The early days - 1000 years of chinese domination- Liberation from china - China bites back - Le lo enters the scene - The coming of the europeans - Lording it over the people - Tay son rebrllion - The last of the nguyens - The french takeover - Independence aspiration - WWII breaks out - A false dawn - War with the french - A separate south vietnam - A new north vietnam - The north south war - Enter the cavalry - The turing point - Nixon his doctrine- Other foreign involvement - The fall of the south - Reunification of vietnam - Opening the door - Vietnam today


The Chines e conqu er ed the Red River Delta in the 2nd c entury BC. In the following c enturies, large numbers of Chinese settlers, of ficials and scholars moved south to impose a centralized state sys tem on the Vietnamese. Needless to say, local rulers weren't very happy about this and in the most famous ac t of r esistance, in AD 40, the Trung Sisters (Hai Ba Trung) rallied the people, raised an army and led a revolt that sent the Chinese governor fleeing. The sisters proclaimed themselves queens of an inde­pendent Vietnam. In AD 43 the Chinese counterattacked and, rather than suffer the ignominy of surrender, th e Trung Sist ers threw themselves into the Hat Giang River. There were numerous small-scale rebellions against Chinese rule - which was characterized by tyranny, forced labor and insatiable demands for tribute - from the 3rd to 6th centuries, but all were crushed. During this era, Vietnam was a key port of call on the sea route be­tween China and India. The Chinese introduced Confucianism, Taoism and Mahayana Buddhism to Vietnam, while the Indians brought Theravada Buddhism. Monks carried with them the scientif ic and medical knowledge of these two great civilizations and Vietnam was soon producing its own great doctors, botanists and scholars. The early Vietnamese learned much from the Chinese, including the construction of dikes and irrigation works. These innovations helped make rice the 'staff of life ', and paddy agriculture remains the foundation of the Vietnamese way of life to this day. As food became more plentiful the population expanded, forcing the Vietnamese to seek new lands. The ominous Truong Son Mountains prevented westward expansion, so the Vietnamese headed south.