing and ments in the Third World were the most the former socialist camp dominated by the Lin Biao. Various interpretations of this important potential allies in the coalition Soviet Union, Mao encouraged Albania to "debate" exist, but most contend that Luo that he wanted to establish. In the early persuade other East European countries to was more sensitive to American actions in 1960s, the chairman developed the concept separate from Moscow.73 Indochina than either Lin or Mao, and that of “Two Intermediate Zones.” The first zone During this increasingly radical period Luo demanded greater military preparations referred to developed countries, including of Chinese foreign policy, Mao singled out to deal with the threat, including accepting capitalist states in Europe, Canada, Japan, three anti-imperialist heroes for emulation the Soviet proposal of a "united front."64 Australia, and New Zealand. The second by Third World liberation movements: Ho
However, there is nothing in the re- zone referred to underdeveloped nations in Chi Minh, Castro, and Ben Bella, the Algecently available Chinese materials to con- Asia, Africa, and Latin America. These two rian nationalist leader. In a speech to a firm the existence of the “strategic debate" zones existed between the two superpowers. delegation of Chilean journalists on 23 June in 1965.65 The often cited evidence to sup- Mao believed that countries in these two 1964, Mao remarked: “We oppose war, but port the hypothesis of a strategic debate is zones had contradictions with the United we support the anti-imperialist war waged the two articles supposedly written by Luo States and the Soviet Union and that China by oppressed peoples. We support the revoRuiqing and Lin Biao on the occasion of the should make friends with them to create an lutionary war in Cuba and Algeria. We also commemoration of V-J day in September international united front against Washing- support the anti-U.S.-imperialist war con1965.66 In fact, the same writing group ton and Moscow.70
ducted by the South Vietnamese people."74 organized by Luo Ruiqing in the General Mao initially developed the idea of the In another address to a group of visitors from Staff was responsible for the preparation of “intermediate zone" during the early years
Asia, Africa, and Oceania on July 9, Mao both articles. The final version of the of the Cold War. In a discussion with Anna again mentioned the names of Ho Chi Minh, “People's War" article also incorporated Louise Strong in 1946, the CCP leader first Castro, and Ben Bella as models of antiopinions from the writing team led by Kang broached the idea. He claimed that the colonial and anti-imperialist struggle. 75
. Sheng. (Operating in the Diaoyutai National United States and the Soviet Union were Envisioning China as a spokesman for Guest House, Kang's team was famous for "separated by a vast zone including many the Third World independence cause, Mao writing the nine polemics against Soviet capitalist, colonial and semi-colonial coun- believed that the Chinese revolutionary ex
perience was relevant to the struggle of the October Revolution celebrations. Beijing Hanoi on 7-10 February 1965, Kosygin called liberation movements in Asia, Africa, and dispatched Zhou Enlai and He Long to Mos- for a total U.S. withdrawal from South VietLatin America. By firmly backing the Viet- cow for the primary purpose of sounding out nam and promised Soviet material aid for Ho namese struggle against the United States, Leonid Brezhnev and Alexei Kosygin on the Chi Minh's struggle. The fact that a group of he wanted to demonstrate to Third World many issues in dispute: Khrushchev's long- missile experts accompanied Kosygin indicountries and movements that China was postponed plan to convene an international cated that the Kremlin was providing suptheir true friend. Victory for North Communist meeting, support for revolution- port in that crucial area. The two sides Vietnam's war of national unification with ary movements, peaceful coexistence with concluded formal military and economic China's support would show the political the United States, attitudes toward Tito, and agreements on February 10.81 Clearly the correctness of Mao's more militant strategy “revisionist” domestic policies within the Soviets were competing with the Chinese to for coping with U.S. imperialism and the Soviet Union. The Chinese discovered dur- win the allegiance of the Vietnamese Comincorrectness of Khrushchev's policy of ing their tour on November 5-13 that nothing munists. Through its new gestures to Hanoi, peaceful coexistence.
basic had changed in the Soviet position: the Moscow wanted to offset Chinese influence A number of Chinese anti-imperialist new leaders in Moscow desired an improve- and demonstrate its ideological rectitude on initiatives, however, ended in a debacle in ment in Sino-Soviet relations on the condi- issues of national liberation. The new soli1965. First Ben Bella was overthrown in tion that Beijing stopped its criticisms and darity with Hanoi, however, complicated Algeria in June, leading the Afro-Asian limited competition in foreign policy, prob- Soviet relations with the United States, and movement to lean in a more pro-Soviet ably in return for the resumption of Soviet after 1965, the Soviet Union found itself at direction due to the influence of Nehru in economic aid.77
loggerheads with Washington. While MosIndia and Tito in Yugoslavia. The fall of Instead of finding an opportunity to im- cow gained greater influence in Hanoi beBen Bella frustrated Mao's bid for leader- prove mutual understanding, the Chinese cause of the North Vietnamese need for ship in the Third World through the holding visitors found their stay in Moscow unpleas- Soviet material assistance against U.S. bombof a "second Bandung" conference of Afro- ant and the relationship with the Soviet Union ing, it at the same time lost flexibility beAsian leaders. Then in September, Sukarno even worse. During a Soviet reception, , cause of the impossibility of retreat from the was toppled in a right-wing counter-coup, Marshal Rodion Malinovsky suggested to commitment to a brother Communist state derailing Beijing's plan to promote a mili- Zhou Enlai and He Long that just like the under attack by imperialism. tant“united front” between Sukarno and the Russians had ousted Khrushchev, the Chi- Before 1964, Hanoi was virtually on Indonesian Communist Party (PKI). The nese should overthrow Mao. The Chinese China's side in the bifurcated international Chinese behavior, nevertheless, did con- indignantly rejected this proposal: Zhou even communist movement. After the fall of vince leaders in Washington that Beijing registered a strong protest with the Soviet Khrushchev and the appearance of a more was a dangerous gambler in international leadership, calling Malinovsky's remarks “a interventionist position under Kosygin and politics and that American intervention in serious political incident."78 Zhou Enlai told Brezhnev, however, Hanoi adopted a more Vietnam was necessary to undermine a the Cuban Communist delegation during a balanced stand. Leaders in Beijing were Chinese plot of global subversion by proxy.76 breakfast meeting in the Chinese Embassy nervous about the increase of Soviet influ
on November 9 that Malinovsky "insulted ence in Vietnam. According to a VietnamCriticism of Soviet Revisionism:
Comrade Mao Zedong, the Chinese people, ese source, Deng Xiaoping, Secretary GenMao's firm commitment to North Viet- the Chinese party, and myself,” and that the eral of the CCP, paid a secret visit to Hanoi nam also needs to be considered in the
current leadership in the Kremlin inherited shortly after the Gulf of Tonkin Incident in context of the unfolding Sino-Soviet split. “Khrushchev's working and thought style."79 an attempt to wean the Vietnamese away By 1963, Beijing and Moscow had com- Before Zhou's journey to Moscow, the from Moscow with the promise of US$1 pletely broken apart after three years of Chinese leadership had suggested to the Viet- billion aid per year.82 China's strategy to increasingly abusive polemics. The conclu- namese Communists that they also send discredit the Soviet Union was to emphasize sion of the Soviet-American partial Nuclear people to travel with Zhou to Moscow to see the “plot” of Soviet-American collaboration Test Ban Treaty in July 1963 was a major whether there were changes in the new So- at the expense of Vietnam. During his visit turning point in Sino-Soviet relations. There- viet leaders' policy. Zhou told Ho Chi Minh to Beijing on 11 February 1965, Kosygin after the Beijing leadership publicly de- and Le Duan later in Hanoi, on 1 March asked the Chinese to help the United States nounced any suggestion that China was 1965, that he was "disappointed" with what to “find a way out of Vietnam.” Chinese subject to any degree of Soviet protection he had seen in Moscow, and that “the new leaders warned the Russians not to use the and directly criticized Moscow for collabo- Soviet leaders are following nothing but Vietnam issue to bargain with the Amerirating with Washington against China. The Khrushchevism."80 Clearly Zhou wanted cans.83 Immediately after his return to Moseffect of the Sino-Soviet split on Vietnam the Hanoi leadership to side with the PRC in cow, Kosygin proposed an international consoon manifested itself as Beijing and Mos- the continuing Sino-Soviet dispute, and ference on Indochina. The Chinese concow wooed Hanoi to take sides in their Beijing's extensive aid to the DRV was de- demned the Soviet move, asserting that the ideological dispute.
signed to draw Hanoi to China's orbit. Russians wanted negotiation rather than conAfter the ouster of Khrushchev in Oc- The collective leadership which suc- tinued struggle in Vietnam and were contober 1964, the new leadership in the Krem- ceeded Khrushchev was more forthcoming spiring with the Americans to sell out Vietlin invited the CCP to send a delegation to in support of the DRV. During his visit to nam. But as R.B. Smith has observed, the Chinese “may have oversimplified a Soviet
The problem of succession preoccupied strategy which was... more subtle.... Domestic Need to Transform the Chinese Mao throughout the first half of the 1960s. Moscow's diplomatic initiative of mid-Feb- State and Society:
His acute awareness of impending death ruary may in fact have been timed to coin- Beginning in the late 1950s, Mao be- contributed to his sense of urgency. The cide with—rather than to constrain—the came increasingly apprehensive about the U.S. escalation of war in Vietnam made him Communist offensive in South Vietnam.”84 potential development of the Chinese revo- all the more eager to the put his own house in The Chinese criticism of the Soviet peace lution. He feared that his life work had order. He was afraid that if he did not nip in initiative must have confirmed the Ameri- created a political structure that would even- the bud what he perceived to be revisionist can image of China as a warmonger. tually betray his principles and values and tendencies and if he did not choose a proper
The Sino-Soviet rivalry over Vietnam become as exploitative as the one it had successor, after his death China would fall certainly provided leaders in Hanoi an op- replaced. His worry about the future of into the hands of Soviet-like revisionists, portunity to obtain maximum support from China's development was closely related to who would "change the color" of China, their two Communist allies, but we should his diagnosis of the degeneration of the abandon support for national liberation not overstate the case. Sometimes the ben- Soviet political system and to his fear about struggles, and appease U.S. imperialism. efits of the Sino-Soviet split for the DRV the effects of U.S. Secretary of State John Mao was a man who believed in dialectics. could be limited. For example, the Hanoi Foster Dulles' strategy of "peaceful evolu- Negative things could be turned into posileadership sought a communist international tion.”
Mao believed that Dulles' approach tive matters. The American presence in united front to assist their war effort. They to induce a peaceful evolution within the Indochina was a threat to the Chinese revowanted Moscow and Beijing to agree on socialist world was taking effect in the So- lution. But on the other hand, Mao found common support actions, particularly on a viet Union, given Khrushchev's fascination that he could turn the U.S. threat into an single integrated logistical system. They with peaceful coexistence with the capitalist advantage, namely, he could use it to intenfailed to achieve this objective primarily West. Mao wanted to prevent that from sify domestic anti-imperialist feelings and because of China's objection.85 happening in China.
mobilize the population against revisionists.
POLISH SECRET PEACE career as ambassador to Great Britain, the was simply to end the bloodshed in Indochina INITIATIVES IN VIETNAM United Nations and the United States, by moving the conflict from the battlefield
Michalowski found himself out of favor to the negotiating table. Poland's peace by Jerzy Michalowski
with the government of Communist Party proposals did not attempt to specify the
boss Edward Gierek. Removed from posi- terms of any final settlement. The focus was This summary was prepared by the author's tions of responsibility, he was nonetheless on defining the principles and conditions son, Stefan Michalowski.
given access to secret Ministry archives, and that would being the two sides together. In
was able to prepare this 120-page report. the end, even this limited goal could not be This is the story of peace initiatives Eventually, after being expelled from the achieved. The author's analysis of this failundertaken by Polish diplomats during the Party, he retired from the foreign service. ure constitutes perhaps the most interesting height of the Vietnam war. It was written by The manuscript was brought to the United and instructive part of the narrative. Both one of the main participants, Jerzy States shortly before his death in March of
States shortly before his death in March of sides were committed to the military struggle. Michalowski, who was, at the time, a senior 1993.
The Vietnamese had an almost absolute beofficial in the Polish Foreign Ministry, and a Polish Secret Police Initiatives in Viet- lief in final victory. They were convinced of close friend and colleague of Foreign Minis- nam is terse, honest, and highly readable. the similarity of their situation to the previter Adam Rapacki. The events took place The author describes events that he actually ous conflict with the French, and were willduring the years 1963-1966, when Poland took part in. Whenever possible, he supplies ing to absorb even the most horrendous was in a unique position to act as broker references from the Foreign Ministry ar- blows that the United States could inflict. between the U.S. and North Vietnam. While chives or from published material. He pro- Michalowski reserves his most critical comformally allied with the latter, and subject to vides accounts of personal meetings with ments, however, for the Johnson AdminisSoviet domination in numerous ways, Po- Mao Zedong, Zhou Enlai, Leonid Brezhnev, tration. America's “carrot and stick" policy land was able to steer a course of limited Ho Chi Minh, Phan Van Dong, Lyndon of cautious peace feelers combined with a independence in its internal and interna- Johnson, Averell Harriman, Dean Rusk and campaign of savage bombing raids was ditional affairs. Polish diplomats were liked others. Whenever he feels that the historical sastrous, for it served only to strengthen the and respected in the West, where they main- record has been distorted, he does not hesi- enemy's resolve, and deepened suspicions tained many useful contacts. Jerzy tate to put forth his own version. He takes about America's true motives and intenMichalowski, for instance, had been a mem- strong issue, for example, with the published tions. Time and again, during the most ber of the UN Control and Monitoring Com- memoirs of Henry Cabot Lodge.
critical and sensitive diplomatic maneuvers, mission that was set up under the 1954 Michalowski's perspective, both as the bombing raids turned the diplomats' Geneva Accords following the French de- peace-maker and author, is that of a profes
peace-maker and author, is that of a profes- carefully crafted arrangements into rubble. feat in Indochina.
sional diplomat, rather than an official repIn the late 1970s, after a distinguished resentative of a Soviet Bloc nation. His goal
continuied on page 258
Mao had successfully employed that strat- avidly sought advice and weapons from first discussed the idea with a CCP delegaegy during the Civil War against Jiang Jieshi China. But sentiments of distrust were never tion led by Zhou Enlai, Deng Xiaoping, and [Chiang Kai-shek). Now he could apply it far below the surface. Friction emerged Peng Zhen in Beijing. The two sides worked again to prepare the masses for the Great between Chinese military advisers and Viet- out a communiqué that went part of the way Cultural Revolution that he was going to namese commanders during the war against toward the “united action” proposal. But launch. Accordingly, in the wake of the the French in the early 1950s.88 Vietnamese when Miyamoto, accompanied by Deng, Gulf of Tonkin Incident, Mao unleashed a distrust of the Chinese also manifested itself came to see Mao in Conghua, Guangdong, massive “Aid Vietnam and Resist America” when Chinese support troops entered Viet- the chairman burst into a rage, insisting that campaign across China.87 nam in the mid 1960s.
the communiqué must stress a united front When Chinese troops went to Vietnam against both the United States and the Soviet Sino-Vietnamese Discord
in 1965, they found themselves in an awk- Union. Miyamoto disagreed, so the Beijing
ward position. On the one hand, the Viet- communiqué was torn up.93 Clearly, Mao In its heyday the Sino-Vietnamese namese leadership wanted their service in by this time had connected the criticism of friendship was described as “comrades plus fighting U.S. aircraft and in building and Soviet revisionism with the domestic struggle brothers," but shortly after the conclusion of repairing roads, bridges, and rail lines. On against top party leaders headed by Liu, the Vietnam War the two communist states the other hand, the Vietnamese authorities Deng, and Peng. It was no wonder that these went to war with each other in 1979. How tried to minimize their influence by restrict- officials soon became leading targets for did it happen? In fact signs of differences ing their contact with the local population. attack when the Cultural Revolution swept had already emerged in the early days of When a Chinese medical team offered medi- across China a few months later. China's intervention in the Vietnam con- cal service to save the life of a Vietnamese In the meantime the Vietnamese made flict. Two major factors complicated Sino- woman, Vietnamese officials blocked the their different attitude toward Moscow clear Vietnamese relations. One was the histori- effort.89 Informed of incidents like this, Mao by deciding to send a delegation to attend the cal pride and cultural sensitivity that the urged the Chinese troops in Vietnam to “re- 23rd Congress of the Communist Party of Vietnamese carried with them in dealing frain from being too eager" to help the Viet- the Soviet Union (CPSU), which was to be with the Chinese. The other was the effect namese. 90 While the Chinese soldiers were held between March 29 and April 8 and of the Sino-Soviet split.
in Vietnam, the Vietnamese media reminded which the Chinese had already decided to Throughout their history, the Vietnam- the public that in the past China had invaded boycott. The Vietnamese were walking a ese have had a love-hate attitude toward Vietnam: the journal Historical Studies pub- tightrope at this time. On the one hand they their big northern neighbor. On the one lished articles in 1965 describing Vietnam- relied on the vital support of Soviet weaphand, they were eager to borrow advanced ese resistance against Chinese imperial dy- ons; on the other hand, they did not want to institutions and technologies from China; nasties. 91
damage their ties with China. Thus Le Duan on the other hand, they wanted to preserve The increasing animosity between and Nguyen Duy Trinh traveled from Hanoi their independence and cultural heritage. Beijing and Moscow and their efforts to win to Beijing on March 22, on their way to When they were internally weak and facing Hanoi's allegiance put the Vietnamese in a Moscow. Although no sign of differences external aggression, they sought China's dilemma. On the one hand, the change of appeared in public during Duan's talks with help and intervention. When they were Soviet attitudes toward Vietnam from reluc- Zhou Enlai, China's unhappiness about the unified and free from foreign threats, they tant to active assistance in late 1964 and early Vietnamese participation in the 23rd Contended to resent China's influence. A pat- 1965 made the Vietnamese more unwilling gress can be imagined. 94 tern seems to characterize Sino-Vietnamese to echo China's criticisms of revisionism. In sum, the Beijing-Hanoi relationship relations: the Vietnamese would downplay On the other hand, they still needed China's included both converging and diverging intheir inherent differences with the Chinese assistance and deterrence. Mao's rejection terests. The two countries shared a common when they needed China's assistance to of the Soviet proposal of a "united action" to ideological outlook and a common concern balance against a foreign menace; they would support Vietnam alienated leaders in Hanoi. over American intervention in Indochina, pay more attention to problems in the bilat- During Kosygin's visit to Beijing in Febru- but leaders in Hanoi wanted to avoid the eral relations with China when they were ary 1965, he proposed to Mao and Zhou that danger of submitting to a dependent relastrong and no longer facing an external Beijing and Moscow end their mutual criti- tionship with China. So long as policymakers threat.
cisms and cooperate on the Vietnam issue. in Hanoi and Beijing shared the common This pattern certainly applies to the But Mao dismissed Kosygin's suggestion, goal of ending the U.S. presence in the Sino-Vietnamese relationship during the asserting that China's argument with the region, such divergent interests could be 1950s and the first half of the 1960s. The Soviet Union would continue for another subordinated to their points of agreement. Vietnamese Communists during this period 9,000 years. 92
But the turning point came in 1968, when confronted formidable enemies, the French During February and March, 1966, a Sino-Soviet relations took a decisive turn for and the Americans, in their quest for na- Japanese Communist Party delegation led by the worse just as Washington made its first tional unification. When the Soviet Union Secretary General Miyamoto Kenji, visited tentative moves toward disengagement from was reluctant to help, China was the only China and the DR with the purpose of South Vietnam. In the new situation, source of support that Hanoi could count encouraging "joint action” by China and the Beijing's strategic interests began to differ upon against the West. Thus Ho Chi Minh Soviet Union to support Vietnam. Miyamoto fundamentally from those of Hanoi. Whereas
the Chinese now regarded the United States helped precipitate the U.S. escalation of the lion. Most of these cities are located in the as a potential counterbalance against the war) and adopted significant measures at coastal areas and are very vulnerable to air Soviet Union, their Vietnamese comrades home to prepare for war. China's assistance strikes. No effective mechanisms exist at continued to see Washington as the most to the DRV, to use John Garver's words, the moment to organize anti-air works, evacudangerous enemy. After the withdrawal of “was Mao's way of rolling back U.S. con- ate urban population, guarantee the continuU.S. troops from Vietnam and the unifica- tainment in Asia."96 From the viewpoint of ation of production, and eliminate the damtion of the country, Hanoi's bilateral dis- ideology, China's support for North Viet- ages of an air strike, especially the fallout of putes with Beijing over Cambodia, a territo- nam served Mao's purposes of demonstrat- a nuclear strike. rial disagreement in the South China Sea, ing to the Third World that Beijing was a (3) Principal railroad junctions, bridges, and the treatment of Chinese nationals in spokesman for national liberation struggles and harbors are situated near big and meVietnam came to the fore, culminating in a and of competing with Moscow for leader- dium-size cities and can easily be destroyed direct clash in 1979.
ship in the international communist move- when the enemy attacks cities. No measures ment.
have been taken to protect these transportaWas China Bluffing During the War? If the actions recommended by Sum- tion points against an enemy attack. In the
mers had been taken by Washington in Viet- early stage of war, they can become paraThe fact that Beijing did not openly nam, there would have been a real danger of lyzed. acknowledge its sizable presence in North a Sino-American war with dire consequences (4) All reservoirs have a limited capacVietnam raised questions about the justifi- for the world. In retrospect, it appears that ity to release water in an emergency. Among cation for Washington's restraint in U.S. Johnson had drawn the correct lesson from the country's 232 large reservoirs with a conduct of war, both at the time and in later the Korean War and had been prudent in his water holding capacity between 100 million years. Harry G. Summers, the most promi- approach to the Vietnam conflict.
and 350 billion cubic meter, 52 are located nent of revisionist critics of President
near major transportation lines and 17 close Johnson's Vietnam policy, asserts that the
to important cities. There are also many United States drew a wrong lesson from the
small and medium-size reservoirs located Korean War: “Instead of seeing that it was NEW CHINESE DOCUMENTS ON near important political, economic, and milipossible to fight and win a limited war in
THE VIETNAM WAR
tary areas and key transportation lines. Asia regardless of Chinese intervention,
We believe that the problems mentioned we...took counsel of our fears and accepted
above are important ones directly related to as an article of faith the proposition that we
the whole armed forces, to the whole people, should never again become involved in a
and to the process of a national defense war. land war in Asia. In so doing we allowed our Document 1: Report by the War Depart. We propose that the State Council organize fears to become a kind of self-imposed de- ment of the General Staff, 25 April 1964. a special committee to study and adopt, in terrent and surrendered the initiative to our
accordance with the possible conditions of enemies.” Summers contends that “whether Deputy Chief of Staff Yang97
the national economy, practical and feasible the Soviets or the Chinese ever intended
measures to guard against an enemy surprise intervention is a matter of conjecture,” and According to your instruction, we have attack. that the United States allowed itself “to be made a special investigation on the question Please tell us whether our report is
apbluffed by China throughout most of the of how our country's economic construction propriate. war." He cites Mao's rejection of the Soviet should prepare itself for a surprise attack by 1965 proposal for a joint action to support the enemy. From the several areas that we The War Department of the General Staff, Vietnam and Mao's suspicions of Moscow's have looked at, many problems emerge, and
April 25, 1964. plot to draw China into a war with the United some of them are very serious. States as evidence for the conclusion that (1) The industry is over concentrated. [Source: Dangde wenxian 98 (Party Docu
, Mao was more fearful of Moscow than Wash- About 60 percent of the civil machinery ments) 3 (1995), 34-35.] ington and, by implication, he was not seri- industry, 50 percent of the chemical indusous about China's threats to intervene to try, and 52 percent of the national defense help Hanoi.95
industry (including 72.7 percent of the air- Document 2: Mao Zedong's Comments Was China not serious in its threats to craft industry, 77.8 percent of the warship on the War Department's April 25 Rego to war with the United States in Indochina? industry, 59 percent of the radio industry, port, 12 August 1964. As the preceding discussion has shown, and 44 percent of the weapons industry) are Beijing perceived substantial security and concentrated in 14 major cities with over one To Comrades Luo Ruiqing99 and Yang ideological interests in Vietnam. From the million population.
Chengwu: security perspective, Mao and his associates
(2) Too many people live in cities. were genuinely concerned about the Ameri- According to the census conducted at the This report is excellent. We must carecan threat from Vietnam (although they did end of 1962, 14 cities in the country have a fully study and gradually implement it. The not realize that their own actions, such as the population over one million, and 20 cities a State Council has established a special comsupply of weapons to Hanoi in 1962, had population between 500,000 and one mil- mittee on this question. Has it started its