SOUTHEAST ASIA: Windup off a No-Win War

Hollow claims of triumph as China pulls back from Viet Nam

"But what good came of it at last?"

Quoth little Peterkin,

"Why, that I cannot tell, "said he;

"But 'twas a famous victory."

—Robert Southey, The Battle of Blenheim

The China-Viet Nam War wilted like a frostbitten blossom last week. China's 100,000 or so infantry and armored troops arrested their languid advance 15 to 20 miles inside the Viet Nam border, wheeled, and began a gradual, piecemeal withdrawal. Vietnamese artillery and front-line units of the 70,000-man-strong border defense force put on a show...

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