The today Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia were once under the French Colony. Then, they made up the Indochina which included Cochin China, Cambodia, Annam, Tonkin, Laos, and Kwangchowan. All these made the Indochina under the French.
The French took control of these countries from 1887 during the colonial period through independence and in the subsequent Vietnam wars. The intention of France in Vietnam was for their economic gain at the disadvantage of the people of Vietnam.
For instance, once Vietnam blossomed with Zinc, tin, and coal. Today it does not. The natural resources were over exploited by the French. Besides, the French imposed exorbitant tax on Vietnam on essentials like salt, rice, and opium which made 44% of the French budget.
Other cash crops like rice, rubber, coffee, and tea were in the hands of the French. Not only Vietnam, but also Cambodia had little to gain from their production of pepper, rubber, and rice. Laos was milked dry of its low timber harvest.
The Japanese in Vietnam
When the Japanese invaded Vietnam in 1941, they forced the French out. The Vietnamese thought it was a relief for them only to realize that the Japanese wouldn’t support their independence, but to extend the exploitation of the French.
Vietnamese reciprocated by forming a Guerilla force that included the Peasant rebel and the urban nationalists. They called the force the “Minh.” They battled until the end of Second World War that saw their independence.
The French came back demanding for their colony, but the Vietnamese did not take their independence to chance. They battled until the French retreated.