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493
INDO-CHINA, FRENCH


United Kingdom came second (284,277 tons); Germany, third (205,615 tons).

Commerce.—The value of the trade of French Indo-China increased from £6,796,000 in 1896 to £16,933,000 in 1905, its average annual value for the years 1896-1905 being £12,213,000.

The following table shows the movement of commerce in 1905:

Imports. Exports. Total.




£ £ £
 France 4,314,586  1,233,295  5,547,881 
 French colonies 163,568  76,855  240,423 
 Foreign countries  5,704,257  5,440,156  11,144,413 



 Total  10,182,411   6,750,306   16,932,717 

In 1905 the principal foreign countries from which goods were imported were:

Hong Kong for  £2,473,882[1]
Singapore 598,449  
China and Japan 1,473,704  
Burma and Siam 289,542  
The British Isles 141,381  
The United States  126,425  

The principal countries to which goods were exported were:

Hong Kong for  £1,706,597[1]
China and Japan 497,288
Singapore 360,510
Burma and Siam 80,071
The British Isles 55,539

The principal imports were:

Wheat for £214,156
Rice 226,755
Raw opium 271,582
Raw cotton 167,020
Wine 340,027
Pit coal 206,221
Petroleum 388,163
Gold 203,369
Iron and steel 353,214
Tin 526,428
Cotton thread 672,040
Jute tissues 254,255
Cotton tissues 922,250
Silk tissues 241,113
Paper 344,633
Metal-work  1,170,576
Arms, powder and ammunition  170,882

The principal exports were:

Dried fish, salt and smoked  for £151,415
Rice  2,848,389
Pepper 214,297
Pit coal 182,077
Tin 553,914
Cotton thread 421,162

The customs tariff is substantially the same as that of France, severe import duties being levied on foreign goods. French goods pay no import duty and goods exported thither are exempt from export duty, with the exception of sugar, which is regulated by special legislation, and of various other colonial products (e.g. coffee, cocoa, tea, vanilla, pepper) which pay half the duty applicable to similar foreign products according to the minimum tariff. Goods from French colonies pay no import duty. About 53% of the imports, comprising nearly all manufactured goods of European origin, come from France. China, Japan and Singapore are the other chief sources of imports. The Bank of Indo-China (capital £1,440,000) besides receiving deposits and discounting bills, issues bank-notes and has, till 1920, the privilege of lending money on security.

Communications.—The railway communications of French Indo-China comprise lines from Hai-Phong to Lao-Kay, continued thence via the Nam-Te valley to Yun-nan; from Hanoi northward to Lang-Son and south to Vinh; from Tourane to Kwang-Tri via Hué and from Kan-Tho (Cochin-China) to Khanh-Hoa (Annam) via My-Tho, Saigon, Bien-Hoa and Jiring with branches to Phan-Tiet and Phan-Rang. The three last are the completed sections of a line which will unite Tongking with Cochin-China. The towns in the deltas of the Mekong and Red river are united by a network of canals. The mandarin road following the coast line of Annam connects Tongking with Cochin-China, but the easiest means of communication between these two territories is by sea, the voyage from Saigon to Tourane lasting three days, that from Tourane to Hai-Phong, thirty hours.

History.—The beginning of French influence in Indo-China dates from 1787, when a treaty was concluded between Gia-long, king of Annam (q.v.), and the king of France, whereby Tourane and the island of Pulo-Condore were ceded to the latter. The successors of Gia-long were averse from French influence and instituted persecutions of the Christian missionaries and natives, which led, in the reign of Tu-duc in 1858, to the arrival at Tourane of a French and Spanish fleet. The capture of that town was followed early in 1859 by the storming of Saigon, which Rigault de Genouilly, the French admiral, chose as his base of operations. The French and Spanish were, however, too few to take the offensive, and were forced to submit to a blockade, conducted by the Annamese general Nguyen Tri Phuong, at the head of 20,000 troops. It was not till February 1861 that reinforcements under Admiral Charner reached Saigon, and the Annamese were defeated and My-Tho taken. A revolt against Tu-duc in Tongking, and the stoppage of the rice supplies from Cochin-China, obliged the king to submit, in 1862, to a treaty by which three provinces of Cochin-China were ceded and other concessions accorded to France. However, it was only after further military operations that Tu-duc consented to the ratification of the treaty. In 1863 Admiral de la Grandière was appointed governor of Cochin-China and in the same year France established her protectorate over Cambodia. It was under La Grandière that the exploration of Mekong was undertaken (see Garnier, M J. F.) and that in 1867 the three provinces of Cochin-China left to Annam were annexed. French intervention in Tongking, which began with the expedition of Francois Gamier to Hanoi in 1873, culminated after a costly and tedious war (see Tongking) in the treaties of 1883 and 1884, whereby Annam and Tongking passed under the protectorate of France. The latter treaty, though its provisions were subsequently much modified, remains theoretically the basis of the present administration of Annam.

From 1884 onwards the history of Indo-China may be divided into two distinct periods, characteristic of the political conception and governmental system adopted by the French government. In the first period, 1884-1891, the French agents in Tongking and Indo-China generally proceeded under cover of the treaty of 1884 with the definite conquest and annexation of Tongking and also Annam. Cochin-China itself openly designed to seize the southern provinces of Annam, upon the borders of which it lay. This policy, momentarily checked by the war with China, was vigorously, even violently, resumed after the treaty of Tientsin (June 1885). The citadel of Hué was occupied in July 1885 by General de Courcy. The Annamese government forthwith decided upon rebellion. An improvised attack upon the French troops was led by the ministers Thu-yēt and Thu-ong. The revolt was promptly suppressed. The regent Thu-yēt and the king Ham-N'ghi (crowned in August 1884) fled. At this time the French government, following a very widespread error, regarded Tongking and Annam as two distinct countries, inhabited by populations hostile to each other, and considered the Tongkingese as the oppressed vassals of the Annamese conqueror. To conquer Annam, it was said, would liberate Tongking. This misconception produced the worst consequences. With the flight of the king civil war commenced in Annam. The people of Tongking, whose submission the court of Hué had not dared to demand, began to rise. Taking advantage of this state of anarchy, pirates of the Black Flag, Chinese deserters and Tongkingese rebels devastated the country. The occupation of Tongking became a prolonged warfare, in which 25,000 French, compelled to guard innumerable posts, had to oppose an intangible enemy, appearing by night, vanishing by day, and practising brigandage rather than war. The military expenditure, met neither by commerce, which had become impossible, nor taxation, which the Annamese could not pay nor the French receive, resulted in heavy deficits. The resident-general, Paul Bert, who hoped to gain the confidence of the mandarins by kindness and goodwill, did not succeed in preventing, or even moderating, the action of the military régime. Than-quan, Hon-Koi, Lao-Kay, Pak-Lun and Kao-Bang were occupied, but the troops were driven back to the delta and almost invested in the towns. Disappointed in his hopes and worn out

  1. 1.0 1.1 The transit trade between Hong Kong and Yun-nan via Tongking is of considerable importance (see Tongking).