According to experts’ assessment, at that time, the Soviet Union was in turmoil.
In previous installments with the title:
“Changsha 1988: The East Sea is tense because of malicious intent to invade”;
“Changsha 1988: China created an excuse to invade the islands”;
“The East Sea – Truong Sa is hot before the” Sovereign 88 “Campaign;
“Operation CQ-88: Gau Ma – Immortal circle of Vietnam”;
“Antlers 1988: China cannot trade history!”;
“CQ-88: 7 Vietnamese fighters chased Chinese warships”
“1988: China is powerless in Truong Sa, the vision of DK-I Vietnam”
We have grasped the brutal and brutal Chinese aggression during the battle on Gac Ma Island and the actions of defending the sovereignty and islands of Vietnamese people in the “Campaign of Sovereignty 88” (CQ- 88).
China is surprised by the strong and tough of Vietnam
Later, a declassified report of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in 2015 commented that Vietnam was not afraid of China’s power. The mobilization of both air force and surface-to-sea missiles has signaled that Hanoi will protect its sovereignty in Spratly Islands at any cost.
The CIA document, compiled on August 8, 1988, said that Beijing decided to attack and occupy the Spratlys in the spring of 1988 because it realized that international attention was seeking to find a solution to the Cambodian problem. At the same time, China wants to find ways to assert its sovereignty before ASEAN links Vietnam.
The U.S. Central Intelligence Agency said that Beijing has sought to prepare public opinion by directing media to intensify criticism of Hanoi causing tensions by seizing islands in the Spratlys and Chinese diplomatic representatives in The United Nations has always sought to reinforce this view.
First of all, Beijing seeks to isolate Vietnam and prevent reactions from other countries in the region. Besides, China also sought to convince the Philippines, Malaysia and Taiwan that China was targeting Vietnam alone, not any other country.
|Vietnam fought itself against China, defending its sovereignty in the Spratly Islands|
The CIA stated that China’s 1988 invasion of Spratlys against Vietnam and persistent disagreements across all areas between the two sides could lead to other military clashes in the future.
China’s occupation of the rocky islands near where Vietnam is stationed shows the long-term possibility that Beijing will choose a military solution. When both sides have a military presence on the islands, the likelihood of armed clashes is quite high.
The CIA report also commented that the 1988 battle did not scare Hanoi, they faced Beijing’s challenge on both diplomatic and military fronts by denouncing the international community. about Chinese aggression, and constantly strengthening the Spratly outposts.
Hanoi, on the one hand, described Beijing as a belligerent aggressor and expressed its determination to defend its sovereignty, but on the other hand also called for China to return to the negotiating table to resolve the dispute peacefully. while facilitating discussions with other countries in the region such as Malaysia and the Philippines.
In addition, Vietnam is also actively preparing for continued fighting capability with the upgrading of defensive capabilities, setting up headquarters in Cam Ranh Bay, sending fighters to Phan Rang and increasing patrol. sea … The readiness to fight signals that Hanoi will not back down to China in the fight to protect Truong Sa.
CIA experts predict that it is very difficult for the two sides to reach an agreement, Vietnam will continue to strengthen its maritime defenses and may find ways to build some additional sea defense facilities to block steps. advancement of the Chinese navy, and at the same time increase diplomatic pressure.
The CIA report said that after March 14, 1988, Beijing probably did not anticipate the backlash of Hanoi. China calculates that Vietnam has a strong army but a weak navy, the conflict in March 1988 will make Vietnam falter.
|By the time China opened fire against the Spratlys, the Soviet Air Force was present in Cam Ranh|
Therefore, Vietnam’s tough reaction immediately after the Gac Ma incident, in the context of the Soviet naval forces being stationary, may have surprised and confused Beijing.
Soviet Union with Vietnam’s war against aggression 1979
|Vietnam has mobilized all resources to protect Truong Sa|
With the war against China invaded in 1979, the Soviet Union made a commitment to respect the Comprehensive Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation, immediately voicing its deterrence against Beijing if it refused to withdraw its troops. and urgently sent a high-level military advisor to Hanoi to work together to deal with China.
The Soviet Navy deployed all of the Pacific Fleet, including nuclear submarines, to protect the Vietnamese coast, block the U.S. aircraft carrier fleet and nearly 300 ships of the naval fleets. Chinese troops in the South China Sea and the East China Sea.
At the same time, the Soviet Union also withdrew its forces from the European republics, deployed a super-large exercise in the south, mobilized up to 600,000 troops and thousands of aircraft, and prepared them. scenarios of attacking China’s northern border area, to prevent a plot to expand Beijing’s aggression war.
But nine years later, when Vietnam was attacked by Chinese invaders, the Soviet Union hardly moved. Where is the real reason? A number of prestigious Russian military experts and contemporary historical scientists have focused their attention on this question.
This question was somewhat clarified at the online Roundtable entitled “The Soviet Union’s role in conflicts in Vietnam in the late 70s and 80s of the twentieth century”, organized by Gazeta.ru. held on 11 March 2014, on the occasion of the 26th anniversary of the Chinese invasion to invade Vietnam’s islands in the Spratly Islands.
|Gac Ma Memorial Monument in Khanh Hoa was inaugurated in 2017|
According to experts at the conference, at that time, the Soviet Union was in turmoil, Vietnam was not the object that the Soviet Union “had to protect at all costs.” .
Soviet Gorbachev era
In a discussion on March 11, 2014 (published in “Historical Sites”), Professor-Dr. Vladimir Kolotov, a Vietnamese scholar at Saint Petersburg National University, revealed his opinion. comments of Mr. VI Dashichev (then chairman of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the Soviet Ministry of Foreign Affairs) on where the Soviet Union was in Vietnam-China relations.
In an analysis written on January 1, 1987 to the President of the Supreme Soviet Presidency Andrei Gromyko, Dashichev said that supporting Vietnam would make the Soviet Union “not only difficult in relations with the West, but also piled up obstacles in normalizing relations with China. “
Professor Kolotov said that these proposals took place just one year before China invaded the Spratlys, showing that Vietnam’s problems were no longer a priority area in Soviet foreign policy, during M.Gorbachev’s leadership (since 1985).
|President of the Supreme Soviet Presidium, former Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko|
Dr. Dmitry Mosyakov, leader of the Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Australia and Oceania of the Institute of Oriental Studies (Russian Academy of Sciences) frankly stated, if the Soviet Union had a huge role in the war. China’s aggression against Vietnam in 1979, then in 1988, was the exact opposite.
In the past, the Soviet Union still applied a fairly simple foreign policy, clearly distinguishing between “acquaintances” and “strangers”, “good people” and “bad people”. But it all began to change when M.Gorbachev came to power in 1985 and began the “renovation from the roof”, ie the beginning of political reform, before economic reform.
With upside down economic perestroika, chaotic political reform (glasnost), Soviet leader Gorbachev – later known as the “Traitor of Communism” – drove the Soviet Union. The Soviet state deviated from the path of Socialism, leading to the total crisis of the Socialist bloc during that period.
|Mikhail Gorbachev and Deng Xiaoping in Beijing, China in 1989|
And then broke out of the Chinese invasion war in Vietnam’s Spratly archipelago, leading to a bloody battle in Gac Ma, March 1988 – just as Moscow and Beijing began. negotiate borders and normalize relations.
Fairly judged that not the people of the Soviet Union refused to help the people of Vietnam, but rather a small group of Soviet leaders, headed by Gorbachev.
- male bias