Vietnam. 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.
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 Trân-‘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.
- Abbreviationfinder: lists typical abbreviations and country overview of Vietnam, including bordering countries, geography, history, politics, and economics.
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.
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.
In 1976, the Vietnamese were united under the Socialist regime. Saigon’s name was changed to Ho Chi Minh. Thousands of people fled from the south to neighboring countries. Often they set out on their desperate voyage in small boats. Finland provided asylum to one hundred Vietnamese “boat refugees,” as they were commonly called. Conflicts arose on the Cambodian border, which escalated in 1978 into armed conflict. The Vietnamese invaded neighboring country and helped drive Pol Pot’s troops into exile. They occupied much of Cambodia for nearly nine years.
The Vietnam War is remembered
- FNL: On the South Vietnam side, a liberation front formed in 1960 in support of the North Communists and opposed to the Republic of Vietnam, formed by various religions and social classes.
- Viet Cong: An American term for FNL guerrilla fighters.
- Viet Minh: An independence movement founded by Ho Chi Minh in 1941 that attacked the French. Established to mean the communist rulers of North Vietnam.
- Tet Attack: Tet is the most important annual celebration of Vietnamese, a sign of the beginning of spring. The FNL guerrillas staged a major offensive against American troops during the 1968 tet celebration. Shortly thereafter, the United States began peace talks.
According to Countryaah, the population of Vietnam in 2001 was 83,832,550, ranking number 13 in the world. The population growth rate was 0.960% yearly, and the population density was 270.3669 people per km2.