Third Chinese domination of Vietnam

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

Nanzhao invaded the area of Jiaozhi modern day Vietnam multiple times in the 9th century until the Cao Bian (Cao Biền) was ordered by the Tang dynasty to defeat Nanzhao and restored Tang rule to Jiaozhou.

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 Jiedushi (military 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 local self-appointed governor who ended the practice of governors sent by the Imperial court from other regions.

After the Tang dynasty was ousted by the Later Liang (Five Dynasties) in northern China, China split in different Kingdoms during the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period. The Emperors of Later Liang in Northern Central China and the Southern Han in Southern China both claimed to be the sole legitimate Emperors of China. The Jiedushi Khúc Thừa Mỹ (Qu Changmei) chose to recognize the Later Liang in Northern Central China as the legitimate rulers and acknowledged themselves as part of the Later Liang and resisted and fought against the Southern Han. Jiaozhi did not declared independence.

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 and defeated Khúc Thừa Mỹ. In 931, however, Dương Đình Nghệ (Yang Tingyi) 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 but not emperor, established the Ngô Dynasty and his capital at Cổ Loa (previously a capital in the 3rd century BC) and set up a centralized government.

After his death Annam became embroiled in the Anarchy of the 12 Warlords.

The state of Đại Việt was declared and the title of Emperor was chosen instead of King by Đinh Bộ Lĩnh after taking over the entire Annam at the end of the 12 warlords period. He was from the north central area.


  1. 1 2 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
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