Friendship Pass (Chinese:友谊关, formerly 镇南关, Vietnamese: Hữu Nghị Quan, formerly and most commonly known as Ải Nam Quan) (both the present Vietnamese and Chinese names mean Friendship Pass) is a pass near the border between China's Guangxi and Vietnam's Lạng Sơn Province, on the Chinese side of the border. Vietnamese National Route 1A starts near to this gate, which lies less than 5 km north of the town of Đồng Đăng in Lạng Sơn Province, ending in Năm Căn in Cà Mau Province. China National Highway 322 runs from here to Guangxi Province and Hunan Province. This is one of the busiest border trading points of Vietnam.
According to Wikipedia in Chinese, it was built in the early Ming dynasty with the name of Zhen Nan Guan (鎮南關 - South suppressing pass. In 1953, its name was changed into Mu Nan Guan (睦南关 - South watching pass. In 1965, its name was changed into You Yi Guan (友誼关 - Friendship pass) unilaterally between communist China and communist North Vietnam, as the 2 nations had closer political, military and economic ties as North Vietnam was attempting to invade democratic South Vietnam in the Vietnam War.
Traditionally, the Gate served as the exact border between Vietnam and China. However, recently the Gate has been in Chinese control and well within Chinese territory, in Pingxiang, Chongzuo County, Guangxi Autonomous Region, since the early 1950s, and the official border between the two nations is beyond this Gate. The new border was later confirmed by Vietnam and Chinese communist officials by a border treaty enacted in June, 2000, with Vietnamese officials stating that some Vietnamese territory along the Sino-Vietnamese border, namely in Cao Bằng Province and Lạng Sơn Province has been ceded to China. This concession met with an uproar among the Vietnamese populace. Nam Quan Gate served as the border maker and entry point to Vietnam between Vietnam & China, hence there's also a Vietnamese historical saying: "Nước Việt Nam ta trải dài từ Ải Nam Quan đến mũi Cà Mau" (translated as "The Vietnamese nation stretches from Ải Nam Quan to Mũi Cà Mau (Cape Ca Mau)).
- http://www.vlink.com/history/?subaction=showfull&id=1236433066&archive= Los Angeles Times
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