Dai Viet in the Ming world

Authored by: John K. Whitmore

The Ming World

Print publication date:  August  2019
Online publication date:  August  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138190986
eBook ISBN: 9780429318719
Adobe ISBN:


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For the entire rule of the Ming dynasty, Dai Viet (northern Vietnam, eleventh to eighteenth centuries) was in direct contact with its northern neighbor. 2 The first sixty of those years (1368–1428) saw rulers either of Chinese descent or Chinese themselves control the Vietnamese. The Tran dynasty (1225–1400), originally from Fujian, rose out of the Ngo (Sino-Vietnamese) community of the lower Red River delta. It was succeeded by its powerful minister, Ho Quy Ly (r. 1400–07), also of Chinese descent, who was in turn crushed by the Ming forces of the Yongle Emperor in 1406–07. This Ngo community, developed since the twelfth century, had a dual loyalty, up the Red River to the Vietnamese capital of Thang Long (Ha Noi) as well as up the coast to the Chinese empire itself. The two Ngo dynasties, Tran and Ho, both, on the one hand, linked themselves to the Chinese past (Zhao Tuo of the second century BCE and the Duke of Zhou/Shun of Antiquity respectively) and, on the other, steadfastly held Dai Viet to be separate from and on equal terms with the Ming court. While necessarily dealing with the new Ming regime, they resisted close relations with it. Yet, with the Ming victory of 1407 and through the twenty-year Chinese occupation of Dai Viet, elements of the Ngo community provided key support for what became Jiaozhi, a province of the empire. 3

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