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Tonkin(tŏn`kĭn`, tŏng`–), historic region (c.40,000 sq mi/103,600 sq km), SE Asia, now forming the heartland of N Vietnam. The capital was HanoiHanoi
, city (1997 est. pop. 3,500,800), capital of Vietnam, on the right bank of the Red River. It is the transportation hub of the country, with two airports and rail connections to Kunming, China, as well as to the main Chinese system centering on Beijing; it is also linked
..... Click the link for more information. . Tonkin was bordered on the north by China, on the east by the Gulf of Tonkin, on the south by the historic region of AnnamAnnam
, historic region (c.58,000 sq mi/150,200 sq km) and former state, in central Vietnam, SE Asia. The capital was Hue. The region extended nearly 800 mi (1,290 km) along the South China Sea between Tonkin on the north and Cochin China on the south.
..... Click the link for more information. , and on the S and W by Laos. The region of Tonkin was conquered in 111 B.C. by the Chinese, who ruled until they were ousted in A.D. 939, at which time the area became independent. The inhabitants began a southward expansion, and by 1471 they had acquired the kingdom of ChampaChampa
, the kingdom of the Chams, which flourished in Vietnam from the 2d cent. A.D. until the 17th cent. At its greatest extent it occupied Annam as far north as central Vietnam. Its culture was strongly affected by Hindu influences.
..... Click the link for more information. . After the division of the Vietnamese lands between two dynasties in 1558, the northern half was ruled from the city of Tonkin (modern Hanoi); thus the name of Tonkin came to be applied by Europeans to the whole area. The two regions were reunited in 1802 under the rule of the restored line of Hue as part of the empire of Vietnam. To open the Red River to French trade, French expeditions were sent into Tonkin in 1873 and 1882; that of 1882 resulted in a full-scale colonial war, complicated by Chinese intervention (China also claimed the region) against the French. In 1884, Annam accepted a French protectorate, conceding France a separate protectorate over Tonkin with control more direct than over Annam. In 1887, Tonkin became part of the Union of Indochina. In World War II, the region was occupied (1940–45) by the Japanese. After the war Tonkinese and Annamese nationalist leaders joined in demanding independence for the state of Vietnam, and Tonkin was torn by guerrilla warfare between the French and the Viet Minh nationalists led by Ho Chih Minh. The name also appears as Tongking and Tonking.
(1) The Portuguese corrupt pronunciation of “Donkinh, ” one of the names of the capital of medieval Vietnam, the city of Thang Long (present-day Hanoi; literally, “eastern capital”).
(2) The European name for the northern part of Vietnam from the 16th to 19th centuries.
(3) The name of the region of Vietnam situated north of the present-day province of Thanhhoa after the country’s takeover in 1884 by French colonialists. In official French documents the area was referred to as the protectorate of Tonkin. In 1887 it became part of the Indochinese Union. After the Democratic Republic of Vietnam was formed in 1945, the region was renamed Bac Bo (“northern section”).
The name “Tonkin” is now obsolete.