The Role of the Sanctuary in Insurgency

Communist China's Support to the Vietminh, 1946-1954

by Joseph Jermiah Zasloff

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An historical survey of Communist China's support of the Vietminh in their struggle against the French. The military and political effects of Chinese assistance are examined. Chinese aid, although estimated at less than 20 percent of Vietminh supplies (and perhaps one-ninth of the amount contributed by the United States to the French war effort), contributed significantly to the Vietminh victory. China was valuable as a sanctuary in the initial stage of the revolution. When the Vietminh had developed political and military leadership and acquired manpower, they could profit from Chinese material assistance. The Communist Chinese also provided psychological and ideological reinforcement, propaganda, and diplomatic advocacy. These intangible elements of external assistance at certain stages in a revolutionary movement may be as important as, or more important than, material support.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Research memorandum series. The Research Memorandum was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 1973 that represented working papers meant to report current results of RAND research to appropriate audiences.

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