World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Sino-Vietnamese relations

Article Id: WHEBN0021240154
Reproduction Date:

Title: Sino-Vietnamese relations  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Vietnam, Nguyen Van Linh, Hekou Border Economic Cooperation Zone
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Sino-Vietnamese relations

China-Vietnam relations



The bilateral relations between the People's Republic of China and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam have been turbulent, despite their common socialist background. Centuries of conquest by the Modern China's imperial predecessor have given Vietnam an entrenched suspicion of Chinese attempts to dominate it.[1][2][3] Though the PRC assisted North Vietnam during the Vietnam War, relations between the two nations soured following Vietnam's reunification in 1975. China and Vietnam fought a brief border war in 1979, but have since worked to improve their diplomatic and economic ties. However, the two countries remain in dispute over territorial issues in the South China Sea.[4]

Prior history

China and Vietnam have interacted since the Chinese Warring States period and the Vietnamese Thục Dynasty of the 3rd century BC, as noted in the Vietnamese historical record Đại Việt sử ký toàn thư. Between the 1st century BC and 15th century AD, Vietnam was subject to four separate periods of imperial Chinese domination, although it successfully asserted a degree of independence following the Battle of Bạch Đằng in 938 AD.

According to old Vietnamese historical records Đại Việt sử ký toàn thư and Khâm Định Việt Sử Thông Giám Cương Mục ("欽定越史通鑑綱目"), An Dương Vương (Thục Phán) was a prince of the Chinese state of Shu (, which shares the same Chinese character as his surname Thục),[5][6] sent by his father first to explore what are now the southern Chinese provinces of Guangxi and Yunnan and second to move their people to modern day northern Vietnam during the invasion of the Qin Dynasty.

Some modern Vietnamese believe that Thục Phán came upon the Âu Việt territory (modern-day northernmost Vietnam, western Guangdong, and southern Guangxi province, with its capital in what is today Cao Bằng Province).[7] After assembling an army, he defeated King Hùng Vương XVIII, the last ruler of the Hồng Bàng Dynasty, around 257 BCE. He proclaimed himself An Dương Vương ("King An Dương"). He then renamed his newly acquired state from Văn Lang to Âu Lạc and established the new capital at Phong Khê in the present-day Phú Thọ town in northern Vietnam, where he tried to build Cổ Loa Citadel), the spiral fortress approximately ten miles north of that new capital.

Han Chinese migration into Vietnam dated back to the era of 2nd Century BCE when Qin Shi Huang first placed Tonkin under Chinese rule, Chinese soldiers and fugitives from Central China migrated en masse into Tonkin from this time onwards, and introduced Chinese influences into Vietnamese culture.[8][9] The Chinese military leader Zhao Tuo founded the Triệu dynasty which ruled Nanyue in southern China and northern Vietnam. The Qin Governor of Canton advisted Zhao to found his own independent Kingdom since the area was remote and there were many Chinese settlers in the area[10] The Chinese prefect of Jiaozhi Shi Xie ruled Vietnam as an autonomous warlord and was posthumously deified by later Vietnamese Emperors. Shi Xie was the leader of the elite ruling class of Han Chinese families who immigrated to Vietnam and played a major role inndeveloping Vietnam's culture.[11]

The founder of the Early Lý Dynasty, Emperor Lý Bôn, who rebelled against the Liang Dynasty came from a family of Chinese descent, the ancestors of his family were Chinese who fled to Vietnam from Wang Mang's seizure of power during the interregnum between the Western and Eastern Han dynasties.[12]

The Vietnamese elites were descended from mixed marriages between Chinese and Vietnamese viewed other non Chinese people as beneath them and inferior due to Chinese influence.[13]

The founder of the Trần Dynasty Emperor Trần Thái Tông was the great grandon of a Chinese who came to Vietnam from Fujian, from the Chinese Chen clan and several members of the family like Prince Trần Quốc Tuấn continued to be able to speak Chinese[14][15] The name of his great grandfather was Trần Kinh.

The founder of the Hồ Dynasty Emperor Hồ Quý Ly was descended from a Chinese who came to Vietnam from Zhejiang during the 940s.[16][17]

Chinese prisoners were returned to China for captured districts in 1078 after China defeated Lý Dynasty Dai Viet and overran several of Cao Bằng Province's districts.[18]

Le Mi (黎秘), the chief eunuch of Lê Lợi and 100,000 Vietnamese were killed after Ming China crushed and defeated their invasion in 1427 of a Chinese town.[19]

The Ming threatened Mạc Đăng Dung with an invasion of 110,000 men ready to invade Vietnam from Guangxi in 1540. Mac succumbed and caved in to Chinese pressure and accepted the bitter demands the Chinese made, including crawling barefoot, givingnup land to China, downgrading the status of his polity from a country to a chieftancy and givingup official documents like tax registers to the Ming.[20]

In 1884, during the time of Vietnam's Nguyễn Dynasty, Qing China and France fought a war which ended in a Chinese defeat. The resulting Treaty of Tientsin recognized French dominance over Vietnam and Indochina, spelling the end of formal Chinese influence on Vietnam, and the beginning of Vietnam's French colonial period.

World War II

Both China and Vietnam faced invasion and occupation by Imperial Japan during World War II, while Vietnam languished under the rule of the pro-Nazi Vichy French. In the Chinese provinces of Guangxi and Guangdong, Vietnamese revolutionaries led by Phan Bội Châu had arranged alliances with the Chinese nationalist Kuomintang prior to the war by marrying Vietnamese women to Chinese officers. Their children were at an advantage, since they could speak both languages, and they worked as agents for the revolutionaries, spreading revolutionary ideologies across borders. This intermarriage between Chinese and Vietnamese was viewed with alarm by the French. In addition, Chinese merchants married Vietnamese women, and provided funds and help for revolutionary agents.[21]

Late in the war, with Japan and Nazi Germany nearing defeat, US President Franklin D. Roosevelt privately decided that the French should not reacquire their colonial property of French Indochina after the war was over. Roosevelt offered the Kuomintang leader Chiang Kai-shek the entirety of Indochina to be put under Chinese rule. Reportedly, Chiang Kai-shek replied: "Under no circumstances!".[22] In August 1943, China broke diplomatic relations with the Vichy France regime, with the Central Daily News announcing diplomatic relations were to be solely between the Chinese and Vietnamese people, with no French intermediary. China had planned to widely spread the propaganda of the Atlantic Charter and Roosevelt's statement on Vietnamese self-determination, in order to undermine French authority in Indochina.[23]

However, Roosevelt switched his position on Vietnamese independence in order to gain the support of Free French Forces in Europe. After the war, 200,000 Chinese troops under General Lu Han were sent by Chiang Kai-shek to invade northern Indochina north of the 16th parallel, with the aim of accepting the surrender of Japanese occupying forces. These troops remained in Indochina until 1946.[24] The Chinese used the VNQDD, the Vietnamese branch of the Chinese Kuomintang, to increase their influence in Indochina and put pressure on their opponents.[25] Chiang Kai-shek threatened the French with war to force them to negotiate with the Vietminh leader Ho Chi Minh. In February 1946, Chiang Kai-shek forced the French to surrender all of their concessions in China and renounce their extraterritorial privileges, in exchange for withdrawing from northern Indochina and allowing French troops to reoccupy the region.[26][27][28][29]

Cold War

Along with the Soviet Union, Communist China was an important strategic ally of North Vietnam during the Vietnam War. The Chinese Communist Party provided arms, military training and essential supplies to help the Communist North defeat South Vietnam and its ally, the United States, between 1954 and 1975.[30] However, the Vietnamese Communists remained suspicious of China's perceived attempts to increase its influence over Vietnam.[1]

Vietnam was an ideological battleground of the Sino-Soviet split of the 1960s. After the Gulf of Tonkin incident in 1964, Chinese Premier Deng Xiaoping secretly promised the North Vietnamese 1 billion yuan in military and economic aid, on the condition that they refused all Soviet aid.

During the Vietnam War, the North Vietnamese and the Chinese had agreed to defer tackling their territorial issues until South Vietnam was defeated. These issues included the lack of delineation of Vietnam's territorial waters in the Gulf of Tonkin, and the question of sovereignty over the Paracel and Spratly Islands in the South China Sea.[1] During the 1950s, half of the Paracels were controlled by China and half by South Vietnam. In 1958, North Vietnam accepted China's claim to the Paracels, relinquishing its own claim;[31] one year earlier, China had ceded White Dragon Tail Island to North Vietnam.[32] The potential of offshore oil deposits in the Gulf of Tonkin heightened tensions between China and South Vietnam. In 1973, with the Vietnam War drawing to a close, North Vietnam announced its intention to allow foreign companies to explore oil deposits in disputed waters. In January 1974, a clash between Chinese and South Vietnamese forces resulted in China taking complete control of the Paracels.[1] After its absorption of South Vietnam in 1975, North Vietnam took over the South Vietnamese-controlled portions of the Spratly Islands.[1] The unified Vietnam then canceled its earlier renunciation of its claim to the Paracels, while both China and Vietnam claim control over all the Spratlys, while both controlling portions of the island group.[31]

Sino-Vietnamese War

Main article: Sino-Vietnamese War

In the wake of the Vietnam War, Vietnam's 1976 invasion and occupation of Cambodia provoked tensions with China, which had allied itself with the Democratic Republic of Kampuchea.[1][33] This, and Vietnam's close ties to the Soviet Union, made China consider it a threat to its regional sphere of influence.[33][34] Tensions were furthermore heightened in the 1970s by the Vietnamese government's oppression of the Hoa minority, which consists of Vietnamese of Chinese ethnicity.[1][33][34] By 1978, China ended its aid to Vietnam, which had signed a treaty of friendship with the Soviet Union, establishing extensive commercial and military ties.[1][33]

On February 17, 1979, the Chinese People's Liberation Army crossed the Vietnamese border, withdrawing on March 5 after a two-week campaign which devastated northern Vietnam and briefly threatened the Vietnamese capital, Hanoi.[1][34] Both sides suffered relatively heavy losses, with Chinese casualties put at over 10,000 and Vietnamese casualties at over 30,000. Subsequent peace talks broke down in December 1979, and both China and Vietnam began a major build-up of forces along the border. Vietnam fortified its border towns and districts and stationed as many as 600,000 troops; China stationed approximately 400,000 troops on its side of the border.[34] Sporadic fighting on the border occurred throughout the 1980s, and China threatened to launch another attack to force Vietnam's exit from Cambodia.[1][34]

Modern era

With the collapse of the Soviet Union and Vietnam's exit from Cambodia in 1990, Sino-Vietnamese ties began improving. Both nations planned the normalization of their relations in a secret summit in Chengdu in September 1990, and officially normalized ties in November 1991.[33] Since 1991, the leaders and high-ranking officials of both nations have exchanged visits. China and Vietnam both recognized and supported the post-1991 government of Cambodia, and supported each other's bid to join the World Trade Organization (WTO).[33] In 1999, the General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam, Le Kha Phieu, visited Beijing, where he met General Secretary of the Communist Party of China Jiang Zemin and announced a joint "16 Word Guideline" for improved bilateral relations; a Joint Statement for Comprehensive Cooperation was issued in 2000.[33] In 2000, Vietnam and China successfully resolved longstanding disputes over their land border and maritime rights in the Gulf of Tonkin.[30][33] A joint agreement between China and ASEAN in 2002 marked out a process of peaceful resolution and guarantees against armed conflict.[33] In 2002, Jiang Zemin made an official visit to Vietnam, where numerous agreements were signed to expand trade and cooperation and resolve outstanding disputes.[30]

Commercial ties

Main article: Bamboo network

After both sides resumed trade links in 1991, growth in annual bilateral trade increased from only US$32 million in 1991 to almost USD $7.2 billion in 2004.[35] By 2011, the trade volume had reached USD $25 billion.[36] It is predicted that China will become Vietnam's largest single trading partner, overtaking the United States, by 2030.[37] China's transformation into a major economic power in the 21st century has led to an increase of foreign investments in the bamboo network, a network of overseas Chinese businesses operating in the markets of Southeast Asia that share common family and cultural ties.[38][39]

Vietnam's exports to China include crude oil, coal, coffee and food, while China exports pharmaceuticals, machinery, petroleum, fertilizers and automobile parts to Vietnam. China has become Vietnam's second-largest trading partner and the largest source of imports.[30][35] Both nations are working to establish an "economic corridor" from China's Yunnan province to Vietnam's northern provinces and cities, and similar economic zones linking China's Guangxi province with Vietnam's Lạng Sơn and Quang Ninh provinces, and the cities of Hanoi and Haiphong.[35] Air and sea links as well as a railway line have been opened between the two countries, along with national-level seaports in the frontier provinces and regions of the two countries.[30] Joint ventures have furthermore been launched, such as the Thai Nguyen Steel Complex, which produces hundreds of thousands of tonnes of steel products.[35]

Rekindled tensions over maritime territory

In June 2011, Vietnam announced that its military would conduct new exercises in the South China Sea. China had previously voiced its disagreement over Vietnamese oil exploration in the area, stating that the Spratly Islands and the surrounding waters were its sovereign territory.[40] Defense of the South China Sea was cited as one of the possible missions of the first Chinese aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, which entered service in September 2012.[41]

In October 2011, Nguyễn Phú Trọng, the General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam, made an official visit to China at the invitation of General Secretary of the Communist Party of China Hu Jintao, with the aim of improving bilateral relations in the wake of the border disputes.[36] However, on 21 June 2012, Vietnam passed a law entitled the Law on the Sea, which placed both the Spratly Islands and the Paracel Islands under Vietnamese jurisdiction, prompting China to label the move as "illegal and invalid".[42] Simultaneously, China passed a law establishing the prefecture of Sansha City, which encompassed the Xisha (Paracel), Zhongsha, and Nansha (Spratly) Islands and the surrounding waters.[43] Vietnam proceeded to strongly oppose the measure and reaffirmed its sovereignty over the islands. Other countries surrounding the South China Sea have claims to the two island chains, including Taiwan, Brunei, Malaysia, and the Philippines; nonetheless, the conflict remains predominantly between Vietnam and China.[42][44]

May 2013 Vietnam accused the PRC of hitting one of its fishing boats.[45]

Diplomatic missions



  • Andaya, Barbara Watson. (2006). 0824829557. Retrieved 7 August 2013.
  • Cœdès, George. (1966). 0520050614. Retrieved 7 August 2013.
  • Dardess, John W. (2012). 1442204907. Retrieved 7 August 2013.
  • Hall, Kenneth R., ed. (2008). 0739128353. Retrieved 7 August 2013.
  • Taylor, K. W. (2013). 0521875862. Retrieved 7 August 2013.
  • Taylor, Keith Weller. (1983). 0520074173. Retrieved 7 August 2013.
  • Tsai, Shih-shan Henry. (1996). 1438422369. Retrieved 7 August 2013.
  • Contributor: Far-Eastern Prehistory Association . (1990) University Press of Hawaii. Retrieved 7 August 2013.

External links

  • Chinese embassy in Vietnam (Chinese) (English)
  • Vietnamese embassy in Beijing, China (Vietnamese) (Chinese) (English)
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.