Cholon is an area in the former Saigon, now Ho Chi Minh City, which is the traditional area for ethnic Chinese. Many of these Chinese were key to the economy of South Vietnam.
In 1956, vice-president Nguyen Ngoc Tho was ordered, by Ngo Dinh Diem to "Vietnamize" the Chinese, primarily in Cholon. Ironically, when Diem was overthrown, he was given shelter by a Cholon merchant, until detained and killed by members of the force conducting the coup.
During the Tet Offensive of 1968, it was the place of some of the most intense fighting in Saigon, taking several weeks to secure.