When I see these maps, I can't help thinking that Vietnam or Annam -- named Jinghai at that time by the Tang government -- was in fact one of the fragments of the Tang dynasty, just like the Shu, the Southern Tang, or the Southern Han. May anyone tell me what time did the phrase "Wudai Shiguo" was first coined? I guess it was coined much later than that period, with a conception that Vietnam was not a part of China. Meanwhile, a person living in the period of Wudai Shiguo might have a totally different viewpoint to ours:
The Khuc, a native noble family, controlled the government of Jinghai since 906, and was officially appointed jiedushi by the Tang emperor in 907. The Tang dynasty was overthrown in the same year, and the succeeding Liang dynasty, as well as other dynasty in the Central Plains, continued to accept the Khuc jiedushis and their government in Jinghai. --> It was so much similar to the rulers of the Ten Kingdom, who had been an official of the Tang dynasty before seceding. --> It was even more similar to the Wuyue's case, who submitted to any government in the Central Plains, while fighting neighbouring states...
The invasion of the Southern Han troops in 923?? brought the rule of the Khuc in Jinghai to an end. However, one of the Khuc's generals, Duong Dinh Nghe, drove the Southern Han out of the prefecture and announced himself jiedushi in 930. After his assassination in 937, one of his generals, Ngo Quyen, seized the government and defeated another Southern Han's invasion. After that victory, Ngo Quyen proclaimed himself "king" (wang), not "emperor" --> which was simlar to other monarchs of the Ten Kingdoms. Besides, the Vietnamese historical books doesn't mention what is the name of Ngo Quyen's kingdom, and there are many theories that he even didn't think of naming his kingdom, or just continued to use the name "Jinghai" or "Jinghaijun". Only after Dinh Bo Linh ascended the throne in 968 that he proclaim emperor and named his state "Daguyue" (great and strong Viet).
Concludingly, the situation of Vietnam during the period 907-970 was so similar to the ten kingdoms that we may count Jing one of those kingdoms. Jinghai had been the territory of the Tang before, and its ruler had been the Tang jiedushi. They proclaim themselves jiedushi, wang, and then emperor, just like other rulers of the ten kingdoms. There were conflicts between Jinghai and the neighbouring states, notably Southern Han, just like other states. On that base, we can view the Song invasion of Annam in 980 not as an invasion, but just as a continuation of their wars against the Ten Kingdoms to unite China again. Had the Song been successful, there would have been no Vietnamese state today, and that period would have been named "Wutai Shiyiguo"
That is my humble opinion.
Edited by Yizhimei, 03 January 2006 - 11:54 AM.