French Indochina was a French colonial possession in South-Eastern Asia. It was first settled by the French in 1858 and 1862. In 1879 and 1884 wars were fought against the Annamese and Chinese Empires for hegemony in the local area. In 1893, a war with Siam enlarged the territory with the addition of Laos, and by 1913 the region spanned the current area of Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. Following the fall of France in the summer of 1940, Japan was allowed to occupy the now-Vichy administered territory, annexing it formally towards the end of the war, when the Japanese withdrew following their surrender in September 1945. Local unrest sparked rebellions against French colonial rule, and the First Indochina War between the French and locals resulted in France decolonizing the region following the defeat at Dien Bien Phu in 1954.
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