Hai Phong was originally founded by Lê Chân, the female general of a Vietnamese revolution against the Chinese led by the Trưng Sisters (Hai Bà Trưng) in the year 43 AD.

It has existed as a significant port city for at least several centuries, and was one of Vietnam's principal trading centers. When Vietnam was invaded by the French, the city became France's main naval base in Indochina.

In 1881, a storm hit Haiphong killing 300,000 people.

After World War II, when Vietnam attempted to regain its independence, Hai Phong was the site of the first military action undertaken by the French.

While it was claimed that the French heavy cruiser Suffren bombarded the city, only 3 avisos participated in the operation that contributed to the start of the First Indochina War[1].
See also: Operation Rolling Thunder, Operation Linebacker , and Operation Linebacker II

Later, in the Vietnam War, Hai Phong was subjected to heavy bombing by US Navy and Air Force strike aircraft because it was North Vietnam's only major port. After the war, the city recovered and became a significant industrial center.

Today, known as a port city, it serves the entire northern region of Vietnam and has managed to attract large FDIs that fueled economic rates of growth exceeding 12% per annum over the last decade.

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