/ton"kin", tong"-/, n.1. a former state in N French Indochina, now part of Vietnam.2. Gulf of, an arm of the South China Sea, W of Hainan. 300 mi. (485 km) long.Also, Tongking, Tonking /ton"king", tong"-/.
* * *Former French protectorate, mainland Southeast Asia, now constituting the greater part of northern Vietnam.It was part of China from the 2nd century BC until the Vietnamese won independence in the 10th century AD. The French seized the area in 1883, making it a protectorate; it was joined with other regions controlled by France in 1887 to form French Indochina. It was the chief focus in the area of anti-French fighting after World War II.
* * *▪ colonial region, Vietnamalso spelled Tongking,northern Vietnam during the French colonial period. The term Tonkin was never officially used by the Vietnamese to describe their country.Tonkin was centred on the densely populated and intensively cultivated Red River delta. It lay north of the Ma River, Ninh Binh being its southernmost major town, and extended northward to China's southern border.Northern Vietnam had a long history of struggles between feudal rivals. It became a French protectorate in 1883 after years of dispute between France and China regarding its suzerainty, which alternated for centuries between the Vietnamese kingdoms and imperial China. Strongly influenced by the Chinese throughout its history, it was the chief focus of anti-French fighting after World War II.
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