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Vietnam

Yearbook 2001

2001 VietnamVietnam. In February, protests among ethnic minorities erupted in the mountains of central Vietnam. Kravall police and soldiers, supported by helicopters, were deployed against the riots, which were described as the worst in years. Vietnamese exile organizations stated that the unrest had been heightened by the torture of two Christians in the area. Others believed that the rapid expansion of coffee cultivation in the mountains, which increased the population, had led to the contradictions.

2001 Vietnam

According to Countryaah, Vietnam's ruling Communist Party held a congress in Hanoi April 19-22. President of the National Assembly (Parliament) Nong-'u'c Manh was elected new Secretary-General. He replaced the conservative Le Kha Phieu. President Trān-'u'c Lu'o'ng and Prime Minister Phan Văn Khai retained their seats. Nong-Đu'c Manh, aged 60, was the first member of an ethnic minority, northern Taiwan, to be elected to a top position within the party. He was seen as a reform-friendly force and was known to have increased Parliament's influence over politics.

US Secretary of State Colin Powell made a notable visit to Vietnam in July - over 30 years after joining as a soldier in the Vietnam War. In November, the National Assembly and the President accepted the agreement on normalized trade relations with the United States that Bill Clinton negotiated the year before.

In July, at least 16 people perished in the mountains of the north as Hurricane Durian pulled over the area. A month later, Hanoi was hit by the worst floods in 20 years, and in October storms and floods in the Mekong Delta claimed more than 300 lives.

During the year, General Duong Văn Minh, South Vietnam's last president who capitulated to North Vietnam's forces in 1975, passed away at the age of 86. Nguyễn Văn Thiễu, who ruled South Vietnam for ten years until the days before North Vietnam entered the country, also died in the United States at the age of 78.

Contemporary History of Vietnam

Vietnam's contemporary history is the country's history from the 1990s until today. After the Vietnam War (1957-1975) between the South and the North, where the US-backed South lost, Vietnam was reunited to the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. After the war, a difficult period, both politically and economically, followed to build the country.

Throughout the 1990s, Vietnam's economy has become more liberalized and conditions have facilitated private business, which has led to far better economics, although poverty and corruption are still major problems. In 2001, the Communist Party was given a new, more reform-friendly leadership with Secretary-General Nong Duc Manh in the lead, and reforms and political embellishment followed.

Vietnam is a member of the UN, the World Trade Organization, ASEAN and APEC.

Political leadership

In 1996, the Vietnam Communist Party (CCP) made a generational change in leadership: Tran Duc Luong became President, Phan Van Khai Prime Minister and Le Kha Phieu new Secretary General. The shift did not appear to lead to any significant change in policy, with the Communist Party holding on to its monopoly of power. However, the National Assembly gradually gained greater authority, and in 1997, three representatives who were not affiliated to the party were elected for the first time.

In 2001, the party took on a new, more reform-friendly leadership with Secretary General Nong Duc Manh in the lead. After advocating both continued economic reform and some political softening, Nong Duc Manh was re-elected as party leader for another five years in 2006. At the same time, top management was renewed with Nguyen Tran Dung as prime minister and Nguyen Minh Triet as president, both from the southern region. Still, the economic changes went much faster than the political ones.

In the election to the National Assembly in 2007, the Communist Party received 91 percent of all votes. The influence of the congregation was formerly more formal than real, but has in recent years gradually increased its importance. However, the assembly is still subject to the communist party's directives.

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