Cholon [key], district and former city, since 1932 part of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam; on the right bank of the Saigon River, a tributary of the Dong Nai. Cholon is the Chinese section of Ho Chi Minh City; it is connected to the city's left bank by road, rail, and canal waterways. It is an industrial center with many rice mills and factories. Founded c.1780 by Chinese immigrants seeking to escape the civil disorders of Annam, it became a busy trading port long before Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon) was developed by the French. It is still largely Chinese, containing a large portion of Vietnam's entire Chinese population, despite the large exodus of ethnic Chinese as boat people following the fall of South Vietnam and the 1979 conflict with China. Heavy fighting during the 1968 Tet offensive in the Vietnam War severely damaged the district.
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