Let us meet again on the day our country is victorious!
Artist: Shang Zuoshu
Publisher: Guangxi Zhuang Minority Autonomous Region People's Publishing House
Size (mm): 529x766
Condition: Very good, creasing to margins, small tears to margins
Relations between China and Vietnam have varied greatly during the second half of the twentieth century, ranging from mutual cooperation to full-scale armed conflict. For centuries parts of Vietnam had existed under Chinese rule, leading to an ingrained mistrust on the part of the Vietnamese of the Chinese will to influence and control their country. Diplomatic relations between the two countries were established in 1950, while the Vietminh were in the process of fighting the French in the First Indochina War. Following the French defeat at Dien Bien Phu, China exerted pressure on Vietnam at the Geneva Conference to accept peace negotiations, despite the apprehensions on the communist Vietnamese side over the creation of an American-influenced South Vietnamese regime. In 1958 China hardened its stance, declaring support for North Vietnamese opposition to the military aid provided by America for South Vietnam, and by 1963 the two countries had signed a joint statement exhorting resistance to American imperialism. China provided loans and economic assistance to Vietnam during this period, the support provided more in an attempt to prevent the US from gaining too much of a foothold in South Vietnam where it could threaten China, rather than out of a desire to directly aid the South Vietnamese communist movement of the Vietcong.
After the Gulf of Tonkin incident of 1964 led to the direct engagement of the US in the Vietnam War, China requested a reconvening of the Geneva Conference where it stated that aggression against Vietnam equalled aggression against China. It also established a permanent delegation to the South Vietnamese communist organisation the National Liberation Front. At the time, Mao Zedong and Lin Biao had declared that they opposed direct military intervention, however in 1989 China admitted that between 1965 and 1969, some 320,000 troops had been sent to Vietnam to assist with construction, air defence, and perform combat roles. The admission substantiated contemporary reports by American units about the presence of Chinese advisors fighting alongside North Vietnamese Army troops - noticed by their often much larger physical size. More than 4,000 Chinese soldiers reportedly died in the conflict. Economic and military aid from China to Vietnam increased during the late 1960s but relations between the countries took a downturn with Richard Nixon's efforts in the early 1970s to develop the US-China relationship and end 25 years of separation. Against the backdrop of the Sino-Soviet Split, and with growing relations between Vietnam and the Soviet Union, tensions boiled over again after Vietnam's invasion and occupation of Cambodia in late 1978. The short Sino-Vietnamese border war resulted in over 20,000 Chinese casualties. Disputes over the Spratly and Paracel islands followed shortly after and remain unresolved.
The poster shows a Vietnamese couple clasping hands in farewell as they take up arms and separate to fight against the imperial US aggressors - a US helmet can be seen fallen on the battlefield under barbed wire fences. Soldiers from the North Vietnamese Army would travel down the Ho Chi Minh trail to fight in South Vietnam and be separated from their families for extended periods of time. The male wears a heavily camouflaged helmet; North Vietnamese and Vietcong fighters used natural foliage to great effect during the war to avoid detection by US aircraft and ground units.