Ho had been the spiritual leader of the communists in Vietnam since the earliest days of the struggle against the French and, later, the United States and its ally in Saigon. Chinese Premier Chou En-Lai and a delegation from China held talks with First Secretary Le Duan and other members of the North Vietnamese Politburo. The Chinese leaders assured the North Vietnamese of their continued support in the war against the United States. This support was absolutely essential if the North Vietnamese wished to continue the war.
Many in the United States hoped the death of Ho Chi Minh would provide a new opportunity to achieve a negotiated settlement to the war in Vietnam, but this did not materialize.