Geographic and Governmental Profile of Vietnam

Background
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military aid to South Vietnam grew through the 1960s in an attempt to bolster the government, but US armed forces were withdrawn following a cease-fire agreement in 1973.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, the persecution and mass exodus of individuals - many of them successful South Vietnamese merchants - and growing international isolation. 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 Communist leaders, however, maintain control on political expression and have resisted outside calls to improve human rights. The country continues to experience small-scale protests from various groups - the vast majority connected to land-use issues, calls for increased political space, and the lack of equitable mechanisms for resolving disputes. Various ethnic minorities, such as the Montagnards of the Central Highlands and the Khmer Krom in the southern delta region, have also held protests.
Location
Southeastern Asia, bordering the Gulf of Thailand, Gulf of Tonkin, and South China Sea, as well as China, Laos, and Cambodia
Geographic coordinates
16 10 N, 107 50 E
Continent / Subcontinent
Southeast Asia
Area
total:
331,210 sq km
rank:
66
land:
310,070 sq km
water:
21,140 sq km
Area - comparative
slightly larger than New Mexico
Land boundaries
total:
4,639 km
border countries:
Cambodia 1,228 km, China 1,281 km, Laos 2,130 km
Coastline
3,444 km (excludes islands)
Maritime claims
territorial sea:
12 nm
contiguous zone:
24 nm
exclusive economic zone:
200 nm
continental shelf:
200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin
Climate
tropical in south; monsoonal in north with hot, rainy season (May to September) and warm, dry season (October to March)
Terrain
low, flat delta in south and north; central highlands; hilly, mountainous in far north and northwest
Elevation extremes
lowest point:
South China Sea 0 m
highest point:
Fan Si Pan 3,144 m
Natural resources
phosphates, coal, manganese, rare earth elements, bauxite, chromate, offshore oil and gas deposits, timber, hydropower
Land use
arable land:
20.14%
permanent crops:
6.93%
other:
72.93% (2005)
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Irrigated land
46,000 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources
891.2 cu km (1999)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)
total:
71.39 cu km/yr (8%/24%/68%)
per capita:
847 cu m/yr (2000)
Natural hazards
occasional typhoons (May to January) with extensive flooding, especially in the Mekong River delta
Environment - current issues
logging and slash-and-burn agricultural practices contribute to deforestation and soil degradation; water pollution and overfishing threaten marine life populations; groundwater contamination limits potable water supply; growing urban industrialization and population migration are rapidly degrading environment in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City
Environment - international agreements
party to:
Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified:
none of the selected agreements
Geography - note
extending 1,650 km north to south, the country is only 50 km across at its narrowest point
Country name
conventional long form:
Socialist Republic of Vietnam
conventional short form:
Vietnam
local long form:
Cong Hoa Xa Hoi Chu Nghia Viet Nam
local short form:
Viet Nam
abbreviation:
SRV
Government type
Communist state
Capital
name:
Hanoi (Ha Noi)
geographic coordinates:
21 02 N, 105 51 E
time difference:
UTC+7 (12 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions
58 provinces (tinh, singular and plural) and 5 municipalities (thanh pho, singular and plural)
provinces:
An Giang, Bac Giang, Bac Kan, Bac Lieu, Bac Ninh, Ba Ria-Vung Tau, Ben Tre, Binh Dinh, Binh Duong, Binh Phuoc, Binh Thuan, Ca Mau, Cao Bang, Dak Lak, Dak Nong, Dien Bien, Dong Nai, Dong Thap, Gia Lai, Ha Giang, Ha Nam, Ha Tinh, Hai Duong, Hau Giang, Hoa Binh, Hung Yen, Khanh Hoa, Kien Giang, Kon Tum, Lai Chau, Lam Dong, Lang Son, Lao Cai, Long An, Nam Dinh, Nghe An, Ninh Binh, Ninh Thuan, Phu Tho, Phu Yen, Quang Binh, Quang Nam, Quang Ngai, Quang Ninh, Quang Tri, Soc Trang, Son La, Tay Ninh, Thai Binh, Thai Nguyen, Thanh Hoa, Thua Thien-Hue, Tien Giang, Tra Vinh, Tuyen Quang, Vinh Long, Vinh Phuc, Yen Bai
municipalities:
Can Tho, Da Nang, Ha Noi, Hai Phong, Ho Chi Minh City
Independence
2 September 1945 (from France)
Constitution
15 April 1992
Legal system
civil law system; note - the civil code of 2005 reflects a European-style civil law
International law organization participation
has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt
Suffrage
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch
chief of state:
President Truong Tan SANG (since 25 July 2011); Vice President Nguyen Thi DOAN (25 July 2007)
head of government:
Prime Minister Nguyen Tan DUNG (since 27 June 2006); Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung HAI (since 2 August 2007), Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Thien NHAN (since 2 August 2007), Deputy Prime Minister Vu Van NINH (since 3 August 2011), and Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan PHUC (since 3 August 2011)
cabinet:
Cabinet appointed by president based on proposal of prime minister and confirmed by National Assembly
elections:
president elected by the National Assembly from among its members for five-year term; last election held 25 July 2011 (next to be held in July 2016); prime minister appointed by the president from among the members of the National Assembly; deputy prime ministers appointed by the prime minister; appointment of prime minister and deputy prime ministers confirmed by National Assembly
election results:
Truong Tan SANG elected president; percent of National Assembly vote - 97%; Nguyen Tan DUNG elected prime minister; percent of National Assembly vote - 94%
Legislative branch
unicameral National Assembly or Quoc Hoi (500 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
elections:
last held on 22 May 2011 (next to be held in May 2016)
election results:
percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - CPV 458, non-party CPV-approved 38, self-nominated 4; note - 500 candidates were elected; the 496 CPV and non-party CPV-approved delegates were members of the Vietnamese Fatherland Front and were vetted prior to the election
Judicial branch
Supreme People's Court (chief justice is elected by the National Assembly on the recommendation of the president for a five-year term)
Political parties and leaders
Communist Party of Vietnam or CPV [Nguyen Phu TRONG]; other parties proscribed
Political pressure groups and leaders
8406 Bloc; Democratic Party of Vietnam or DPV; People's Democratic Party Vietnam or PDP-VN; Alliance for Democracy
these groups advocate democracy but are not recognized by the government
International organization participation
ADB, APEC, ARF, ASEAN, CICA, CP, EAS, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, MIGA, NAM, OIF, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the US
chief of mission:
Ambassador Nguyen Quoc CUONG
chancery:
1233 20th Street NW, Suite 400, Washington, DC 20036
telephone:
[1] (202) 861-0737
FAX:
[1] (202) 861-0917
consulate(s) general:
Houston, San Francisco
consulate:
New York
Diplomatic representation from the US
chief of mission:
Ambassador David B. SHEAR
embassy:
7 Lang Ha Street, Ba Dinh District, Hanoi
mailing address:
4550 Hanoi Place, Washington, DC 20521-4550
telephone:
[84] (4) 3850-5000
FAX:
[84] (4) 3850-5010
consulate(s) general:
Ho Chi Minh City
Flag description
red field with a large yellow five-pointed star in the center; red symbolizes revolution and blood, the five-pointed star represents the five elements of the populace - peasants, workers, intellectuals, traders, and soldiers - that unite to build socialism
National symbol(s)
yellow, five-pointed star on red field
National anthem
name:
"Tien quan ca" (The Song of the Marching Troops)
lyrics/music:
Nguyen Van CAO
adopted as the national anthem of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam in 1945; it became the national anthem of the unified Socialist Republic of Vietnam in 1976; although it consists of two verses, only the first is used as the official anthem
Data source 1: All Above textual data, maps and flags were extracted from The World Factbook which was prepared by the Central Intelligence Agency and made available on the following link: The World Factbook. Lebanese Economy Forum is not sponsered or affiliated, in any way, by the US Central Intelligence Agency
Data source 2: Plots and Charts are constructed using the world bank public data catalog which can be viewed by visiting the following link: World Bank Data Catalog. Lebanese Economy Forum is not sponsored or affiliated, in any way, by the worldbank

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