Opinions on French Indochina

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French Indochina (French: Indochine française; Khmer: សហភាពឥណ្ឌូចិន; Vietnamese: Đông Dương thuộc Pháp, pronounced [ɗoŋm zɰəŋ tʰuə̀k fǎp], frequently abbreviated to Đông Pháp; Lao: ຝຣັ່ງແຫຼັມອິນດູຈີນ), officially known as the Indochinese Union (French: Union indochinoise) after 1887 and the Indochinese Federation (French: Fédération indochinoise) after 1947, was a grouping of French colonial territories in southeast Asia.

A grouping of the three Vietnamese regions of Tonkin (north), Annam (centre), and Cochinchina (south) with Cambodia was formed in 1887. Laos was added in 1893 and Kouang-Tchéou-Wan (Guangzhouwan) in 1898. The capital was moved from Saigon (in Cochinchina) to Hanoi (Tonkin) in 1902 and again to Da Lat (Annam) in 1939. In 1945 it was moved back to Hanoi.

After the fall of France during World War II, the colony was administered by the Vichy government and was under Japanese occupation until March 1945, when the Japanese overthrew the colonial regime. Beginning in May 1941, the Viet Minh, a communist army led by Ho Chi Minh, began a revolt against the Japanese. In August 1945 they declared Vietnamese independence and extended the war, known as the First Indochina War, against France.

In Saigon, the anti-Communist State of Vietnam, led by former Emperor Bảo Đại, was granted independence in 1949. On 9 November 1953, the Kingdom of Laos and the Kingdom of Cambodia became independent. Following the Geneva Accord of 1954, the French evacuated Vietnam and French Indochina came to an end.


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