Definitions

Haiphong

Haiphong

[hahy-fong]
Haiphong, city (1989 pop. 1,447,523), NE Vietnam, on a large branch of the Red River delta c.10 mi (20 km) from the Gulf of Tonkin. It is connected with the sea by a narrow access channel that requires continual dredging. A major port of Vietnam and one of the largest ports in SE Asia, Haiphong was developed (1874) by the French and became the chief naval base of French Indochina. A shipbuilding industry and cement, glass, porcelain, and textile works were established by the French. At the beginning of the French-Indochina War (Nov., 1946), French naval vessels shelled the city, killing c.6,000 Vietnamese. After the French departed and the state of North Vietnam was created (1954), the silted-up harbor was reconstructed with Chinese and Soviet aid, and the docks and shipbuilding yards were repaired and modernized. The old French cement plant was enlarged, and fish-canning, chemical-fertilizer, machine-tool, and additional textile industries were established. During the Vietnam War, Haiphong was severely bombed by the United States; the shipyards and the industrial section of the city were devastated, rail connections with Hanoi were disrupted, and thousands of homes were destroyed. The harbor was mined by U.S. naval planes in May, 1972, and effectively sealed until the mines were swept by U.S. forces after the cease-fire agreement in 1973. Reconstruction, while slow, was aided by the dismantling and relocation of many of the factories during the bombings; when returned to Haiphong, much of the machinery was able to function in ruined structures. Haiphong has been substantially rebuilt; a steel plant was built there in the mid-1990s.

Seaport city (pop., 2004 est.: 591,100), northern Vietnam. Situated in the Red River delta, about 10 mi (16 km) from the Gulf of Tonkin, it is the country's third largest city and serves as the port of the capital, Hanoi, about 50 mi (80 km) to the west. Established in 1874, it developed commercially as a port and as the terminus of a railway. It became a leading industrial centre, and after 1954 many new plants were built there with aid given by Soviet-bloc countries and by China. It sustained heavy damage from U.S. bombing during the Vietnam War but was subsequently rebuilt.

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