|Bien Hoa, Vietnam
Thành phố Biên Hòa
|• Total||268 km2 (103 sq mi)|
|Population (2012 census)|
The capture of Biên Hòa on 16 December 1861 was an important allied victory in the Cochinchina campaign (1858–62). This campaign, fought between the French and the Spanish on the one side and the Vietnamese on the other, began as a limited punitive expedition and ended as a French war of conquest. The war concluded with the establishment of the French colony of Cochinchina, a development that inaugurated nearly a century of French colonial dominance in Vietnam.
Biên Hòa grew into a major suburb of Saigon as the capital city of South Vietnam grew. Following the First Indochina War, tens of thousands of refugees from the northern and central regions of Vietnam—a large portion of whom were Roman Catholics — resettled in Biên Hòa as part of Operation Passage to Freedom. During the Vietnam War, the United States Air Force operated Biên Hòa Air Base near the city. Mortar attacks on U.S. and ARVN targets were frequently staged from residential districts in Biên Hòa.
Like most other areas of Vietnam, post-war Biên Hòa suffered a period of severe economic decline between 1975 and the second half of the 1980s (see also the fall of Saigon). In part, because of its high concentration of former refugees and their descendants who had fled the Communist government of North Vietnam in the mid-1950s, Biên Hòa was the site of small-scale resistance to the Communist government in the months immediately following the fall of the Republic of Vietnam.
In the 1980s, the Vietnamese government initiated the economic reform policy of Đổi Mới[clarification needed] and Biên Hòa experienced an economic resurgence. Biên Hòa and the surrounding areas received large amounts of foreign investment capital, and the area rapidly industrialized.
As of 2005, Biên Hòa is now an industrial center of southern Vietnam, and many factories and warehouses (often funded in collaboration with Japanese, Singaporean, American, Swiss and other foreign investors) operate in the area surrounding the city. Bien Hoa Sugar is located near the city.
With regard to entertainment, the city includes several amusement parks, nightclubs and restaurants lining the Đồng Nai River. Construction has increased rapidly (with many Western-style houses and villas under development), and the real estate market has experienced a series of boom cycles since the mid-1990s.
Biên Hòa also is the location of the Biên Hòa Military Cemetery, a large national cemetery for fallen soldiers and military officials of the former Republic of Vietnam (ARVN). The cemetery today is now neglected by the current communist regime, and many sections of the cemetery are either vandalized, or demolished for the construction of various building projects. Most of the time there was no proper reburial for the skeletal remains, and this caused an outcry by Overseas Vietnamese, most of whom came from the South. The Vietnamese America Foundation, and its program called "The Returning Casualty" are attempting to restore the cemetery and excavate a nearby mass grave.
Đồng Nai Bridge leads out of the south of the city.
- "The Returning Casualty Blog » Bien Hoa Cemetery: The Last of Its Kind in Vietnam". Vietremains.org. 2009-01-07. Retrieved 2012-02-26.
- Excavations of Burial Sites at Vietnamese Re-Education Camps by The Returning Casualty, Julie Martin, MSc in Forensic Archaeology and Anthropology candidate, Cranfield University UK, from southeastasianarchaeology.com