And in particular, the French Indochina peninsular.
For if it was not for the French or British Colonialist, there would essentially no Laos, and Cambodia and Vietnam would have definitely been a much more smaller country, if it was not for the French to establish the geopolitical borders of Indochina.
Before the French, Laos and Cambodia were separated as “tribute states” that was annexed by Siam and annexed by Vietnam during the 1800’s.
Reestablish a Laos:
The French re-established Cambodia and Laos, but left 22 million Laotians in Northeast Thailand, and kept the 2 million Lao in Laos. Laos has an estimated population of 4 million.
Laos at the time was ruled by 3 different kings in the North (Luang Prabang), Central (Vientiane) and Southern parts of Laos (Champassak) and were kingdom states that were under Siamese rule. If it was not for the French, Laos would have been a part of Thailand today.
Annexation of the Angkor Wat:
As the same with Laos, Cambodia was reestablished as well, and the Angkor Wat was returned back to Cambodia by French colonialist demands. If the French had not came, like Laos, Cambodia would have not existed.
When Saigon was Cambodian:
Through French colonialist and Vietnamese military powers, that Vietnam got to keep
a large part of Cambodia formally known as “Khmer Krom” (Lower
Cambodia), now known as South Vietnam, and essentially giving Vietnamese
rule over Khmer Krom, and renamed the Cambodian fishing city of Prey
Nokor to “Saigon”.
Vietnam Benefits Territory:
Vietnam at the time was more interested in Chinese affairs, than the warring state kingdoms of the Cambodians, Lao, Thai or the Burmese. However, through civil war in the north, did the Vietnamese began to expand southward seeking refuge in the collapsing Cambodian & Cham
(Central Vietnam) empire, and eventually settling heavily in the former Khmer Krom.
Northwest Vietnam (Dien Bien Phu, Lao Cai, Tay
Son Province, etc, etc.) belonged to neither the Siamese/Lao or the
Vietnamese. It was
it’s own Kingdom ruled by other ethnic groups in the 18th-20th century. They were more established politically with
Southern Chinese Tai ethnic groups and the Lao/Burmese, than the lowland Vietnamese who preferred the coastal areas.
Shaping Vietnam’s Borders:
Vietnam was not “united”, but was rather of different kingdoms of people, language and culture, that the French established the Vietnamese North as Tonkin, the Cham people of Central Vietnam as Annam, and the Cambodian of the South as Cochinchina.
The French would eventually cement the geography for the Vietnamese to rule over traditionally non-Vietnamese territory, and established “officially” the borders of “Vietnam” during the Vietnam War.
If it was not for the French colonialist, the
country of Laos and the Angkor Wat would had belonged to Thailand
today, and Vietnam would be a much more smaller and coastal country, centered around
Hanoi and Northern Vietnam.
A veteran of the Vietnam War showed incredible night photos, when US troops opened fire on the Viet Cong sniper who was shooting at the army camp . James Hensinger was then a 22-year-old paratrooper in the173rd Airborne Brigade in April 1970, when the Viet Cong sniper opened fire in Phu Tai, near the coastal city of Da Nang.