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Communist China Protests American Buildup in Vietnam

Feb. 24, 1962 - Communist China declared today that its security was seriously affected by an “undeclared war” waged by the U.S. in South Vietnam. It said U.S. military aid to the Southeast Asian country could not be allowed to continue. Similar charges of a security threat preceded Red China’s large-scale intervention in Korea in November of 1950 after American troops had reached the Yalu River border between Korea and Manchuria. The statement by the Chinese Foreign Ministry, broadcast by the Beijing radio, demanded immediate international consultations “to eliminate the serious danger of war in South Vietnam by peaceful means.” It also demanded the immediate withdrawal from South Vietnam of all U.S. military personnel and equipment. The statement objected particularly to creation of the new U.S. military assistance command in South Vietnam headed by Gen. Paul D. Harkins (pictured). The command has taken over-all charge of about 4,000 U.S. military personnel engaged in the large-scale training and support of President Diem’s 175,000-man army. The U.S. force is not a combat outfit. But the new command could form the framework for combat operations if necessary. The Americans have orders to shoot back if fired upon.

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