The fate of French Indo-China, 1940–45
in The French empire at war 1940–45
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Indo-China was bound to be considered a special case by the Vichy regime and the Free French movement. The development of a coexistence policy between Jean Decoux's administration and the Japanese military was never equivalent to Vichy collaborationism in Europe and Africa. Between late 1940 and 1945, the French administration in Indo-China was forced by circumstances to plough a distinctive furrow in order to survive intact. The Franco-Japanese clash at Langson set an important precedent. In October 1940 Decoux returned from a tour of Indo-China's colonial capitals convinced that the suppression of Vietnamese nationalism was fundamental to the continued exclusion of the Japanese. After the uprisings in late 1940, an inverse equation was soon established. As Decoux's real power and room for manoeuvre diminished in 1940-1941, so his determination to impose French authority upon Indo-China increased.

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