China wins the Sino–Vietnamese War

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by Berra, Dec 2, 2006.

  1. Berra Friendly Pitchfork Operator

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  2. NFR Kanadskiy Namestnik

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    Define 'win'. They already think they won, and that they achieved the strategic objective of showing us up. They may be half-lying, since withdrawal from Cambodia was probably desired, too, and wasn't achieved, but they certainly achieved part of the objective.

    But at no point was there ever any intention of annexing any territory, so guerilla warfare is hardly relevant. As to how we might react to them, say, successfully forcing a withdrawal of Vietnamese forces from Cambodia by inflicting severe and crippling loses on the VPA... probably nothing. We are not about to start a war with China over Vietnam, that was amply clear in the real world. The Americans were involved, too. They had an aircraft carriers 'on exercise' in the Gulf of Tonkin throughout much of that period.
     
  3. Berra Friendly Pitchfork Operator

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    They takes Hanoi for the sake of argument.
     
  4. ninebucks Banned

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    The Chinese had no reason or desire to occupy Vietnam, if any invasion did reach Hanoi it would simply be China flexing their muscles and sending the signal that Vietnam needs to keep in line.

    On the way out China would probably oppurtunistically grad a few dozen square kilometres of land along the border, not for any strategic purposes, just to show that they can.

    I doubt this would be something the rest of the world would make an issue about. The USA was thoroughly fed up of Vietnam, and it would have taken something a lot worse for American troops to return.
     
  5. Berra Friendly Pitchfork Operator

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    The rest of the world don't equal the US in this case. The main player is Soviet since the US 'must' stay out.
     
  6. NFR Kanadskiy Namestnik

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    This is the cold war. We can't go in and expect the USA to 'stay out'. That is one of the considerations why we didn't go in. That and the fact that invading China would be an utter nightmare. Besides, the USA is already in, didn't you see what I typed?

    Your definition of victory is odd, to say the least. Very few modern wars have objectives such as 'taking and holding city X'. This isn't a game of chess. They have strategic objectives limited by geopolitical and military realities. Why would China desire to occupy Hanoi as a strategic objective? Do they intend to destroy Vietnam's functioning government? A symbolic victory over Vietnam? Force a withdrawal from Cambodia by negotiating from a position of strength? Demonstrate your willingness to attack? Force Vietnam to reconsider their alliance with us? Each of these would entail a different requirement to 'taking of Hanoi'.

    I don't think you have really thought this through.
     
  7. Paul Spring should avoid chat, but doesn't

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    In 1979 US public opinion would almost certainly not have allowed the US to get involved in any serious fighting in Vietnam for any reason. Memories of the war were still pretty recent and pretty raw.
     
  8. Berra Friendly Pitchfork Operator

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    The US was long out by -79. Taking a city or more importantly the enemy capital is not a bad war goal.
     
  9. Dr Pervez Hoodbhoy Banned

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    China was a American quasi-ally, so their victory would be in Washington's interest, not against it.
     
  10. Subodai's Lighting Member

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    If the Chinese captured Hanoi, I am not sure of what they would do with it afterwards? Perhaps, it would begin to irritate Beijing as to constantly hearing the complaints of the Vientnamese to the south all the time.

    So the Chinese win, but the aftermath may not be worth such a victory.
     
  11. At-Bari Member

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    USA for sure wouldn't share any tears for the communist government in Vietnam and Soviet had all the troubles with Afghanistan already. So if China won they could do whatever they wanted, without any outsider interfere. The vietnamese of course could try to fight back even if the regular army is defeated...
     
  12. PaleHorseRiding Banned

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    It might just be interesting enough if they took over all of Vietnam when they were oppresing and killing ethnic chinese. they could annex it Nice oil resources in the spratlys this would change subsequent world history alot
     
  13. Wendell Wendell

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    What do the Russians do, now that it seems that the Chinese will be exerting themselves ITTL?
     
  14. Dr Pervez Hoodbhoy Banned

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    The resulting guerrilla warfare and bad image would not be worth it. Far easier to just install a puppet government and have them drop the claim to the Spratlys. Any resources Vietnam has and China wants can be obtained in a forced treaty.
     
  15. Tielhard Banned

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    I agree with the posters asking "what do you mean by win?" and I think taking Hanoi is a pretty questionable war aim. I suggest what the Chinese wanted to achieve was 1) To keep Vietnam "in its place" and 2) To get them out of Cambodia. It may have succeeded in the former but failed in the latter. If the Chinese did "win" I would suggest it means getting the Vietnamese out of Cambodia in which case even more people are going to die of Pol Pot and Co..

    Militarily the war was a disaster for the Chinese by the time they began to withdraw thier front line units were begining to disintegrate as the troops had not been fed or watered for several days and had almost no ammunition. The Chinese logistics were completely inadiquate for the task before them.