BYU Asian Studies Journal


Nhi Phan


BYU Asian Studies, Vietnamese invasion, Cambodia


January 7, 2021 marked the 42nd anniversary of the Vietnamese army and allied forces of Cambodian general Hun Sen overthrowing Pol Pot. Although this invasion took a mere two weeks, the consequences lasted for more than ten years with huge losses for both the Vietnamese and Cambodians. After 1975, Indochina has gone through many changes with different regimes; its geography, however, has remained the same. Even though both Vietnam and Cambodia became communist regimes after winning their independence from France in 1975, they experienced different changes in political ideology. The shift in regime also brought along border conflicts between the two countries (Leighton 448). As a result of this conflict, on December 25, 1978, the Vietnamese army launched a full-scale invasion of Cambodia, beginning a period of criticism and isolation from the international community for both Vietnam and the newly established Hanoi-backed Cambodian Salvation Front (Morris 6). In this literature review, I will focus on discussing the factors that contributed to this conflict between Vietnam and Cambodia, as well as the consequences that both sides had to face during the conflict.