The Chinese leadership was very happy over what had transpired over the last few days. The Vietnamese Airforce and Navy were effectively destroyed, leaving its army to mobilize relatively undefended. While the UN condemned the attack, Vietnamese diplomats were already seeking a peace and way to end “a great misunderstanding of intentions”. They hoped it would at least give the Vietnamese Army time to mobilize and dig in, and at best end the conflict all together. One key Chinese enemy was now removed from the board, and they could now deal with the rest.
The consolidation of US forces into a small number of big bases in the western Pacific during the ’90s and ’00s made perfect peacetime economic sense, but against a sophisticated adversary it created a unique vulnerability that had never previously existed. Emerging from the Vietnamese expedition largely unscathed, the Chinese military was now ready to take on its main strategic adversary in the region with a single decisive attack.