Despite its obvious significance, the involvement of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in the First Indo-China War has long been an under-researched and little understood subject in Cold War history. Because of lack of access to Chinese or Vietnamese sources, few of the many publications in English deal with China’s connections with the war. In such highly acclaimed works as Marilyn B. Young’s The Vietnam Wars. 1945–1990, Jacques Dallaoz’s The War in Indo-China, 1945–1954, Anthony Short’s The Origins of the Vietnam War, R. E. M Irving’s The First Indo-China War, Ellen Hammer’s The Struggle for Indo-China, 1946–1955, Edgar O’Ballance’s The Indo-China War, 1945–1954, and Bernard Fall’s Street Without Joy: Insurgency in Vietnam, 1946–1963, the PRC’s role is either discussed only marginally or almost completely neglected. 1 King Chen’s Vietnam and China, 1938–1954, using information from contemporary newspapers and radio, gives the most detailed and generally plausible treatment of the PRC-Viet Minh relationship, but even this is restricted by its sources and fails to provide a comprehensive picture of the strategic cooperation between the Chinese and Vietnamese Communists, which leaves a crucial lacuna in judging the extent and nature of exchanges between the respective leaders. 2 This article uses recently-released Chinese sources, especially memoirs and diaries by key Chinese figures, telegrams from top Beijing leaders, and information attained through interviews, and offers some new insights into the PRC’s policy towards the First Indo-China War. 3