Fifty years ago, MAY 19, 1972 Archives

Soviet rockets on way to Hanoi via China

Peking: Sophisticated Soviet rockets and other weapons and equipment are moving across China by rail to help North Vietnam beat President Nixon’s blockade of its ports, authoritative Soviet diplomatic sources said here today. Speaking four days before Mr. Nixon is due to arrive in the Kremlin for summit talks, the Soviet sources said the American blockade would not affect Soviet military aid to the North Vietnamese. At the same time, a Western diplomat said Chinese officials had told them the Peking government would “put no obstacle in the way” of Soviet and other aid from the Eastern European bloc to their mutual North Vietnamese ally. A high-powered North Vietnamese delegation, including the Vice-Minister of Foreign Trade, Mr. Ly Bay and the Communications and Railways Minister, Brig. Phan Trong Tue, was in China to coordinate Soviet and Chinese deliveries to Hanoi despite the mining of North Vietnamese ports. Two railways from Kunmimg and Nanning cross from China into North Vietnam though sources here say, it is believed there are other less-known railway lines and roads from China into North Vietnam. Soviet assurances here that Russian aid for North Vietnam would not be affected by the naval blockade came the day after the sudden departure of the Soviet Ambassador, Mr. Vaseli Tolsktikov, for Moscow following what is believed to be high-level consultations with Chinese officials. 


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