In This Review

The Sino-Vietnamese Conflict

The Sino-Vietnamese Conflict
By Eugene K. Lawson
319 pp, Praeger, 1984
Purchase

The conflict between China and Vietnam has completely transformed the international relations of East Asia. This carefully researched volume traces the origins of the conflict to the strategic reevaluation in Beijing in 1968-69, which led to the Sino-U.S. rapprochement of the early 1970s. This had a devastating impact on Vietnam. Following the Vietnamese victory in 1975, other elements of conflict between Hanoi and Beijing appeared: the dispute over the Paracel and Spratly Islands; the Vietnamese confiscation of ethnic Chinese property and subsequent expulsion of ethnic Chinese; Hanoi's decision to join Comecon in June 1978; the Hanoi-Moscow military alliance in November 1978; and the Vietnamese invasion of Kampuchea in December 1978. The value of this book is that it demonstrates beyond doubt that the Sino-Vietnamese conflict had its origins in the years of the Vietnam War from 1964-1975, and especially in the U.S.-Sino rapprochement. The primary issue was which was the main threat-the U.S. or the U.S.S.R.