While Chinese and Vietnamese forces struggle for control of Lang Son, a hundred and thirty-five kilometres (about 90 miles) northeast of Hanoi, as a prelude to what observers say many be a major set-piece battle -- the biggest so far in the twelve-day-old border war, refugees are suffering as a result of the conflict.
GV ZOOM IN Vietnam-China border area.
SV Vietnamese field gun and troops movement. (4 SHOTS)
SV PAN Lorries carrying refugees along border.
SV Refugees with belongings walking along road.
SV & GV Vietnamese soldiers walking along road and waving at camera. (3 SHOTS)
CU Flag PAN TO railway station sign in Hanoi
CU Vietnamese civilians.
SV Medical equipment and people being cared for at Red Cross station.
CU Battered face of woman PULL OUT TO woman holding child.
GV Civilians getting on and off trains at railway station.
GV Peking street scene.
SV PAN People reading wall posters. (3 SHOTS)
GV Street activity with woman soldier passing in front of camera.
GV People reading wall posters with soldiers standing in street. (2 SHOTS)
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Background: While Chinese and Vietnamese forces struggle for control of Lang Son, a hundred and thirty-five kilometres (about 90 miles) northeast of Hanoi, as a prelude to what observers say many be a major set-piece battle -- the biggest so far in the twelve-day-old border war, refugees are suffering as a result of the conflict. And in the battle zone the Chinese claim to have introduce a novel military tactic -- they say they are stampeding horses across ???inefields to clear the way for the advance of their troops.
SYNOPSIS: The China-Vietnam border area is vast, but China's incursion into Vietnam, in what they describe as a "punitive expedition", only covers a small section. Even so, the troop casualty figures claimed by both sides are substantial. Hanoi says the Chinese have already suffered one thousand six hundred casualties in the heavy fighting around the strategic road and railway junction town of Lang Son.
For the refugees of this war-torn country, it means hasty flight from the war areas carrying their possessions as best they can. And for the Vietnamese soldiers it could be a long war. On Wednesday (28 February) Senior Vice-Premier Deng Xi???oping, said China's armies were out to smash Vietnam's claims of military "invincibility".
In Hanoi, civilians displaced by the fighting have been arriving at the main railway station and according to local observers are being cared for by the Red Cross. Although accustomed to years of strife in vietnam, most of them looked utterly exhausted. Vietnam has demanded the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of China's forces and has declared that it is sure to win the war.
But while their leaders speak of victory the civilians are suffering Radio Hanoi, rejecting China's calls for negotiations, said on Wednesday that China had started the war unilaterally and "it's they who must stop it".
Meanwhile in Peking there have been reports that the government has banned wall posters relating to the war with Vietnam, regardless of whether they are for or against it. There are still plenty of posters around, however, and readin??? them has become an increasingly important aspect of daily life in the Chinese capital.
There have been reports that Vietnamese troops have gone on the offensive and attacked into China, but for the people of Peking the conflict is a long way from home.