National Geographic News
Photo of Po Nagar Cham towers.

The Cham towers in Nha Trang, Vietnam, were built between the 7th and 12th centuries.

PHOTOGRAPH BY STEVE RAYMER, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC CREATIVE

Adam Bray

for National Geographic

Published June 16, 2014

Tensions in the South China Sea reignited last month, when China deployed a government-owned oil drilling rig in an area also claimed by Vietnam just south of the Paracel Islands.

Anti-China protesters broke into and torched Chinese, Taiwanese, and South Korean factories in southern Vietnam. According to media reports, as many as 21 people died in the chaos, and more than a hundred were injured. Thousands of Chinese workers fled the country.

Under dispute are the Spratly and Paracel archipelagos, which are mostly uninhabited, and a central region of the South China Sea, which is home to overlapping claims by China, Vietnam, Taiwan, Malaysia, Brunei, and the Philippines.

Map of the South China Sea.
NG STAFF. SOURCE: COUNCIL ON FOREIGN RELATIONS

But the dispute between Vietnam and China is grabbing the most attention. Both have referred to historical ties with the islands, in China's case dating to the Han Dynasty (206 B.C. to A.D. 220), to support their claims in the region.

Meanwhile, in Vietnam the roughly 160,000 members of the Cham ethnic minority, whose forebears dominated the South China Sea for more than a millennium, are quietly on the sidelines of the escalating conflict.

Two centuries after their then-diminished dominion ended violently at the hands of Vietnamese Emperor Minh Mang, the Cham remain wary of engaging in such disputes, the current version of which is a reminder of the symbolic and economic importance of the South China Sea and of the Cham culture that once was enriched by trade across it.

Kingdoms of Champa

For centuries the South China Sea was known by navigators throughout Asia as the Champa Sea, named for a great empire that controlled all of central Vietnam, from the northern border of today's Quang Binh Province to roughly the southern border of Binh Thuan Province.

At the peak of the Champa empire, from around the 6th to the 15th centuries, its various kingdoms, presided over by regional royal families, also included sizable portions of eastern Cambodia and Laos.

The oldest artifacts of a distinctly Cham civilization—brick flooring, sandstone pillars, and pottery found at Tra Kieu in Quang Nam Province—date to the second century A.D.

A notable Champa legacy is the red-brick temples, or Cham towers, the oldest found dating to the seventh and eighth centuries. The temple city of My Son, near Hoi An, preserved as a UNESCO World Heritage site, has nearly 70 individual structures.

Archaeologists have identified several Cham citadels and some 25 temple sites (each with varying numbers of towers) still standing along Vietnam's coast. Recent explorations suggest that hundreds of ruined sites may line rivers leading into the Central Highlands and beyond to eastern Cambodia and Laos.

Photo of a bas-relief sculpture from the My Son temple.
This bas-relief sculpture is one of many in the temple city of My Son, a UNESCO World Heritage site in Vietnam.
Photograph by Luca I. Tettoni, Corbis

Deep Roots

Malayo-Polynesian-speaking ancestors of the Cham are thought to have arrived in Vietnam by sea from Borneo. Most scholars believe the Cham are descendants of the Sa Huynh, who occupied the same area from roughly 1000 B.C. to the second century A.D., when the Cham culture began flowering.

Sa Huynh relics have been found as far away as Taiwan, the Philippines, and Malaysia, indicating that the people sailed, traded, and settled around what was then the Champa Sea.

The Sa Huynh adorned their dead with agate, carnelian, and glass beads from India and Iran, as well as rare gold and glass beads from the Mediterranean—all likely traded by sea—and entombed the bodies in large clay jars.

Ornate burial earrings included a style consisting of a hanging bar with a horned animal head on either end. The earrings were often made of glass, gemstones, or jade from Taiwan.

Recent excavations uncovered evidence of Sa Huynh burial sites (and Cham relics) not only on the Vietnamese mainland and offshore islands such as Phu Quy, but also on the islands of Namyit and Spratly—ground zero of today's contested area.

Champa's Reach

The Cham had a vast trade network, with routes extending northeast to China, Taiwan, and Japan and south to Malaysia and Indonesia.

Their wealth—gold and silver, gems, spices, aromatic agarwood, exotic animals, and slaves—was renowned all the way to India, the Middle East, and even the farthest reaches of North Africa.

During Champa's golden age, a Muslim geographer wrote that the islands "produced ivory, camphor, nutmeg, mace, cloves, agarwood, cardamom, cubeb, and other substances."

Several shipwrecks are evidence of trade between Champa and the Philippines via the Spratly Islands. One vessel—the Pandanan wreck, found off the Philippine island of Palawan—is believed to have left the Champa coast sometime between 1450 and 1470, carrying green-glazed ceramics made in the Cham kingdom of Vijaya.

In 1997 Philippine authorities salvaged a centuries-old vessel off Thitu Island in the Spratlys containing about a thousand granite carvings that appear to have been taken from unknown Champa sites.

Many of the habitable islands in the western part of the ancient Champa Sea held Cham communities. Cham temple ruins, pottery, jewelry, and bricks have been found on Phu Quy, for instance. People in the area today, although considered ethnic Vietnamese, speak a dialect unlike that of mainlanders, and their crafts and culture are more similar to those of the Cham than the Vietnamese.

Farther north, the islands of Ly Son and Cham were also major Cham satellites.

Photo of a  Cham woman working on a loom.
The Cham are renowned for their handwoven textiles. Their fabrics are exported, then often passed off as local goods.
Francois Perri/REA/Redux

A Mix of Faiths

The Cham took up Hinduism early, likely converted by Indian merchants, and blended it with their traditional beliefs. Hindu Cham are called Balamon.

Before the end of the first millennium, Muslim traders introduced Islam, and Muslim Cham became known as Bani.

As early as 986, Chinese records refer to communities on the island of Hainan that were made up of Cham Muslims, whose descendants today are Utsuls.

In addition to their respective Muslim and Hindu practices, Balamon and Bani both worship ancestors, kings, and Cham deities. Bani, and some Balamon, observe a variation of Ramadan called Ramawan.

Ravages of War

The Champa empire was the chief rival of the Khmer Empire, in Cambodia, and Dai Viet, an early Vietnamese kingdom to the north. Champa's conflicts with Dai Viet seem to have started at the end of the tenth century, as the Vietnamese pushed south to the Cham kingdom of Vijaya (today's Quy Nhon).

Bas reliefs in a temple at Angkor depict an epic naval battle between the Khmer and Champa in the 12th century. The Cham navy was unrivaled, but on land the Cham suffered many costly defeats.

Territorial wrangling continued until 1471, when Vijaya was finally captured, and by the mid-1600s the Champa empire had been reduced to its southern kingdom of Panduranga (now Ninh Thuan and Binh Thuan Provinces, where most of Vietnam's Cham descendants live today). By then, a Cham diaspora had spread to Cambodia, Hainan, the Philippines and Malaysia.

In 1832, Emperor Minh Mang set out to crush the last vestiges of Cham autonomy and stamp out the culture, burning Cham villages and farmland and destroying ancient temples. Many Cham fled to Cambodia, where their descendants number in the hundreds of thousands today.

A Rich but Beleaguered Culture

Physical evidence of Cham culture in Vietnam is disappearing. In Binh Thuan Province and elsewhere, Cham temple sites and ancient tombs have been overrun by paddies, dragonfruit plantations, and shrimp farms. In Quang Ngai Province, temple sites have been damaged or destroyed by gravel quarrying.

The Vietnamese continue to build Buddhist temples atop the ruins of Cham religious sites and to use bricks from Cham citadels to build their houses.

Hill tribes relocated from the far north of Vietnam now live in Champa's last capital, Song Luy, brought down during Minh Mang's purge. There's no mention of Song Luy in Vietnamese history books, and it's ignored in official tourism materials, despite its proximity to the country's largest resort, in Mui Ne.

Hoi An is Vietnam's best known ancient port town. Popular histories and today's tourist brochures, however, neglect to mention its centuries-old Cham roots.

The Cham are renowned for their textiles, handwoven on looms. Their fabrics are exported (and often imitated), then passed off as local goods and sold in tourist markets by local tribes in cities like Louangphabang (Laos), Siem Reap (Cambodia), Chiang Mai (Thailand), and, closer to home in Vietnam, Sa Pa.

After the Vietnamese conquered Cham kingdoms, they routinely co-opted their musicians, whose style had a significant influence on early Vietnamese court music. Today every major resort or restaurant seems to have Cham musicians on staff (although only two families remain who make the traditional Cham instruments—a wooden drum and a small, clarinet-like woodwind instrument).

The Cham are one of the few ethnic minorities in Indochina to have developed their own writing system, based on Sanskrit. Very few Cham can still read and write their native language, and the spoken language is at risk of eradication too, because government policy requires the use of Vietnamese in schools, commerce, and public activities.

Cham living conditions are generally inferior to those in ethnic Vietnamese (Kinh) villages. Mud houses with crumbling walls are common, and most Cham don't have running water, let alone refrigeration. Electricity is intermittent.

The Vietnamese government no longer allows Cham dead to lie in state in family homes for several weeks before burial. Some Cham practice "second burial," which involves exhuming the remains on the anniversary of a person's death and holding a feast for friends, family, and neighbors with prayers, loud music, and religious rites.

Photo of a child standing in the doorway of a Cham Hindu temple.
A child stands in the doorway of a Cham temple in south-central Vietnam.
PHOTOGRAPH BY OWEN FRANKEN, CORBIS

Political Sensitivities

Given how clear and long-standing the evidence of Cham influence over the South China Sea is, why doesn't Vietnam now use the authority of Champa history to bolster its territorial claims in the region?

Relations between the Hanoi government and ethnic minorities are sensitive. In 2001 and 2004 massive human rights protests by hill tribes resulted in deaths and mass imprisonments. For some time after that, the Central Highlands were sealed off to foreigners.

Sporadic protests and riots on a smaller scale still occur, and accusations of human rights violations by the government are common in minority areas.

Although they're full Vietnamese citizens, the Cham are nonetheless a conquered people. If they themselves raise the issue of Champa's historical sovereignty over the South China Sea, which in turn would raise questions about their lost autonomy in their ancestral land, this could upset the Vietnamese government.

Neither the Cham nor the Vietnamese government want to unsettle the current balance.

Adam Bray has contributed to nearly 40 books on travel in Southeast Asia. He is a former resident of Phan Thiet, Vietnam, where he studied Cham culture and history and learned to read and write modern Cham. He has located and explored many undocumented Cham ruins.

25 comments
Steven Pham
Steven Pham

As I read this article again, I wonder if National Geographic and its editors have any basic common sense by allowing such irrational, nonsensical and biased article be published. This article contains personal biases and opinions of one man that claimed to have "lived" in Vietnam. Let us look at one (1) example without going through and dissect this badly written piece of novel. The author wrote:


"The Vietnamese government no longer allows Cham dead to lie in state in family homes for several weeks before burial. Some Cham practice 'second burial,' which involves exhuming the remains on the anniversary of a person's death and holding a feast for friends, family, and neighbors with prayers, loud music, and religious rites."


First, I am no fan of the communist regime in Vietnam. Nevertheless, let us be fair and have some common sense.  What country in this day and age allows one to have the dead lies in the family home for weeks before burial, including all 50 states of the United States and its territories? One could imagine the multitude of health and safety concerns it would raise if your neighbor keeps a dead body in his house for weeks on end. Multiply that to a population of approximately 10% of the Vietnamese population (roughly 9 millions Cham ethnic minorities). Irrespective if the ritual was a religious or traditional ceremonial, it should be prohibited, and rightfully so, out of health and safety concerns.


Although the communist regime mistreat minorities in Vietnam, it also curbs free speech and political dissidents in Vietnam. Thus, there are numerous human right violations of ALL Vietnamese nationals in which the regime needs to change as it seeks closer ties with the U.S. and the western nations.  However,this article, and the example referenced above, do not exemplify how Vietnam openly suppresses Chams and other minorities.  Rather, it goes to show that just because the author claims to have "lived" in Vietnam for an undisclosed period of time, it does not necessitate that he is either knowledgeable about Vietnam, its culture or history, or that his personal opinions and biases convey the reality or a fair and balanced argument.

Steven Pham
Steven Pham

The author failed to state that Cham, as an ethnic, are mostly Vietnamese nationals even though they are a small ethnic group in Vietnam (Some Chams migrated to Malaysia and Indonesia after Vietnam invaded central Vietnam in the 18th century).  Thus, any claim of the "South China Sea" based on historical fact that the Cham were first the explorers of the islands would attribute to Vietnam.  Second, the map is an inaccurate depiction of Vietnam's claim.  Vietnam does not and has never claim ALL of the Paracel and Spratly island groups, as indicated in the map. Readers should look at other maps depicted Vietnam's claim, which is about 1/2 of the map above, for a more accurate depiction. It makes one wonder whether this article, and/or the author, is biased toward China.

Hai Nguyen
Hai Nguyen

Very useful detailed knowledge to add to the understanding about nation building process of Vietnam.

. What the author neglected to mention is the prioritized efforts by feudal Vietnam to avoid warring activities where possible. Twice in their gradual journey of conquering Champa, Vietnamese kings married off their daughters to royal Cham(s) in return for more than half of their territories and once, another such arranged marriage took place with a Khmer King for more lands. On the other hand, both Khmer and Champa were at times, a lot stronger than Vietnam for many centuries and had on occasions occupied Vietnamese territories with similar acts to  "the last vestiges of Cham autonomy and stamp out the culture, burning Cham villages and farmland and destroying ancient temples". Such was the time of survival of the fittest and competing cultures in tight space. By skipping by these crucial facts - readily available to South East Asia researchers, I question why the tone of this article appear a little to harsh to Vietnam about something equally, occurring world-wide? Has the author considered what alternative Vietnam had, facing and absorbing centuries of constant Chinese assimilation from the north, blocked by the Truong Son mountains chain to the west and only open sea to the east? Finally, I challenge the author to compare what you know about this geographically, based survival to the by-choice and centuries later process of another nation called the USA and all the destructive forces that come with it: cultural losses, language requirement, religious & faith disconnect, societal discrimination, heritage crisis, political sensitivity, economic inequality, governmental corrective actions...?

.As for the Cham voice in the South China Sea dispute with China, perhaps they their contribution is not reflected by "the roughly 160,000 members of the Cham ethnic minority, whose forebears dominated the South China Sea for more than a millennium, are quietly on the sidelines of the escalating conflict." but, indirectly when King Gia Long created the Hoang Sa/Truong Sa (Paracel/Pratly) fleet to develop these inhabitable islands - their seafaring knowledge and national heritage was heeded. How else could the new northern conqueror become aware of the potential riches of such remote territories and what strategic locations they would serve the country in modern era?

Mardy Depp
Mardy Depp

I'm a C-H-A-M-B-0-Y

from the Seatown recognize..

206 cHaMBoYz still get it crackin!!!!

craig hill
craig hill

This article goes right to the lie we heard throughout the Vietnam War from the hawks: "We have to stop the Vietnamese, who are backed by the Chinese, who, if we don't, will be in Hawaii by Xmess"...In fact, the Chinese and Vietnamese fought 13 wars before the US took over the prosection of the Vietnamese from the French, and lied constantly to rationalize the profitable slaughter.  

Nathan Pham
Nathan Pham

Such a biased article. Read about Champa history. We didn't start the wars, Champa did, first in 979 and then again in 1372, right after we protected them from the Mongolians. Supposed we had been conquered by the Red King and became a minority, you think they would let us have a voice? I don't think so.


As far their living conditions being worse than ours, unfortunately since we're way too poor, we've gotta take care of our own people first, maybe if we had more money, then we can help them(and while I'd love to say that they should have a fraction of the islands, corresponding to their populations, so far, I don't think they've really contributed anything, starting from the first IndoChina War, so sorry, but we're not just going to die for their own benefits).

Anna F.
Anna F.

A Philippinoo acquaintance told me that China is mentioning this area as Chinese Territory in the news. Bad!

Slim Ho
Slim Ho

@Steven Pham There is a Cham rights organization called the International Office of Champa. They maintain a website and document numerous human rights violations by both the Vietnamese government, and racist Vietnamese civilians themselves against Cham people. There were incidents of Vietnamese civilians, (not the government, mind you) attacking and killing Cham and Montagnards.


the FULRO organization (which consisted of Cham, Montangnard, and Khmer Krom) fought agianst both North and South Vietnam in the Vietnam war. They opposed all Vietnamese, whether Communist or non-communist.


It was the non-communist Diem regime which settled and swamped the Montangnard central Highlands with Vietnamese settlers in the first place, and the Communists just continued his policy.

Slim Ho
Slim Ho

@Hai Nguyen According to that logic, all westerners should not complain about Tibet, no? And Tibet has been far less affected by China than Champa by Vietnam. Tibet is still 93% Tibetan, while Champa's former territories are almost 99% vietnamese, Tibetan language is still an official langauge in Tibet, and many Tibetan temples and the Potala Palace are still standing. Not so for the Cham language, which is not official, and the Cham temples destroyed by Vietnam.

Rofek S
Rofek S


@Nathan Pham  I think you need to re-read Champa's history.


"We didn't start the wars, Champa did, first in 979 and then again in 1372, right after we protected them from the Mongolians."


* It is true that Champa started the first war in 979 but that was because we decided to help a Vietnamease break-away faction take the throne (not for ourselves, you see) and the then-Vietnamese king wasn't having that. I will come back to this later when I have my sources handy.


"Supposed we had been conquered by the Red King and became a minority, you think they would let us have a voice? I don't think so.”


* As for the post-Mongolian war, let's be realistic here.  If Che Bong Nha (The Red King) wanted to, he could have wiped Vietnam off the map during that time.  But what happened?  During that 30 year period where Champa had Vietnam running for their money, it has been recorded that we only raided and de-stabilize Hanoi but never destroyed it.  We definitely had the opportunity, multiple times in fact.  Hanoi was pillaged numerous times and Che Bong Nga did not take one opportunity to deal that final blow. His intentions were for economic purposes.  Unfortunately (for us, but fortunately for Vietnam) he was killed because a low-ranking Cham officer defected and decided to help the Vietnamese take him out.

* Back to your concern, I definitely do think that you guys would have had a voice.  You obviously didn’t read about Champa’s multi-ethnic composition.  Champa was an equal opportunity employer (if you will), because any non-ethnic Cham had opportunities to lead Champa as King. There were instances of a leader from the Chru or Roglai tribes becoming King of Champa.  Just because there’s a stigma today regarding Cham’s views towards the Vietnamese doesn’t mean that if we had a country we would suppress you (as the Vietnamese is doing to the Chams today).  Take a look at Cambodia, who was a political rival of Champa for a long time.  When the Chams were forced to flee their own country in the face of Vietnamese pressure, the Cambodian King welcomed Chams with open arms (a la Kompong Cham). I think you need to give people the benefit of the doubt.


"As far their living conditions being worse than ours, unfortunately since we're way too poor, we've gotta take care of our own people first, maybe if we had more money, then we can help them(and while I'd love to say that they should have a fraction of the islands, corresponding to their populations, so far, I don't think they've really contributed anything, starting from the first IndoChina War, so sorry, but we're not just going to die for their own benefits).”


* Oh I’m sure the Vietnamese government wants to help us (sarcastic tone). How about building that nuclear reactor smack in the middle of our ancestral lands (in Panduranga aka Phan Rang)?  What better way to continue to slowly drive us away from our lands by making it toxic for us to live on.  Shame on Vietnam.

* And we didn’t contribute to anything?  How about our temples and ruins contributing to Vietnam’s tourism industry?  How about Cham music having an influence on Vietnamese music?  How about Vietnam, after conquering the city of Vijaya, using our port cities to continue the production of Cham ceramics and exporting them?  How about Cham contributing to “Champa rice”, a modified rice grain that allows two harvests in one season?




All that said, I am sad that my country cease to exist. Do not be mistaken, I have many Vietnamese friends and one of my best friends while growing up is Vietnamese. I never hated you guys but I do have a problem with your government.

S. C
S. C

@Nathan Pham YOU VIETNAMESE SAVED CAMBODIANS??!! MORE LIKE RAPE & SLAUGHTER! PLEASE BRING YOUR IGNORANCE ON HISTORY ELSEWHERE! MAYBE YOU SHOULD READ ABOUT KAMPUCHEA KROM WHILE YOU'RE AT IT AS WELL!! HAVE A GREAT DAY! CHEERS.

James Sommers
James Sommers

Hahahahaha! What a bigot!!!

This world will never attain peace because of prejudiced and bigoted people like you!

Slim Ho
Slim Ho

@Rofek S @Nathan Pham There are also other Chamic communities in other countries who fled the Vietnamese invasions. There are Cham in China called Utsuls, they live in Hainan, Cham in Thailand, Cham in Malaysia, and the Acehnese in Sumatra are believed to be descended from Cham refugees.


The Acehnese waged a decades long war against Indonesia and settled for autonomy in 2004 after a peace agreement.


It seems like there is little coordination and contact between Chamic peoples in various countries to support each other. The stateless Kurdish people who are scattered between Iraq, Iran, Turkey, and Syria manage to work together across borders, give each other refuge, and carve out autonomous regions wherever they can.


If Chamic peoples in Malaysia, Indonesia, and China put pressure and raise awareness of their cause then more people would be aware of Chams. And perhaps even make China and Malaysia recognize Cham autonomy in the South China Sea islands.


The FULRO organization (made out of Cham, Montagnards, and Khmer Krom) which fought against both North and South Vietnam in the Vietnam war, managed to secure support from both China, Cambodia, and America at the same time even while China and America were officially backing North and South Vietnam.

Steven Pham
Steven Pham

@S. C @Nathan Pham  S.C. I don't agree with Nathan Pham at all.  However, it seems that whatever book you read forgot to account for the 6 million Cambodians that were killed by Khmer Rouge prior to Vietnamese invasion.  You can research that online or the Library and will find the same result. Cheers! :)

Nathan Pham
Nathan Pham

@James Sommers Bigotry? One thing I've learned is that if you care about the enemy, they don't care about you at all, for example, we saved the Cambodians from extinction, yet all they can complain about is losing their lands, never mind that they also started the wars against us, and without us, they wouldn't be able to sit there and complain.


Do you think the Mexicans are grateful by getting on welfare so that they can have a bunch of kids? No, they have one thing on their mind and that's to take back the lands that you took from them(by having a bunch of kids so that they can eventually out vote White people). I'm not saying that people can't live in peace eventually(in fact I AM trying to do that right now), but because of past history, it's a lot more difficult than you make it sound. 


Finally, if the Champa don't like it, they can always move to China, who steal people's lands for no reasons and then execute them for terrorism(the Urghurs in Xinjiang), best case scenario, they'll try to sterilize you like they did the Tibetans. Really, we are much poorer than the Chinese, or anyone else, so why don't they emigrate?

Slim Ho
Slim Ho

@Nathan Pham @James Sommers @Nathan Pham@James Sommers


Its funny how you try to bash China by telling the Cham to go to China, when we already have Cham people in Hainan province of China who are descended from people who fled Vietnamese invasion and imperialism in Champa.


There is a community of Muslim Cham called Utsuls in Hainan, China gave them refuge during the Song dynasty and Ming dynasties when Vietnam sacked and pillaged the Cham capitals. They are living well in Hainan and have no problems with their Chinese neighbors.


China has historically supported Champa against Vietnam, during the Hongwu emperor's reign, Champa actually asked China to start a joint attack against Vietnam, and during Vietnam's invasion in 1472 Champa again asked China to open up another front on Vietnam's northern border and attack.


The FULRO insurgent organization, which included the Front de Liberation du Champa (Front for the Liberation of Champa) led by Les Kosem was supported by China during the Vietnam War.


So I don't see how telling a Cham to go to China is an insult to either China or Champa, when China and Champa were open allies against Vietnam.

James Sommers
James Sommers

@Nathan Pham Yes, bigotry!! And disharmony, strife, hostility, prejudice, intolerance, and hatred. Openly professing these bad virtues clearly illustrates that you are actually not at all trying to live in peace with your fellow human beings. So, yes! You are clearly a bigot.

And you are so consumed by your bigotry, prejudice, and hatred that you epically failed in getting and understanding what the article is trying to convey. The author of the article is simply suggesting that Vietnam should use its own comprehensive historic connection to the Paracels and Spratlys to bolster and strengthen its territorial claim on these islands, and to use this history as a strong counter-argument to China's dubious claims.

But instead of at least appreciating the article's effort, regardless of its viability, you just closed-mindedly turned red and exploded and unleashed an already globally-maligned Nazi-like rhetoric of bigotry, prejudice, hatred, and racism.

And really?!? You're not saying that people can't live in peace? That you are trying to do that right now? But it's difficult because of past history. These statements of yours are utterly senseless. They contradict each other. Your statements and arguments definitely do not contribute in any way to any effort on your part to help the world achieve peace..... clearly because your statements and arguments actually do the complete opposite: advocacy for and propagation of BIGOTRY, disharmony, strife, hostility, prejudice, intolerance, hatred, racism. Furthermore, the very reckless and careless manner by which you use the word 'enemy' betrays your mindset, your personality, your rhetoric, your life's convictions: that you simply hate and loath your fellow man.... and by fellow man, I mean the entire community of more than seven billion people that constitutes the whole human race.

Yes, achieving worldwide peace is a difficult undertaking. Nobody is saying that it's easy. But it is is possible, and it can be done. It is a noble and worthwhile endeavour. It is doable, because it is the right thing to hope and strive for. Unfortunately, it is indeed difficult, primarily because of organisms like you, hopeless and hateful entities who are perennially building walls and blocking the way towards the achievement of harmony, friendship, happiness, and global peace and understanding.

Keep in mind: South Sudan, the Congo, Somalia, Kashmir, Waziristan, Nagorno-Karabakh, Trans-Dniesteria, the Ukraine, Rohingya, Tibet, Xinjiang, Israel/Palestine, Afghanistan, Egypt, Libya, Syria, Iraq, balkanisation, genocide, apartheid, ethnic cleansing, the Holocaust.... these tragic and atrocious events happened, and unfortunately, continue to happen, because the lame justifications propagating these evil virtues are perpetuated by people like you.

Slim Ho
Slim Ho

@Nathan Pham @James Sommers @Nathan Pham @James Sommers Correction:I mean to say 1471 Vietnamese invasion of Champa, not 1472.


China has also provided autonomy and support for ethnic minorities in China who number even less than Cham people in Vietnam. The Xibe people in China have an autonomous region where their own language is official and they get their own newspaper, the Qapqal News published in Xibe language.

Slim Ho
Slim Ho

@James Sommers It would not work for Vietnam to try to use Champa's sovereignty over SCS against China, because Champa and China were historically allies against Vietnam and it would backfire in Vietnam's face.


China in fact gave shelter to Cham Muslims who fled the Vietnamese invasions, their descendants are called Utsuls and they live in Hainan today.


Champa asked China during the Hongwu Emperor's reign to start a joint attack against the Vietnamese. During Vietnam's 1472 invasion of Champa, the Cham again asked China for help to defend against Vietnam. 


China supported the FULRO organization which included the Front de Liberation du Champa (front for the liberation of Champa) led by Les Kosem, which fought against both South and North Vietnam during the Vietnam War.


So it would be a really, really bad idea for Vietnam to try to use Champa to claim the South China sea islands. China would then use the oppurtunity to demand that Vietnam free Champa if the islands rightfully belonged to Champa.

James Sommers
James Sommers

Clarification to last paragraph:

Keep in mind: South Sudan, the Congo, Somalia, Kashmir, Waziristan, Nagorno-Karabakh, Trans-Dniesteria, the Ukraine, Rohingya, Tibet, Xinjiang, Israel/Palestine, Afghanistan, Egypt, Libya, Syria, Iraq, balkanisation, genocide, apartheid, ethnic cleansing, the Holocaust.... these tragic and atrocious events happened, and unfortunately, continue to happen, because the lame justifications propagating these wars, conflicts, and misguided beliefs (evil virtues of BIGOTRY, disharmony, strife, hostility, prejudice, intolerance, hatred, RACISM) are perpetuated by people like you.

Slim Ho
Slim Ho

The Tran dynasty (who fought the Mongolians) was founded by descendants of a Chinese from Fujian. If China being ruled by Mongols means that China was Mongolia, then the Tran dynasty was Chinese.

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