- The northernmost territory of French Indochina, part of Annam, which became the target of strong military action against China by the government of Jules Ferry in the Third French Indochina War of 1881–1885. When in May 1883, a French expedition was ambushed and wiped out by Chinese “Black Flags,” a stronger expeditionary force composed of Foreign Legion and Algerian colonial forces was sent in retaliation and, through 1884, campaigned from Haiphong into the interior to clash with the Black Flags at Tuyen Quang and then to capture Lang Son near the Chinese border. Although the heavy losses and cost of the expedition toppled Ferry’s government, French forces had prevailed by April of 1885, when China signed a treaty. The Chinese momentarily renounced the peace, but the bombardment of Hanoi and Haiphong produced a second and final peace in August 1885, whereupon Tonkin became a French protectorate .See also <
>.FURTHER READING:Quinn, Frederick. The French Overseas Empire. Westport, CA: Praeger, 2002;Wesseling, H. L. The European Colonial Empires 1815–1919. New York: Longman, 2004.CARL CAVANAGH HODGE
Encyclopedia of the Age of Imperialism, 1800–1914. 2014.