Pre-Colonial Vietnam's Development under Sino-Vietnamese Cultural and Economic Interactions
International Studies, No. 27 (December 2012), pp. 91-125
18 Pages Posted: 4 Feb 2013 Last revised: 16 Oct 2013
Date Written: February 3, 2013
This article seeks to provide an analysis of how cultural and economic interactions with China affected Vietnam’s course of national development and its perception of China in the pre-colonial period. The article argues that due to geographical proximity, a far more powerful China had long been a permanent and major source of military threat for Vietnam. Nevertheless, in the domain of cultural and economic interactions between the two asymmetric countries, China’s influence on Vietnam appeared to be mixed, sometimes threatening but sometimes beneficial for the smaller country in certain aspects. Therefore, a more balanced account of Vietnam’s relations with China in the pre-colonial era should take into consideration not only the antagonistic rivalry perpetuated by the ‘tyranny of geography,’ but also the resilient cultural and economic symbiosis made possible by the condition of geographical proximity between the two countries.
Keywords: Vietnam-China relations, Vietnam history
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