For over 2,000 years China directly or indirectly ruled Vietnam until 1885. The close relationship between the two peoples led to the sinicizing of Vietnamese society. After the end of World War II and the establishment of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, the example
Son. About 250,000 Chinese troops were deployed, together with militia, the air force, and a naval detachment, to the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea in the event of Soviet intervention to aid Vietnam. All of the fighting took place in the forested mountainous region that marks the border. Eventually the battlehardened Vietnamese regrouped against the advance of the PLA. The Soviet Union declined to respond to Vietnamese requests for aid. After a limited advance China declared that it had punished Vietnam and withdrew. It threatened to return, however, should Vietnam’s actions warrant further punishment. This showed that Communist nations harbored historic resentments against one another: Vietnam’s territorial ambition in Southeast Asia, and China’s attitude toward small states in areas of its historic influence. The conflict put Vietnam firmly in the Soviet camp until the end of the cold war. The fighting continued at a low level along the border.