Third Chinese domination of Vietnam

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The third Chinese domination refers to the time in Vietnam from the end of the Anterior Lý Dynasty in 602 to the rise of the Khúc family by Khúc Thừa Dụ in 905 or until 938, following the expulsion of the Southern Han invaders by Ngô Quyền. This period saw two Chinese imperial dynasties rule over an area of northern Vietnam roughly corresponding to the modern Hanoi region. From 602–618, this area was under the late Sui Dynasty, under three districts in the Red River Delta. From 618 to 905, the Tang Dynasty became the new Chinese rulers of Vietnam.


During this time, Vietnam was known as:


The Tang Dynasty quelled three revolts in northern Vietnam between 722 and 728, using an army of natives pressed into service under the leadership of Chinese generals.[1] The generals were particularly brutal in suppressing the insurrection: one ordered the decapitated bodies of 80,000 scalped and flayed rebels stacked into a pyramid.[1] Although Chinese governors were sent to rule over Annam, a series of local emperors were unofficial rulers under Chinese control:

Restored autonomy[edit]

Taking advantage of the disturbances in the Tang Empire, a notable from Cuc Bo (in the present-day Hải Dương Province), Khúc Thừa Dụ, made himself governor in 905, and in 906 the Tang court had to recognize this fait accompli. Khúc Thừa Dụ was a rich man who was admired by people, and he pushed out the Tang from the region, but later worked with the Tang to establish himself as the first Vietnamese governor who ended the practice of Chinese governorships in the region.

Khuc Thua Du's son, Khúc Hạo, tried to set up a national administration; in 930 the Southern Han dynasty, which had taken power in southern China, again invaded the country. In 931, however, Dương Đình Nghệ took up the fight and made himself governor. After Dương Đình Nghệ was murdered by one of his aides (Kiều Công Tiễn), the fight was led by Ngô Quyền, who in 938 clashed with a Southern Han expeditionary corps approaching by sea. The Southern Han fleet entered Vietnam via the Bạch Đằng estuary (mouth of the river which flows into Hạ Long Bay) where iron-tipped stakes had been sunk into the riverbed by Ngô Quyền. At high-tide a Vietnamese flotilla attacked the enemy then, pretending to escape, lured the Southern Han boats into the estuary beyond the stakes still covered by the tide. At low-tide, the entire Vietnamese fleet counter-attacked, forcing the enemy to flee and sink, impaled on the barrage of stakes.

The Bạch Đằng victory in 938 put an end to the period of Chinese imperial domination. In 939 Ngô Quyền proclaimed himself king, established the Ngô Dynasty and his capital at Cổ Loa (previously a capital in the 3rd century BC) and set up a centralized government.


  1. ^ a b Benn, Charles D. (2002). Daily life in traditional China: the Tang dynasty. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 28. ISBN 0-313-30955-8. Retrieved 2011-01-09. 
Preceded by
Early Lý Dynasty
Dynasty of Vietnam
Succeeded by
Khúc family/Ngô Dynasty