Sino-Vietnamese War

The Cold War in Asia

East Asia 1979.0305

Sino-Vietnamese War

Korean War, Indochina War, Vietnam War, Invasion of Tibet, Mao Zedong (5 March 1979)

Historical Map of East Asia & the Western Pacific

The Khmer Rouge's brutal rule in Cambodia led to millions of deaths, while its growing antagonism with its former Vietnamese allies erupted into full scale war in 1978. Vietnam quickly occupied most of Cambodia, prompting China, which had supported the Khmer Rouge, to attack Vietnam. After a month of brutal but inconclusive warfare, the Chinese withdrew.

Main Events

Cambodian genocide

Between 1.5 and 3 million Cambodians die under Khmer Rouge rule

Indonesian invasion of East Timor

In Operasi Seroja (Operation Lotus), the Indonesian navy bombarded Dili, capital of newly independent East Timor, followed by the simultaneous landing of Indonesian seaborne troops and paratroopers. Further assaults captured Bacau on 10 December and Liquisa and Maubara on Christmas Day. However, East Timorese troops held out in the interior until 1978, and sporadic guerrilla warfare would continue into the 1990s.

Unification of Vietnam

Unification of North and South Vietnam as Socialist Republic of Vietnam

Mao Zedong dies

Mao Zedong, leader of People's Republic of China, dies at 82

Dissolution of SEATO

South East Asia Treaty Organization formally dissolved

Independence of the Solomon Islands

The Solomon Islands is made independent of the United Kingdom, with 35 year old Chief Minister Peter Kenilorea becoming Prime Minister.

Vietnamese invasion of Cambodia

Vietnam invades and occupies Cambodia, expelling Khmer Rouge to western border

Sino-Vietnamese War

China invades northern Vietnam in response to Vietnamese occupation of Cambodia

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