The war in Vietnam ended as it began: an armed conflict between Vietnamese factions. The price of losing a civil war is always high. Some saw no future in the new Communist state. Many left, either by choice or by force. The exodus began in 1975 and continued into the 1980s. Although commonly referred to as ‘boat people,’ refugees departed Vietnam by air, land and sea. Different groups left for different reasons. The largest of these refugee groups were ethnic Chinese known in Vietnam as Hoa. This article describes the Chinese minority in Vietnam and examines what caused hundreds of thousands of them to leave their homeland after the war.
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