A reader pointed out that the melody and lyrics for the song that I included in the post below, “Việt Nam Trung Hoa,” was published in Nhân dân on September 28, 1964. I went and checked that issue of the newspaper, and indeed found the melody and lyrics.

On the same page there was an article on the “Friendship of a Pair of Fighting Friends” by Trần Huy Liệu, the assistant chairman of the Council on Việt-Chinese Friendship.”

Here is a quote from the beginning of that article:

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“One saying that our people and our Chinese friends often say is that the two countries of Vietnam and China are like lips and teeth. . .

“In fact, the closeness like lips and teeth between our two countries is not simply because we are geographically close, but because we have the same political systems. Everyone knows that the feeling of friendship between the people of the two countries of Vietnam and China has been around for a long time, however after the party of the working class was established in both countries, and led revolutions, the feeling of friendship was placed on a foundation of the doctrine of international Communism.

“It is not a coincidence that the peoples of these two countries are now advancing together down the same road, the road to Socialism, and that we are simultaneously close, friendly neighbors and dear comrades.

“That feeling of closeness has been strengthened even more during the current historical events as both countries share the same destiny and the same enemy – the American empire.

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As one reads on it becomes clear that the historical event that Trần Huy Liệu was referring to was the American bombing of North Vietnam following the Tonkin Gulf Incident in early August 1964.

There were massive protests against the US in China following the bombings, and that is what is depicted in the photograph.

Trần Huy Liệu also summarizes the statements of various Chinese officials later in his article when he states that “the American empire’s invasion of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam is a direct invasion of China.”

song

So this appears to be the context in which the “Việt Nam Trung Hoa” song was composed. In which case, it probably had multiple purposes. On the one hand it was perhaps meant as a way to say “thank you” to the PRC for its support, and on the other it was also probably meant to reassure people in North Vietnam, now that the war was getting closer, that they had someone powerful supporting them, and perhaps also to prepare them to work together with Chinese in the years ahead.