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December 19, 1985

China accused the Vietnamese government of stepping up armed provocations along their common border and warned that its troops will "fight back forcefully." At a news briefing in Peking, Foreign Ministry spokesman Li Zhaoxing said the latest clashes coincide with the start of Vietnam's eighth dry-season offensive against Peking-backed resistance forces in Cambodia. The Foreign Ministry statement was the first Chinese acknowledgement of border fighting since early September. The Hanoi government announced earlier this month that its forces had killed more than 470 Chinese soldiers involved in a series of "land-grabbing" attacks.

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