What do the Vietnamese think of the Ming dynasty?

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What do the Vietnamese think of the Ming dynasty?

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The Ming were colonial thiefs and they are criminals of humanity too.

When the Ming entered Vietnam: there were 5,1 million people (according to the Ming census in 1407)

When the Ming left Vietnam in 1427: population reduced to 1,8 million. (Li Tana 1998:160)

That's a forgotten 15th century version of the Amernian Genocide. But hey chinese communists, “sinophillists” love it. That why thr majority of Vietnamese around the world support for Trump. Trump will sent these criminals to hell.

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Very negative

Vietnamese history portrays the Ming Dynasty as a cruel invader, and the Vietnamese are heroes who defeated the invaders. Vietnamese politicians used anti-Chinese ideas to successfully shape Vietnam's nationalism. This is helpful to the Vietnamese, but it also hurts. Because hatred will make you lose more things.

The Vietnamese unavoidable fact is that the Vietnamese are a member of Baiyue and participated in the formation of the Chinese nation. so the Vietnamese were also Chinese for the first thousand years, and Vietnam was also a part of China. Today's Vietnamese and Chinese still are highly similar.

But Vietnam is too far away from the political center of China, and gradually formed its own language and culture, and established an independent country. The Chinese did not agree with separatism, so many dynasties tried to reunify Vietnam, and the Ming Dynasty was just one of them. In the end, the Ming Dynasty realized that Vietnam was no longer Chinese, so it left Vietnam and recognized Vietnam's independence.

The Chinese agreed that the wars with Vietnam and Korea were all civil wars. The Americans also fought a war after independence from Britain, but people would not think of this kind of war as an invasion, let alone hate each other for it.

This is very similar to Taiwan today, except that Taiwan has not developed an independent culture and has no determination to wage an independent war. So they cannot succeed in independence like Vietnam and Korea.

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I will try to summarize as follows

When thinking of the Ming Dynasty, most Vietnamese people often refer to the Lam Son uprising 蓝 山 起义 (Lam Son Khoi Nghia) led by Le Loi in Dai Viet 1418–1427 against the Ming rule. After this uprising was the establishment of the Hau Le Dynasty 1428–1789.

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Since the Ming Dynasty, Chinese literature has flourished with many types of novels, the most prominent are the four great works: 四大名著

I believe most Vietnamese already read these.

(1) Water Margin (水滸傳)

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(2) Three Kingdoms (三国)

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(3) Journey to the West (西遊記)

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(4) Dream of the Red Chamber (紅樓夢).

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Furthermore, the Vietnamese all knew that the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) was the last Han feudal dynasty of China. Then came Anti-Qing sentiment 反淸复明 (a movement that took place mainly in China to protest, against the Qing rule (1636–1912), and the famous Heaven and Earth Society 天地會 which was very influential in Vietnam in the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century.

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In Vietnam history, Ming dynasty was described as doing the most terrible things to Vietnamese people during their 20-year ruling 1407–1427. Very terrible.

Some usual depiction we were taught is like this :

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Just for culture artifacts, here it is :

"Once our army enters Annam, except Buddhist and Taoist text; all books and notes, including folklore and children book, should be burnt . The stelae erected by China should be protected carefully, while those erected by Annam, should be completely annihilated . Do not spare even one character ."

Too much of Vietnamese culture was burnt just under 20 years and will never be found again. Killing and torture was like daily activity. And probably more terrible things if you want to hear more.

That said, as a Vietnamese, I feel horrible and did not like their ruling at all. And because of that, I have not much liking for Ming dynasty in general.

But Vietnam did the same thing to Champa so I do not want to put too much arguement here (sigh!). Just want to put historical facts.

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The most brutal conquering: The 4th China conquest of Vietnam did not resurface until 500 years later in 1407 to 1427 when the Ming Dynasty invaded Dai Viet (Vietnam at the time). The Ming Dynasty took Vietnam and suppressed it even further by the emperor’s command:

兵入。除釋道經板經文不燬。外一切書板文字以至俚俗童蒙所習。如上大人丘乙已之類。片紙隻字悉皆燬之。其境內中國 所立碑刻則存之。但是安南所立者悉壞之。一字不存。

“Once our army enter Annam (Vietnam currenly), except Buddhist and Taoist text; all books and notes, including folklore and children book, should be burnt. The stelas erected by China should be protected carefully, while those erected by Annamese (Vietnamese currently), should be completely annihilated, do not spare even one character.”

Vietnam’s economy suffered greatly. Valuables artifacts, gold, gems, jade, pieces of arts were transported to China. The Ming Dynasty ruled on Vietnam had its tolled until Le Loi’s uprising against the Ming Dynasty. Le Loi (Le Thai To), one of Vietnam’s most beloved heroes led a resistance and defeated the Ming Dynasty in 1428.

Vietnam lost its past due to the burning history in efforts to eliminate the memory of the past resistance!

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Regarding how the Vietnamese think of the Ming Dynasty, Kien Duy Nguyen has provided an excellent summary. Also thanks to Ben Soo who sent me this question, with this short answer today, I would like to provide some historical viewpoints of the Vietnamese people in the XV century about the rule of Ming Dynasty in Vietnam (1407–1427).

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The genocide or the total destruction of Vietnamese culture: The burning of Vietnamese books and stelae during the occupation of Ming Dynasty in Vietnam (1407–1427).

It should be better to quote from “Bình Ngô đại cáo” (“平吳大誥”), a masterpiece of Vietnamese literature in XV century. Written by Nguyễn Trãi (阮廌, 1380–1442) in 1428, after the final defeat and the withdrawal of all Ming troops from Vietnamese soil, the “Bình Ngô Đại Cáo” or the “Proclamation of Victory over the reign of Wu (i.e. Ming Dynasty)” briefly concluded the rule of Ming Dynasty in two meaningful verses:

“Độc ác thay, trúc Nam Sơn không ghi hết tội (罄南山之竹不足以書其惡)

Dơ bẩn thay, nước Đông Hải không rửa hết mùi (決東海之水不足以濯其污)”

Literally, these two meaningful verses from “Bình Ngô đại cáo” can be literally into English as follows:

“All the water of the Eastern Sea will not suffice to cleanse the mire;

All the bamboos of the Southern Mountain will not adequately register their crimes!”

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The page with these two meaningful verses from Nguyễn Trãi’s masterpiece (reprinted in 1825).

In my opinion, these two sentences should be a great summary of what the Vietnamese think about the Ming Dynasty.

Moreover, I would say thank you to our Vietnamese ancestors such as Lê Lợi, Nguyễn Trãi, Trần Nguyên Hãn and other Vietnamese heroes a thousand times, for their bravery and fortitude during the war against the Ming Dynasty in order to regain the independence of Vietnam as well as to protect the Vietnamese culture against the Chinese assimilation policies (The famous “Lam Sơn Uprising” in 1416–1427).

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Lê Lợi, Nguyễn Trãi and his comrades during Lam Sơn Uprising (1416–1427).

Vietnamese are very forgiving. However, regarding what the Ming Dynasty did in the past, from generations to generations, Vietnamese people will never forget!

Cheers,

Andrew

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Thanks for the A2A, Rui Zhang.

I am afraid that the Ming Dynasty is not viewed favorably by most Vietnamese. This is not surprising considering these following factors:

The Ming Dynasty was responsible for the only Imperial Chinese successful invasion and occupation of Vietnam since Vietnam gained independence until the 19th century. The occupation was terrible, at least according to official records. It just so happens that this was taught thoroughly in Vietnamese history textbooks. Right after this, Vietnam entered the Imperial Golden Age.

China-Vietnam relationship was always very tense since the Ming Dynasty came into existence. Compared to the Song and the Qing, the Ming was much more demanding and authoritative, which corresponds to the rise of neo-Confucianism in both Vietnam and China, and one of the most chaotic chapters in Vietnamese history. After a short period of Golden Age, Vietnam fell into constant civil war. This put whoever held the capital to be in a much weaker position when negotiating with the Celestial Empire compared to other dynasties.

This is small, but the Ming asked for more tribute on unjustified accounts.

Vietnamese records of the Ming occupation wasn’t pretty. It was said that the Ming burned all the books and records they could find except the Chinese ones, slaughtered all former dynasty’s descendants, and took the country’s best back to China. The administration was terrible and rigged. Taxes were unbalanced and harsh. Vietnamese culture was squashed, traditional beliefs were banned. The Ming was ready and determined to absorb Jiaozhi to the Empire, making Han people and culture the dominant force in Vietnamese land. I had no doubt that if the Ming had their way, the dominant ethnicity in Vietnam would be Han, similar to most of China’s provinces. However, this could be propaganda, after all, we learned from the best. This leads to the final point of my explanation.

More records were written down after the occupation and most of them survive to this day. This left a well-documented history for modern scholars to study and analyze. Nearly all the records before the Ming occupation were either burned by the Ming, or by the Vietnamese dynasties themselves.

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