During the First Indochina War, the Chinese population of southern Vietnam played an important role in trade between the zones occupied by French and rival military forces, and with the wider region. So flourishing did this illicit trade become that it forced the main contenders in the war to change their economic policies. Chinese Nationalist and communist organizations were implicated in this trade along with individual merchants. Exploring this chapter in the history of the Chinese in Vietnam complicates depictions of the Chinese as profiteers of questionable loyalty, or as inevitably in conflict with the dominant power of the day.
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