French Indochina (Indochine française; Đông Dương thuộc Pháp, frequently abbreviated to Đông Pháp) was part of the French colonial empire in southeast Asia. A federation of the three Vietnamese regions, Tonkin (North), Annam (Central), and Cochinchina (South), as well as Cambodia, was formed in 1887.
Laos was added in 1893 and Kouang-Tchéou-Wan in 1900. The capital was moved from Saigon (in Cochinchina) to Hanoi (Tonkin) in 1902. During World War II, the colony was administered by Vichy France and was under Japanese occupation. Beginning in May 1941, the Viet Minh, a communist army led by Ho Chi Minh, began a revolt against French rule known as the First Indochina War.
In Saigon, the anti-Communist State of Vietnam, led by former Emperor Bảo Đại, was granted independence in 1949. Following the Geneva Accord of 1954, the Viet Minh became the government of North Vietnam, although the Bảo Đại government continued to rule in South Vietnam.