Black flags in Vietnam: The story of a Chinese intervention

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9780049510142: Black flags in Vietnam: The story of a Chinese intervention

The possibility of Chinese intervention in Vietnam has occupied our minds for some years. Few people realize, however, that questions on this same subject were posed, and answered, two lifetimes ago. For the first thousand years of its history, Vietnam was an integral part of China, and during subsequent centuries of self-rule had acknowledged Chinese suzerainty. In the 1850s, France, seeking a base for the political and commercial penetration of southern China, occupied Saigon and the Delta, hoping to navigate the River Mekong. This plan failed, and they turned instead to the Red River, which flows from China through northern Vietnam to Hanoi and the sea. China, weakened by years of domestic strife, seemed in no condition to protect her vassal. Then by a strange quirk of fortune, a band of Chinese freebooters, the Black Flags, who had crossed into Vietnam in search of pillage, defeated two French expeditions. In 1884, Peking went to war. The story of the ensuing conflict, strangely forgotten in the West, but present in every Chinese mind, is told here in vivid detail.

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Published by Allen & Unwin (1968)
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