Vietnam News

Vietnamese citizens slam distortion of history in Chinese TV drama

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Audiences have expressed anger over possible distortion of the truth by a Chinese TV serial about the 1979 border war between Vietnam and China.

According to some Chinese websites and film forums, the TV series, titled “Ace Troops,” has the Vietnamese army launching an invasion and its China counterpart acting in self-defense. However, the exact opposite is true. China had invaded Vietnam without any justification and Vietnam had to fight back in self-defense.

On Oct. 6, an account named Ali commented on Douban – China’s largest film forum – about “Ace Troops”: “The drama does not reflect history, it distorts information about Vietnam.”

Earlier, on the Weibo social network, some Chinese bloggers had summarized the movie’s plot. Yundanfengqing, with nearly 15,000 followers, wrote: “The series is set in the 1980s, the Vietnamese army grows strong and wanting China’s territory, launches an invasion at the Chinese border. Facing this situation, in 1979, China launches a self-defence counterattack.”

On the lcyu website, the trailer and poster of “Ace Troops” show that the film depicts the war on the northern border of Vietnam. According to Manyanu, another Chinese website, the film is about “Chinese soldiers in a self-defence counterattack against Vietnam”.

Another website, Baidu, summarizes the series as having a timeline spanning 40 years starting in 1983, tracing the stories of two army rookies Gao Liang (Huang Johnny) and Gu Yi Ye (Sean Xiao). Liang is from a mining family, while Ye grows up in a military family. Both are aggressive and hate each other before becoming friends. They go through the war together, clearing landmines in Guangxi. The series, directed by Liu Yan, has released a trailer but has not announced its broadcast schedule.

Many netizens have pointed out that the clothes worn by the actors in the trailer match those of Chinese soldiers when they invaded Vietnam in 1979.

The trailer also includes scenes of the Chinese army firing shells and soldiers wearing camouflage and using AK submachine guns. The artillery was the main force used by China in the war it instigated in 1979.

On many forums in Vietnam and China, many Vietnamese netizens have strongly opposed the summary of the TV series by Yundanfengqing and others.

Nguyen Thanh Ngan 2412 wrote: “You tell a wrong history, distorted information. This drama needs to be boycotted no matter how much they have invested in it.”

Diep Ha Nhien commented: “Haven’t you read history, why is it so badly and wrongly written?”

Minh Anh220824 wrote: “Stop distorting history. I am always proud to be a Vietnamese. Read books before you write.”

Musician Truong Quy Hai, veteran of Division 356, fighting on the Vi Xuyen Front in Ha Giang Province from 1984 to 1989, said: “Our fight was a fight to protect the Fatherland against the enemy. The Chinese troops invaded. Anything different is a fabricated story. They are deliberately distorting history, that’s their intention.”

Hai also said that young people today are well aware of national sovereignty.

“They are better than us because they have the opportunity to access information, take advantage of the media to spread opinions, spread truth and facts. I believe in the young generation. When we talk about Fatherland, automatically we will be united,” the veteran said.

At dawn on Feb. 7, 1979, more than 600,000 Chinese troops simultaneously attacked the borders of six northern provinces of Vietnam. Armed forces, militias and ethnic minority communities at the border fought them on the spot, forcing the Chinese to withdraw from Vietnam on March 18 of the year. However, the withdrawal was not complete, and China continued to maintain forces at the border, harassing Vietnamese localities and triggering hostilities that lasted the next decade.

Gunfire continued on the Vi Xuyen Front after 1981, when the Chinese army began to attack with artillery shells. In late April 1984, Chinese troops illegally occupied many places along the Ha Giang border. The Vietnamese army organized a counterattack to regain these spots.

In 1984 and 1985, the two sides fought fierce battles. It was only by 1988 that the border situation eased, with the two countries actively withdrawing their troops.

According to the Liaison Committee of the Veterans of the Battle of Vi Xuyen, between 1984 and 1989, more than 4,000 Vietnamese soldiers died, thousands of people were injured, and the remains of more than 2,000 martyrs have not yet been found.

By Nghinh Xuan – – October 7, 2021 

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