Socialist Republic of Vietnam
|Socialist Republic of Vietnam|
Cộng hòa Xã hội chủ nghĩa Việt Nam
|Largest city||Ho Chi Minh City|
|Government||Marxist-Leninist socialist state|
• General Secretary
|Nguyễn Phú Trọng|
|Nguyễn Xuân Phúc|
• Vice President
|Võ Thị Ánh Xuân|
• Prime Minister
|Phạm Minh Chính|
• Deputy Prime Minister
|Lê Văn Thành|
• Reunification and end of US occupation
|2 July 1976|
• 2021 estimate
Vietnam, officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, is a country on the Indochinese Peninsula in Southeast Asia. The 2020 census counted a population of 98.51 million people. The country borders China to the north and Cambodia and Laos to the west. The capital city is Hanoi while the most populous city is Ho Chi Minh City (also known by its previous name of Saigon). The Vietnamese constitution states that Vietnam "is a socialist rule of law state of the People, by the People, for the People".
The Socialist Republic of Vietnam is one of only five Marxist-Leninist states in the world today (alongside China, Laos, People's Korea and Cuba). Since 1986, it has adopted the Đổi Mới economic reforms, becoming a socialist-oriented market economy.
French colonization and resistance
Hàm Nghi became emperor of Vietnam in 1884 at 12 years of age. His officials condemned French colonization, leading to the royal palace being raided by the French in 1885. Hàm Nghi fled to the forest with his regent, Tôn Thất Thuyết. After Hàm Nghi's deposition, France signed the Treaty of Tientsin with the Qing dynasty, relinquishing all Chinese claims on Vietnam, and the French installed his brother Đồng Khánh as emperor. Thuyết and his supporters formed the nationalist resistance movement Cần Vương, which fought against the French with guerrilla warfare. They also attacked Vietnamese Christians. In 1888, Hàm Nghi was captured and exiled to North Africa.
Phan Đình Phùng, a former royal official under Hàm Nghi, introduced military discipline with uniforms and ranks to resistance. In an attempt to intimidate him, French soldiers raided his home village and kidnapped his brother. In 1895, Phùng was defeated and his supporters were executed by the French.
In 1903, Vietnamese nationalist Phan Bội Châu joined forces with former prince Cường Để, who had been deposed by the French. They unsuccessfully sought financial assistance from Japan and China. While in Japan, Châu attempted to smuggle weapons to Vietnamese rebels but was exiled to Hong Kong. After the 1911 Xinhai Revolution in China, he decided that republicanism was better than a restoration of the imperial monarchy.
Resistance War against the United States
After the second world war, Vietnam became independent from its former colonial rulers, France, and the country was divided across the 17th parallel. By the end of 1956, the country was supposed to hold a national election and reunify, but the United States did not allow this because they knew communist leader Hồ Chí Minh would win by at least 80%. While the north was led by Hồ Chí Minh, the south was under a US puppet dictatorship led by Ngô Đình Diệm, who had collaborated with the French colonizers and lived in the US for several years. This led to the Vietnam war, in which the north fought against the south and the US. From 1960, the north was also aided by communist guerrillas in the south, called the National Liberation Front, but often known by the nickname of "Viet Cong." By 1963, they had liberated most of the south. The CIA targeted and killed tens of thousands of suspected guerrillas through the Phoenix Program.
In 1965, the United States invaded Vietnam with over half a million soldiers. They were supported by 75,000 troops from South Korea, and over 800,000 from South Vietnam serving the puppet government. Half of the US troops were tied down defending their military bases in the south from guerrillas. In March of 1968, American forces killed hundreds of civilians in the My Lai Massacre. The soldiers that tried to prevent the massacre were considered traitors by other soldiers and US congressmen. The United States dropped more bombs on Vietnam than all of the bombs that were used in World War II and sprayed 21 million gallons of Agent Orange, a chemical weapon, on Vietnam. They also destroyed two-thirds of villages in the south. The US began withdrawing in 1969, and the south was liberated on April 30th 1975.
After reunification in 1975 Vietnam became a centrally planned economy. In the late 1980s the economy was suffering from a decline in Soviet aid, the decomposition of the Eastern Bloc and the effects of the post-war embargo by the USA. In 1986 the CPV adopted a series of market reforms known as Đổi Mới which would transition the country to a socialist-oriented market economy.
According to a forecast by PwC in February 2017, Vietnam may be the fastest-growing of the world's economies, with a potential annual GDP growth rate of about 5.1%, which would make its economy the 20th-largest in the world by 2050.
- "Vietnamese Resistance to French Colonialism" (2018-01-09). Alpha History. Retrieved 2022-05-07.
- Richard Becker (2015-03-08). "How Vietnam defeated U.S. imperialism" Liberation School. Archived from the original on 2022-02-03. Retrieved 2022-05-07.
- "How will the global economic order change by 2050?" (2017-02).