Republic of Champa
République du Champa
Motto: Tuei Hatai, Ritdhi, Komuniti (Cham)
(English: Peace, Strength, Community)
Anthem: Pala-palẽi Hareh
(English: "Great Country")
and largest city
|Official languages||Cham, French|
|Government||Unitary parliamentary republic|
|10 August 1933|
• Japanese puppet state established
|22 April 1936|
|19 June 1964|
|14 November 1970|
• Current constitution adopted
|23 May 1989|
• 2020 census
|GDP (PPP)||2020 estimate|
• Per capita
|GDP (nominal)||2020 estimate|
• Per capita
|Currency||Kuan (₭) (CHK)|
|Time zone||UTC+7 (Indochina Time)|
The Cham, an Austronesian-speaking people, were one of the earliest inhabitants of the southern Indochinese peninsula, having descended from seafaring settlers who arrived to the Southeast Asian mainland from Borneo between 1000 BCE and 200 CE. Cham culture was influenced by the confluences of the Khmer, Chinese, Javanese, Indians, and Malays. Lâm Ấp was one of the earliest Cham polities which emerged during the 2nd century CE. By the 4th century CE, Cham society adopted Sanskrit as its scholarly language and adopted Hinduism as the state religion. Beginning in the 10th century CE, maritime trade with Arab merchants brought cultural and religious influence from Islam. Champa emerged as a collection of independent Cham polities, which became a vital point in the spice trade that connected the Middle East to South China. During this time, Champa emerged as a naval power. Although Champa and neighboring Cambodia engaged in frequent wars, the two entities influenced each other strongly as trade partners.
Between the 11th and 14th centuries, Champa faced the advancing threat of Vietnam, whose leaders pursued Nam tiến ("March to the South"). Through the first Cham–Vietnamese wars, Vietnam gradually gained more territory southward, while Champa's territorial extent was reduced. Following a brief period of Chinese domination in Vietnam during the early 15th century, Vietnam resumed its push southward, further decimating Champa until the last remaining Cham principality, Panduranga, fell to Vietnamese forces in 1832. Champa became part of Vietnam and was later colonized by France when it established French Indochina in 1887. The Cham were divided into three groups: the Cham who remained in their traditional homeland, now colonized by Vietnam, became known as the Eastern Cham; the Cham who fled to Cambodia and elsewhere in Southeast Asia became known as the Western Cham; and the Cham who fled to the Chinese island of Hainan became known as the Utsul. Modern-day Champa was administered as part of the French protectorate of Annam, while the rest of historical Champa was administered as a part of the French protectorate of Cochinchina. Initially, during French colonial administration in Indochina, the Vietnamese Kinh enjoyed a privileged status among the colonized peoples, while other ethnic minorities including the Cham, were treated less favorably. However, conflicts between the Vietnamese colonists and French colonial government, such as the Cần Vương, prompted the French to encourage the Cham to preserve their own Hindu and Islamic identities, in order to counterbalance the Buddhist-majority Kinh, which were hostile to France's own goals to Christianize Indochina. The Vietnamese self-determination movement intensified during the early 20th century, threatening French rule in Indochina. Other ethnic minorities including the Cham began their own self-determination movements, against both French rule and the possibility of post-French Vietnamese rule.
During the outbreak of Great War I, France lost its holdings in French Indochina when the Japanese invaded Indochina in 1933. The Japanese officially promoted a national ideology that included ostensible support for self-determination for Asian peoples. Japan emerged as one of the victorious powers at the end of Great War I, allowing it to solidify its holdings over the former French colonies in Asia. Japan sought to gradually integrate East and Southeast Asian polities, including Champa, into its "Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere". Opposition to Japanese rule manifested into civil unrest, protests, and violent revolts throughout Indochina. In 1933, it established the State of Champa as a Japanese protectorate, partitioning part of the eastern coastline of Annam, while the rest of Annam was merged with Cochinchina and Tonkin to form the State of Vietnam. Although Japan recognized these states as independent, they were effectively puppet states and Japan sought to divide the region to more easily manage and control nationalist uprisings. The Japanese government's primary goals in Southeast Asia were to extract the region's abundant resources, such as oil and steel, and to end Japanese dependence on Europe and Anglo-America. It forcibly ordered population transfers based on ethnic lines in Japanese Indochina. The Vietnamese Kinh in Champa were expelled, while the Western Cham who had lived in Cambodia and South Vietnam were forced to migrate into the new Cham polity. The Western Cham, who were predominantly Muslim, outnumbered the Eastern Cham who had kept the ancestral faiths of Buddhism and Hinduism. This division became a source of conflict as Japanese administrators favored the Western Cham in higher positions of society.
During Japanese rule, the Cham government remained closely aligned with the Japanese government as it feared the rise of the Viet Minh, whose irredentist and nationalist policies would jeopardize Champa's independence, and supported Japan during the Second Indochina War. It collaborated with the Japanese during the Great Indochinese Famine, causing tensions and antagonism with Champa's Vietnamese neighbors. Under Japanese dominance, Cham society became significantly Japonized. After Great War II, Vietnam was partitioned into two regions; the northern region occupied by China and the United Commonwealth, and a southern region occupied by Sierra and the United Kingdom. Champa's political status was left open-ended by the occupying powers in the Visalia Agreement, as both North and South Vietnam claimed Champa. During the Vietnam War, the conflict extended into Champa with Viet Cong operatives and South Vietnamese forces engaging combat within the country. The North Vietnamese invasion of Champa in 1968 resulted in a joint Sierran–South Vietnamese intervention, and South Vietnam and Champa opened formal relations following successful Sierran-led negotiations.