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Vietnam

Vietnam

Capital Hanoi
Largest city Ho Chi Minh City
Official languages Vietnamese
Government Socialist republic, Single-party communist state
- President Nguyễn Minh Triết
- Vice President Nguyễn Thị Doan
- Prime Minister Nguyễn Tấn Dũng
- General Secretary of CPV Nông Đức Mạnh
- National Assembly Chairman Nguyễn Phú Trọng
Formation
- Đại Việt 1054
- French annexation 1853 to 1883
- Independence from France September 2, 1945
- Reunification April 30, 1975
- Current constitution December 19, 1980
Area
- Total 331,690 km2 (65th) 128,527 sq mi
- Water (%) 1.3
Population
- 2008 mid-year estimate 86,116,559 (13th)
- 1999 census 76,323,173
- Density 253/km2 (46th) 655/sq m

Vietnam (pronounced /ˌviː.ɛtˈnɑːm/; Vietnamese: Việt Nam), officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam (Vietnamese: Cộng hòa xã hội chủ nghĩa Việt Nam), is the easternmost country on the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is bordered by China to the north, Laos to the northwest, Cambodia to the southwest, and the South China Sea to the east. With a population of over 86 million, Vietnam is the 13th most populous country in the world.

The people of Vietnam regained independence and broke away from China in AD 938 after their victory at the battle of Bạch Đằng River. Successive dynasties flourished along with geographic and political expansion deeper into Southeast Asia, until it was colonized by the French in the mid-19th century. Efforts to resist the French eventually led to their expulsion from the country in the mid-20th century, leaving a nation divided politically into two countries. Fighting between the USA (at the side of South Vietnam) and two Vietnam sides continued during the Vietnam War, ending with a North Vietnamese victory, South Vietnam and USA defeat in 1975.

Emerging from this prolonged military engagement, the war-ravaged nation was politically isolated. The government’s centrally planned economic decisions hindered post-war reconstruction and its treatment of the losing side engendered more resentment than reconciliation. In 1986, it instituted economic and political reforms and began a path towards international reintegration. By 2000, it had established diplomatic relations with most nations. Its economic growth had been among the highest in the world in the past decade. These efforts culminated in Vietnam joining the World Trade Organization in 2007 and its successful bid to become a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council in 2008.

Where in the world is Vietnam? See the map.

Where in the world is Vietnam? See the map.

Vietnam flag

Vietnam flag


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