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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military aid to South Vietnam grew through the 1960s in an attempt to bolster the government, but US armed forces were withdrawn following a cease-fire agreement in 1973.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.

Languages & Population

Approximate Population: 85,262,356 (July 2007 est.)

Nationality (Noun): Vietnamese (singular and plural)

Nationality (Adjective): Vietnamese

Official Language(s): Vietnamese

Major Languages Spoken: Cambodian, Chinese, English, French, Hmong, Vietnamese, Khmer

Map of Vietnam

Country Facts

Country Name (long form): Socialist Republic of Vietnam

Country Name (short form): Vietnam

Country Name (local long form): Cong Hoa Xa Hoi Chu Nghia Viet Nam

Country Name (local short form): Viet Nam

Name of Capital: Hanoi

UTC Time Difference (from capital): UTC+7 (12 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Countries Near by, and Bordering Vietnam: Laos, Cambodia, China

Land Area: 325360 sq km

Water Area: 4200 sq km

Comparative Area: slightly larger than New Mexico

Total Land Boundry: 4,639 km

Coastline: 3,444 km

National Holiday: Independence Day, 2 September (1945)

International Phone Code: 84

Currency Code: dong (VND)

Internet Country Code: .vn

US Embassy Location: 7 Lang Ha Street, Ba Dinh District, Hanoi

US Embassy Mailing Address: PSC 461, Box 400, FPO AP 96521-0002


Vietnam flag

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