What do Vietnamese think about China?



Beo Lai, former Voracious Reader. I Simply Love Reading.

All the answers before cover a significant part of what Vietnamese think about China and why it is so.

I should clear up some stereotypes first:



1.Vietnamese hate Chinese because of Vietnamese propaganda.: NO, our propaganda and the ministry responsible for it suck ass. . All of these are all supposed “for the good of Vietnam” ( if the names don’t ring a bell). When fake news media is popular, you know the go nment sucks at propaganda. Our news try keep a neutral tone when it comes to China and every other country to adhere to VCP’s policies.

2.Vietnamese hate Chinese because of history: No, actually we hate China because of the attitude and narrative of many Chinese when discussing that history.

  1. 越南人讨厌中国人是因为越南媒体的宣传。不,我们的宣传和外交部要为此负责。所有这些都被认为是“为了越南的利益”。当假新闻媒体传播极广的时候,你就知道政府的宣传有多烂了。当涉及到中国和其他国家时,我们的新闻尽量保持中立的基调,遵守越共的政策。
  2. 越南人讨厌中国人是因为历史:不,实际上我们讨厌中国是因为许多中国人讨论那段历史时的态度和言论内容。

Vietnamese deeply admired China as a cultural hegemony and center of East Asia. We voraciously consume China’s cultural exports. Vietnamese and Chinese can agree in almost everything in real life except for history, politics and some others. We tend to say that Vietnamese know China better than anyone(except for Chinese of course) and generalize very quickly. I personally think that is our strong ties that make Vietnamese becoming arrogant when it comes to China: We think “we know you best”. The grass is always greener on the other side, and in this case, we think China is “on our side”. The more and more Vietnamese are exposed to the world, the more we appreciate China.

Doesn’t mean we don’t hate you though. We still hate you!




Pham Hung Lam

As a Vietnamese I think China is a very beautiful country

I love Chinese art




Traditional architecture






Modern cities



And especially Chinese food



Everything about Chinese history is very interesting. I especially love Hanzi, Chinese characters, and Hanfu - traditional Chinese clothes



It’s a country blessed with natural scenery



I know China just finished building the biggest airport in the world



And China just tried to imitate Vietnam’s hand bridge



This shows everything is possible in China including grand construction project



More high speed trains than the world combined



But I am very disappointed in China - how China is behaving in the East Sea of Vietnam.

Being such a powerful country, but China has not been kind to Vietnam.




Edward Kenway, M.S. Economics & Mathematics, Queen Mary, University of London (2014)

I’m chinese. And when I first went to Vietnam, before I took off a Vietnamese girl happened to add me on Facebook. I just chat with her and she told me that she wanna take me around when I arrive at Ho Chi Minh~ so I agreed and that day I arrived at Ho Chi Minh city around 22:30, since the flight was a little bit delayed and I was on the flight for more than 6 hours. So when I arrived, she sent me message, and the chat was like this

Girl: hallo did you arrive? Why don’t you send me message? Send me your hotel address so I can pick you there and we can walk around

Me: OK, but Trang sorry I’m too tired today and I hope I can take a break so we can go outside somewhere tomorrow. Is that ok for you? ^^

Girl: OK, no problem. I won’t forget this insult. We Vietnamese don’t eat our words like you chinese who are used to cheating and lying~ now fxxk off and don’t call me again, you chinese idiot~

And then she deleted and blocked me…






Me: WTF???

So I just hanged out by myself for the next whole week, and this was a disastrous experience

first when I arrived first day, the custom asked me to pay him $10 or otherwise he won’t let me pass… almost all the Chinese travellers had been asked for the tips but all the other foreigners didn’t.

and lots of churches and museums didn’t allow me in because I’m a chinese. Moreover, every shop and restaurant tried to charge me a little bit more when they knew that I’m chinese…

Even in Hanoi when a Vietnamese waitress noticed that I’m chinese, she spitted in my soup…

mans the stuff girl in the front desk of my hotel smiled and said “đĩ mẹ mày” to me … I asked her why she said that and she told me this is “hallo” in Vietnamese. She didn’t realise that I learnt Vietnamese before and this phrase is actually a dirty word…







before I went to Vietnam I once got very positive impression on this country, cuz I got many Vietnamese friends here and I’m also keen on the socialism country which is similar to us. We even share similar culture.

but after I went there, all the good impression on this country disappear… Vietnam might be the most anti-China country in southern Eastern Asia (the next one must be Thailand). So if you are a chinese, I suggest that you can choose another country for travel such as Malaysia, Singapore or Philippine where people are more friendly.

AND AT last, let me mention you, that Vietnamese guys are far much more friendly than Vietnamese girls. I got quite a lot Vietnamese male friends with whom we could chat a lot and go travel together. While when I met Vietnamese girls, no matter whether on internet or in reality, 60% will be regardless of me even without a glance, and 40% will directly say :”fxxk you china dog”…

PS: someone might misunderstand me. I like Vietnamese people very much, and spent lots of time learning “TiếnG Việt”. And quite a lot of my Vietnamese classmates and colleagues once helped me before, which I really appreciated. I just wanna say I was shocked and disappointed that the Vietnam I once expected and the real vietnam i saw when I arrived are totally different. This made me very upset.

and I don’t mean Vietnamese girls are bad. Just for me, according to my experience, Vietnamese guys are easier to make friends with than Vietnamese girls







Ngo The Hoan, Software Engineer with an interest in history

Since other people have given answers about what the Vietnamese think already, I won’t repeat the same answer. I will instead tell you what I think about China.

I think China is a great country, but Vietnam needs to be careful of China, forever and always.

Why do I think China is a great country?

China has a history of 5000 years, one of the four great civilizations of the ancient world, the only one to survive and continue to be a powerful country.






The continuity of China and Chinese civilization is scary.

The concept of being Han Chinese is so pervasive that they not only make up 90% of China’s population but have spread their culture and gene pool to all other countries in Asia.

To understand the power of Chinese culture, you can just look at Southeast Asia, a region of 655 million people. The ethnic Chinese only makes up a very small minority of the population, yet they have become the dominant economic elite in the region.




译文来源:三泰虎 http://www.santaihu.com/p/50204.html 译者:Joyceliu


Thanh Nguyen

If you ask this question, you’ll get hundreds of answers. Because there isn’t one way that Vietnamese think about China.

To quote a Vietnamese professor about the role of China to Vietnam:

Với Việt Nam, Trung Quốc đồng thời là: người thầy vĩ đại, người bạn thân thiết và đối thủ nguy hiểm.

To Vietnam, China is simultaneously a great teacher, a close friend and a dangerous enemy.

Using this quote, you can see that Vietnamese feeling towards China can be summed up as: Respect, familiarity and fear.

The Vietnamese feeling towards China is a blend between these 3 states. Just as the traditional religion of Vietnamese people is a fluid blend of Buddhism, Confucianism and Taoism.

Can you identify exactly one feeling Vietnamese people have towards China?

No, because it’s not static, it’s actually a moving spectrum.








“But many Vietnamese told me that they hate China!”

Yes there are Vietnamese who hate China permanently, but to most Vietnamese this is just a state of mind. The person can change their opinion towards China when a different event occurs. This has happened and is happening.

During the most tense period between China and Vietnam in 2014, when anti-China protests broke out all over Vietnam.




The Three States of Mind that Vietnamese have towards China:

1.Viewing China as a great teacher - Respect

1)China is seen as a country with long history and great civilization

2)China influenced Vietnam a lot in terms of culture

3)China influenced Vietnamese literature, arts, beliefs, philosophy

4)China gives inspiration in economic and political development

5)In ancient time, Vietnam simply imitated a lot of things that China did

2.Viewing China as a close friend - Familiarity

1)China shares a culture with Vietnam

2)Vietnam interacted the most with China in history

3)Vietnamese feel close to Chinese people and culture because of history

4)China helped Vietnam in independence wars against France

5)If China didn’t warn the U.S to not send soldiers into Northern Vietnam, then Vietnam would never have won against the U.S and become a united country













5) 如果中国没有警告美国,不要派兵进入越南北部,那么越南就永远不会战胜美国,成为统一的国家


The Vietnamese feeling about China is not static because of the many roles that China take, including both friendly and aggressive.

It is hard for people in other countries to understand because they don’t have a giant neighbor, who had simultaneously invaded, occupied and destroyed their country but also gave cultural, political inspiration and defended Vietnam in the past





Peter Nguyen, Grew up in Vietnam, speak, read Vietnamese

Not me, but I see many Vietnamese express a sentiment close to loathing of China, as if China was full of Orcs and ruled by Sauron from the Lord of the Rings story by Tolkien. It’s an almost mystical and seemingly irrational dislike.

But for most Vietnamese if questioned about places inhabited by Chinese PEOPLE, like Taiwan or Singapore, then they will express admiration for the efficiency and wealth.





I can’t speak to all Vietnamese, but since I am Vietnamese descendant from a family in Poland, I do not know other individuals speak. But I suppose they see China with fear and hatreds.

Some reasons:

1.China is big and has a havoc of invading Vietnam.

2.Vietnam and China fought the 1979 war which remained as a painful memoir.

3.Vietnamese believe China always want to tear Vietnam down.

4.Politically, both are co unist-ruled, and Vietnamese nationalists hate both.

5.Vietnamese dislike Chinese investors and tourists.

6.They hate to be seen as small Chinese.

Personally I don’t see Vietnamese truly love Chinese people much. Hardly it changes in the future anyway.



  1. 中国很大,曾侵略越南,造成了巨大破坏。
  2. 越南和中国在1979年的战争至今仍是一本痛苦的回忆录。
  3. 越南人认为中国一心想要摧毁越南。
  4. 政治上,这两个国家都是党统治的国家,而越南的民族主义者对这两个国家都深恶痛绝。
  5. 越南人不喜欢中国投资者和游客。
  6. 他们讨厌被看作小个子中国人。


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