Contrary to later Vietnamese allegations, China did not “sell out” the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (DRV) during the last two years of the Paris negotiations (1971–1973). North Vietnamese, Chinese, Soviet, East European, and American sources show that Ha-noi could have gotten from Washington an agreement similar to the final Paris Agreement (January 1973) as early as the spring of 1971. Sino-American rapprochement did not help the United States in the negotiations, as claimed by the North Vietnamese, because the Chinese side made no concessions at all on Vietnam. In fact, China increased military aid to the DRV. Similarly, U.S.-Soviet detente did not damage the North Vietnamese effort, although Moscow unsuccessfully tried to mediate between Hanoi and Washington. In the end, U.S. success in rebuffing the DRV’s Easter Offensive and Hanoi’s miscalculations about U.S. domestic developments in 1972 prolonged the Vietnam War unnecessarily.


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