New chapter open for Vietnam-France relationship - News VietNamNet
purpose of the present article is to place these agreements in their proper context , which is that of French relations with northern and southern Vietnam, and. French–Vietnamese relations started as early as the 17th century with the mission of the Jesuit father Alexandre de Rhodes. Various traders would visit Vietnam. Vietnam and France have agreed to chart a new course for the bilateral relationship during the talks between General Secretary of CPV Central.
Genouilly arrived at Tourane in August with 14 vessels and 2, men; the French stormed the harbour defenses on September 1 and occupied the town a day later.
France-Vietnam: a shared history, a common future
Genouilly soon recognized, however, that he could make no further progress around Tourane and decided to attack Saigon. Leaving a small garrison behind to hold Tourane, he sailed southward in February and seized Saigon two weeks later. Vietnamese resistance prevented the French from advancing beyond Saigon, and it took French troops, under new command, until to occupy the three adjacent provinces.
The Vietnamese, unable to mount effective resistance to the invaders and their advanced weapons, concluded a peace treaty in Junewhich ceded the conquered territories to France. Five years later additional territories in the south were placed under French rule.
France and Vietnam
The entire colony was named Cochinchina. It had taken the French slightly more than eight years to make themselves masters of Cochinchina a protectorate already had been imposed on Cambodia in It took them 16 more years to extend their control over the rest of the country.
They made a first attempt to enter the Red River delta inafter a French naval officer and explorer named Francis Garnier had shown, in a hazardous expedition, that the Mekong River could not serve as a trade route into southwestern China.
Garnier had some support from the French governor of Cochinchina, but when he was killed in a battle with Chinese pirates near Hanoithe attempt to conquer the north collapsed. Within a decade, France had returned to the challenge.
In Aprilwith the blessing of Paris, the administration at Saigon sent a force of men to Hanoi under Capt. In August the Vietnamese court signed a treaty that turned northern Vietnam named Tonkin by the French and central Vietnam named Annambased on an early Chinese name for the region into French protectorates. It disturbed some in his administration who viewed the restoration of French rule in Indochina as helpful in gaining support from France's new provisional government against an increasingly belligerent Soviet Union.
In November, the French tried to seize the custom's office at the port of Haiphong, near Hanoi. In December, French naval units, claiming that they had been attacked, bombarded Haiphong, killing 6, Ho warned the French that "for every ten men that you kill, we will kill one of yours. It is you who will have to give up in the end. The French employed their Foreign Legion — mercenaries of European descent.
And the French requested and received US help in funding and equipment, including tanks, the French benefiting from the Cold War. By the end ofthe US was paying half of the expense of France's effort in Vietnam. The French did recruit conscripts in France for their war in Vietnam, in order to keep the war from becoming more unpopular at home than it was — a war being called the "dirty war" la sale guerre by France's communists and leftist intellectuals, including Jean Paul Sartre.
With them were members of Vietnam's Catholic minority. The French had given Vietnamese loyal to their faith preferential treatment in government posts, education, and the church tracts of land, and there were Catholics who chose to support the French against the Viet Minh. The fighting dragged on for a couple of years, with the French benefiting from air power, the dropping of napalm, air mobility and paratroopers. The Viet Minh had the desire of a broad spectrum of the Vietnamese population willing to fight to rid their country of foreign rule, and with this the French effort in Vietnam was deteriorating.
This, with pressure from Cambodia, led to the French granting full independence to neighboring Cambodia.
In MarchCambodia's king, Sihanouk, went to Paris and advised the French that if they did not grant Cambodia full independence that Cambodians would turn to the guerrilla movement that had arisen. Militarily, the French were in so much trouble by July that on July 3 they declared themselves ready to grant full independence to Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos. King Sihanouk became a hero in the eyes of his fellow Cambodians and returned to Phnom Penh in triumph.
Independence became official on November 9, France had already given semi-autonomy within the French Union, and as for independence for Vietnam, rather than negotiations with the Viet Minh, the French continued to fight to protect what they considered their interests in Vietnam. The focus of the war was in the extreme northwest of Vietnam, in the province of Dien Bien — a breadbasket area for the Vietnamese.
At the village of Dien Bien Phu near the border with Laos, the French concentrated their major force, aimed at cutting off Viet Minh supply lines to Laos. The Viet Minh isolated the French force, forcing the French to rely on air drops for supplies. It did not save the situation at Dien Bien Phu for the French.
The Viet Minh had arisen from guerrilla warfare to confronting the French in pitched battle. Sensing impending disaster, the French requested armed intervention from the U.
But his help would not be forthcoming. Eisenhower was not happy about France's colonial agenda. And Eisenhower was also upset with the French for having put themselves in the kind of isolated position in Vietnam that common military historians recognize as a blunder.
Also it was deemed necessary to get congressional approval for the U.