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World > Asia > Vietnam

   flag of Vietnam
   Vietnam

Introduction:
The conquest of Vietnam by France began in 1858 and was completed by 1884. It became part of French Indochina in 1887. Vietnam declared independence after World War II, but France continued to rule until its 1954 defeat by Communist forces under Ho Chi MINH. Under the Geneva Accords of 1954, Vietnam was divided into the Communist North and anti-Communist South. US economic and military aid to South Vietnam grew through the 1960s in an attempt to bolster the government, but US armed forces were withdrawn following a cease-fire agreement in 1973. Two years later, North Vietnamese forces overran the South reuniting the country under Communist rule. Despite the return of peace, for over a decade the country experienced little economic growth because of conservative leadership policies. However, since the enactment of Vietnam's 'doi moi' (renovation) policy in 1986, Vietnamese authorities have committed to increased economic liberalization and enacted structural reforms needed to modernize the economy and to produce more competitive, export-driven industries. The country continues to experience protests from various groups - such as the Protestant Montagnard ethnic minority population of the Central Highlands and the Hoa Hao Buddhists in southern Vietnam over religious persecution. Montagnard grievances also include the loss of land to Vietnamese settlers.


Official name: Socialist Republic of Vietnam
Capital: name: Hanoi
geographic coordinates: 21 02 N, 105 51 E
time difference: UTC+7 (12 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Government type: Communist state
Population: 85,262,356 (July 2007 est.)
Languages: Vietnamese (official), English (increasingly favored as a second language), some French, Chinese, and Khmer; mountain area languages (Mon-Khmer and Malayo-Polynesian)
Official Currency: Vietnamese Dong (VND)
Currency code: VND
Area: total: 329,560 sq km
land: 325,360 sq km
water: 4,200 sq km
Climate: tropical in south; monsoonal in north with hot, rainy season (May to September) and warm, dry season (October to March)


Map of Vietnam
map of Vietnam


Facts at a Glance: Geography - People - Government - Economy - Communications - Transportation - Military - Climate - Current Time - Ranking Positions
Notes and Commentary: People - Economy - Government and Political Conditions - Historical Highlights - Foreign Relations - Relations with U.S.



Facts at a Glance
Geography
People
Government
Economy
Communications
Transportation
Military
Climate
Current Time
Ranking Positions


Notes and Commentary
People
Economy
Government and Political Conditions
Historical Highlights
Foreign Relations
Relations with U.S.





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