In May 1957, the Guangzhou Military Region’s Air Force and Guangzhou MR Air Defense Force were merged into a combined air defense system. In the late sixties and early seventies, the air units of the Guangzhou Military Region often met the USAF and US Navy bombers at the Sino-Vietnamese border and at the over Gulf of Tonkin. As well as with the Royal Air Force's Camberra reconnaissance aircraft and Hawker Hunter and English Electric Lightning fighters near to Hong Kong.
During the Second Indochina War the fighters of Guangzhou Military Region and Chinese South Sea Fleet shot down or damaged seven invader American combat aircraft and helicopter as well more reconnaissance UAV:
- In 1965: USAF F-104C Starfighter and US Navy Douglas RA-3B Skywarrior
- In 1966: US Navy Douglas KA-3B Skywarrior
- In 1967: USAF F-4C Phantom II and US Navy F-4B Phantom II
- In 1968: USAF Douglas A-1 Skyraider and US Army Bell AH-1 Cobra helicopter
- Between 1964 and 1970: about twenty USAF AQM-34 reconnaissance drone
The Chinese air units used Soviet and Chinese made Shenyang J-5/MiG-17 ‘Fresco’, Shenyang J-6 (MiG-19) ‘Farmer’, Shenyang J-7/MiG-21F-13 ‘Fishbed-C’ fighters along the Sino-Vietnamese border and over the Gulf of Tonkin at this time. Later the China–United States relations normalized in the early seventies, the border violations and the US reconnaissance flights over China have ceased.