Hoàng Văn Hoan

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Hoàng Văn Hoan (1905–1991) was a personal friend of Ho Chi Minh, a founding member of the Indochinese Communist Party, and a Politburo member of the Lao Dong Party (Vietnam Workers' Party-VWP) from 1960 to 1976. Hoan was a crucial link between the Democratic Republic of Vietnam and China, ambassador to Beijing 1950-1957, and leader of many delegations to China as Vice Chairman of the DRV National Assembly Standing Committee in the 1960s. Known for his pro-Chinese sympathies, Hoan reached the peak of his career in the early 1960s when North Vietnam temporarily adopted a pro-Chinese attitude in the Sino-Soviet dispute. In 1963, when Foreign Minister Ung van Khiem was replaced by the more pro-Chinese Xuan Thuy, Hoan headed the International Liaison Department of the VWP CC. In 1965-1966, however, Soviet-DRV relations started to improve, accompanied by increasing tension between Hanoi and Beijing. In this new atmosphere, the leadership found it advisable to replace both Xuan Thuy and Hoan with cadres who had been less conspicuously associated with Le Duan’s previous pro-Chinese policies. Still, Hoan remained a prominent actor in Sino-Vietnamese relations for a time. In May 1973, he conducted secret talks in Beijing about the Cambodian Civil War. In 1974, Hoan traveled to China for "medical treatment," but his real mission was probably related to the secret (and unsuccessful) Sino-Vietnamese border negotiations from August to November.[1] He lost most of his influence after the Fourth National Party Congress in 1977, when the Vietnamese Communists shifted to a pro-Soviet position. Like Truong Nhu Tang, who went into exile in Paris, Hoang defected and surfaced in Beijing in July 1979, after shaking off political persecution by the Vietnamese communist authorities.

Hoang charged that Vietnam's abuse of its ethnic Chinese minority was "even worse than Hitler's treatment of the Jews" and that Hanoi had become "subservient to a foreign power," referring to the Soviet Union. Hoang disclosed that in 1982 the Vietnamese Communist Party's Central Committee decided that opium production should be used to raise badly needed foreign currency, for example, U.S. dollars [1].

Hoang is also author of a book, A Drop in the Ocean: Hoang Van Hoan's Revolutionary Reminiscences (Beijing Foreign Languages Press, 1988). ISBN 7-119-00604-5


  1. ^ Balázs Szalontai, Hoàng Văn Hoan và vụ thanh trừng sau 1979. BBC Vietnam, April 15, 2010: http://www.bbc.co.uk/vietnamese/vietnam/2010/04/100415_hoangvanhoan.shtml . .

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