Tonkin, Gulf of geographical name
arm of S. China Sea E of N Vietnam
Tonkin, Gulf of (Concise Encyclopedia)
Arm of the South China Sea, between northern Vietnam and Hainan Island, China. It is 300 mi (500 km) long and 150 mi (250 km) wide. In 1964 the Vietnamese reportedly fired on U.S. ships there, leading the U.S. Congress to adopt the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution that supported increased U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War.
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