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Building Ho's Army

Chinese Military Assistance to North Vietnam

Built upon a solid foundation of sources, memoirs, and interviews, this study sheds new light on China's efforts in the Vietnam War. Utilizing secondary works in Chinese, Vietnamese, and Western languages, and the author's own familiarity as a former member of the Chinese People's Liberation Army, this examination expands the knowledge of China's relations with the North Vietnamese Army (NVA) during the 1950s and 1960s.

As a communist state bordering Vietnam, China actively facilitated the transformation of Ho Chi Minh's army from a small, loosely organized, poorly equipped guerrilla force in the 1940s into a formidable, well-trained professional army capable of defeating first the French (1946–1954) and then the Americans (1963–1973). Even after the signing of the Geneva Peace Agreement, China continued to aggressively support Vietnam. Between 1955 and 1963, Chinese military aid totaled $106 million and these massive contributions enabled Ho Chi Minh to build up a strong conventional force. After 1964, China increased its aid and provided approximately $20 billion more in military and economic aid to Vietnam.

Western strategists and historians have long speculated about the extent of China's involvement in Vietnam, but it was not until recently that newly available archival materials revealed the true extent of China's influence—its level of military assistance training, strategic advising, and monetary means during the war. This illuminating study answers questions about China's intention, objective, strategy, and operations of its involvement in the Vietnam Wars.

About the Author

Xiaobing Li is a professor of history at the University of Central Oklahoma. He has published several books including China's Battle for Korea: The 1951 Spring Offensive, A History of the Modern Chinese Army, Voices from the Vietnam War: Stories from American, Asian, and Russian Veterans, and Civil Liberties in China.

Reviews

"Within a broad and well-constructed analytic framework, Li traces the arc of Chinese military assistance to their fraternal Vietnamese communist comrades—from its early origins on a small scale through its growing importance in the victory over France [and] the struggle against the US and its South Vietnamese client state."—Steven I. Levine, coauthor of coauthor of Arc of Empire: America's Wars in Asia from the Philippin to Vietnam

"A very valuable addition to the historiography of the Indochinese wars, Xiaobing Li's latest book is a thoroughly researched, highly readable account of China's essential contribution to transforming the guerrilla force of the Democratic Republic of (North) Vietnam into a formidable regular army. Drawing on newly available Chinese-language primary and secondary sources, this fascinating military history provides a detailed view of China's strategic, advisory, and logistic assistance to the DRV."—William J. Rust, of Eisenhower and Cambodia: Diplomacy, Covert Action, and the Origins of the Second Indochina War

"Xiaobing Li's detailed account of Chinese military assistance to North Vietnam between 1950 and 1956 is essential reading for anyone interested in the military dimension of Sino-Vietnam relations in the early years of the Indochina War."—Ang Cheng Guan, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies

University Press of Kentucky

9780813177946 : building-hos-army-li
Hardback
August 29, 2019
$50.00 USD
9780813177960 : building-hos-army-li
Electronic book text
August 29, 2019
$50.00 USD
9780813177977 : building-hos-army-li
Electronic book text
August 29, 2019
$50.00 USD

Other Titles by Xiaobing Li

Power versus Law in Modern China

Qiang Fang, Xiaobing Li
Nov 2017 - University Press of Kentucky
$80.00 USD - Hardback

Modern Chinese Legal Reform

edited by Xiaobing Li, Qiang Fang
Jan 2013 - University Press of Kentucky
$65.00 USD - Hardback

Voices from the Vietnam War

Xiaobing Li
Mar 2012 - University Press of Kentucky
$80.00 USD - Hardback
$35.00 USD - Paperback / softback

Other Titles in HISTORY / Asia / China

Where Dragon Veins Meet

Stephen H. Whiteman
Jan 2020 - University of Washington Press
$70.00 USD - Hardback

China Gothic

Anthony E. Clark
Jan 2020 - University of Washington Press
$60.00 USD - Hardback

Chinese Funerary Biographies

Patricia Buckley Ebrey
Jan 2020 - University of Washington Press
$95.00 USD - Hardback
$30.00 USD - Paperback / softback

Other Titles in Military history

Parleying with the Devil

Gaj Trifković
May 2020 - Andarta Books, an imprint of University Press of Kentucky
$50.00 USD - Hardback

Edward M. Almond and the US Army

Michael E. Lynch
Sep 2019 - University Press of Kentucky
$60.00 USD - Hardback
$60.00 USD - Electronic book text
$60.00 USD - Electronic book text

The Second Seminole War and the Limits of American Aggression

C. S. Monaco
Sep 2019 - Johns Hopkins University Press
$39.95 USD - Hardback
$39.95 USD - Electronic book text
$24.95 USD - Paperback / softback