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Le dictionnaire

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CHEN GENG (1903–1961)

Born into a wealthy Chinese family in Hunan province, Chen Geng became involved in nationalist politics as a youth and studied military science at the Whampoa Military Academy in Guangzhou (Canton), where he met Ho Chi Minh in the mid-1920s. With the advent of the People’s Republic of China in October 1949, Chen Geng became head of Yunnan province and its military command. Because of his position in southern China and past relationship with Ho Chi Minh, in June 1950 the Chinese Communist Party appointed him as the party’s representative and commander of the Chinese Military Advisor Delegation to Vietnam. He arrived in northern Vietnamese safe zones in July 1950. He immediately went to work making preparations for the Border Campaign at Cao Bang in September–October 1950. He played an important advisory role in planning this famous victory, opening the frontier to the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, and to large amounts of Chinese aid. On 1 November 1950, following the successful completion of the border campaign, Chen Geng transferred to Korea. General Wei Guoqing replaced him. See also ARTHUR RADFORD; MAO ZEDONG; PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA; ZHOU ENLAI.