A PORTRAIT OF OUR NEIGHBORS

ORTHODOX COMMUNISTS VS. REFORMIST COMMUNISTS

The aftershocks of the Sino-Soviet split are still being felt around the world nearly a decade later. The most recent effects have surfaced on the Indochina Peninsula. As soon as the United States has withdrawn from Vietnam, the Communists in control of the region have lost their only common enemy and turned their guns on each other. Vietnam, who is siding with the Soviet Union, sees Indochina as “one strategic unit,” and views the Khmer Rouge as not only an inferior form of communism, but also a threat to the peninsula’s integrity. In 1978, soon after the Communist takeover in Cambodia, the Khmer Rouge begins attacking Vietnamese at the border. The border skirmishes escalate in December when the Vietnamese retaliate and invade Cambodia, occupying the entire country by 1979. This enrages the Chinese, who are allied to the Cambodian communists, creating a tension that will inevitably break.


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