The Soviet Union, China, and the Pathet Lao

Analysis and Chronology

by Paul Fritz Langer

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The ultimate outcome of events in Laos will be greatly affected by the policies of Moscow and Peking. China's main objective in Laos is the removal of all hostile powers and their influence — primarily the United States, but since the intensification of the Sino-Soviet conflict, also the Soviet Union. Peking has encouraged a "people's war" strategy in Laos, whereas the Soviets have sought to extend their influence within the Lao revolutionary movement while avoiding a major commitment to the Pathet Lao cause and any situation that would lead to a direct confrontation with the United States. Although China may have the advantage over the USSR in their competition for the allegiance of the Lao Communists, the Communist sector of Laos remains essentially a North Vietnamese client; Peking seems satisfied with this situation. A 1961-1971 chronology of Sino-Soviet relations with Laos is appended.

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