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Gatty Lecture, Xiaoming Zhang, "China’s 1979 War with Vietnam"

Thursday, October 4, 2018 at 12:00pm

Kahin Center 640 Stewart Ave, Ithaca, NY, 14850, USA

Xiaoming Zhang, Professor, Department of Strategy, Air War College, Air University

China’s 1979 War with Vietnam: Continuing Implications

Almost forty years ago, China launched a military attack against Vietnam along the border, embroiling two countries in hostile relations for more than a decade. The talk will focus on the issues that students are still pondering. For example, are there any things we still consider the myths about the 1979 war? Why did Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping want to start the war? Who won the war? What are lessons from the 1979 war? Is it still relevant for China’s future strategy? How is the war remembered, or forgotten, by ordinary Chinese? And what are continuing implications on Sino-Vietnamese relations? The argument is that any comprehensive answers to these questions are dependent upon further revelation of archival materials from China and Vietnam. For the time being, my answers to these questions are hopefully stimulating and merit further study and argumentation. The war left the wounds that are deeply embedded in the people’s psyche of both countries. Can the wounds be healed? The better understanding of this history perhaps is a starting point for such a process.

Co-sponsored by the East Asia Program

Lunch will be provided.

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Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies, Southeast Asia Program, East Asia Program


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James Nagy

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Xiaoming Zhang

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Department of Strategy, Air War College, Air University

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