Font Size: a A A

The Origins Of Sino-French War:A French Perspective

Posted on:2017-05-08Degree:MasterType:Thesis
Country:ChinaCandidate:Y ZouFull Text:PDF
GTID:2296330485967829Subject:History of international relations
Abstract/Summary:PDF Full Text Request
The Sino-French War is the third major conflict between China and Western Powers in the 19th century, which has exerted profound impact on the histories of all the three participants of China, France and Vietnam. As for China, the war has ended her long suzerainty over Vietnam, opened her southeast border and aggravated her frontier security crises; For Vietnam, the war has resulted in the loss of her sovereignty and made her a protectorate of France; For France, the war directly caused the downfall of the Ferry Ministry, which has generated great influence on French domestic politics and a Franco-German entente. It is why that Chinese historians has paid a lot of attention on this issue, yet due to the restrict of language, the Chinese studies on the war are mainly viewed in Chinese perspective. Not only the study of the minor player of Vietnam is quite limited, but also the research on the major player of France is greatly neglected. Therefore, there are still a lot of France related questions that are to be discussed. And the origin of Sino-French War is one of them.As the invader of Vietnam and the starter of Sino-French War, France is undoubtedly the major focus in our topic. For example, the evolution of French policies in far-east, the strategic purpose of the French invasion in Vietnam, the way the France organizes her forces, the factors that influence the decision-making process of France, etc. However, the mainstream of Chinese scholars on this problem, is to simply impute the cause to the imperialism of French monopolistic capitalism, which cannot possibly answer the above questions. The lack of discussion is greatly related to the unfamiliarity of the French war making process. Again the language problem should take the blame. Therefore, this thesis will thoroughly explain how France go to the war with China from the problem of Vietnam, discuss the evolution of French policies during the whole process and finally analyze the concrete causes of Sino-French War.This thesis consists of three major parts:introduction, main body and conclusion. The part of introduction explains the reason and meaning to work on the chosen topic, describes the time span of this paper, introduces related academic researches from China and abroad as well as proposes the problematique of this paper.The main body of this thesis is divided into five chapters, the first four of which elaborate the whole process of France stepping into the war. The first chapter discusses the embryo of Tonkin affair, analyzes the cause and effect of French first meddling into Tonkin in the early 1870s, explains Vietnam’s changing situation after French intervention, explores French initial motivation towards Tonkin and thus studies the origins of the Franco-Vietnamese conflict; the second and third chapter focus on the evolution of French Vietnam policy since the late 1870s and early 1880s when France began to take action to invade Vietnam, try to discover the details behind every decision making process and find out internal and external factors that had influenced French policy; the fourth chapter presents four rounds of Sino-French negotiations before Sino-French War, aiming to explore French intention during the negotiations, the change of French attitude towards China, main divergences between France and China, and finally to explain the failure of those negotiations and French objectives to start a war with China.Based on a comprehensive understanding of the French provoking war process provided by the above four chapters, the fifth chapter will respectively discuss the causes of French invasion to Vietnam and of France starting the war with China. The reason to make such distinction in the analysis of causes is that French motivations toVietnam and China are different, which makes Franco-Vietnamese conflict and Sino-French War two independent affairs so that their causes cannot be generalized into same thing. There are four reasons to explain French invasion in Tonkin. The thirst for the rich coal mines in Tonkin is the direct cause that drives French troops to Tonkin, instigations of French merchants in the far east and ambitions of French cochin China officials are the main factors that brought France into Tonkin, national pride and chauvinism is the internal dynamic that keeps France stay in the mud of Tonkin while favorable international situation is the external element that encourages France to make an incursion. As for the French considerations to provoke Sino-French war, this paper holds the opinion that France had never intended to start an enduring and massive war with China, the only reason that France started the fire is to deter China and make her retreat in the negotiation table and finally evacuate from the territory of Tonkin. Finally, the conclusion part will summarize all the ideas in the paper.In a word, this paper believes that the history of the origin of Sino-French War is a complex and enduring process and French policies changes all the time with the change of situations. French invasion of Vietnam is not a premeditated governmental plan as have claimed many scholars. It is also worth mentioning that France had no conspiracy to Chinese territory. The war is evitable, both France and China had several chances to reach a consensus and avoid the war and they fail to grasp. Only with many accidental incidents that the war had become what it is and only by examining all the details of the history can we gain a panorama of the war.
Keywords/Search Tags:Sino-French War, Tonkin Affair, Sino-French Negotiation
PDF Full Text Request
Related items