In early 1979 China invaded Vietnam, in the words of the Chinese leadership; to "teach Vietnam a lesson" it would not soon forget. Despite Beijing`s claim of victory, in defence of China`s security the war did not proceed as well as it had expected and the People`s Liberation Army (PLA) performed poorly in the conflict. It was China, not Vietnam, which actually received the lesson. China`s documentation on the war remains classified and the information available is not only fragmentary and biased, but also of questionable truth. There are few English language accounts and much of what exists is speculative. However, many internally circulated materials concerning the PLA`s performance in the 1979 war have become accessible on the internet. In addition, memoirs by high-ranking military officers have become available.