Vietnam

French rule of Vietnam ended in 1954. Divided at 17°N, the US-backed South fought the Communist North. Reunified after the North’s 1975 victory, it is run as a single-party state.


Geography:

A heavily forested mountain range separates the northern Red River delta lowlands from the Mekong Delta in the south.

Climate:

Cool winters in north; south is tropical, with even temperatures.  

People & Society:

Ethnic Vietnamese dominate; the Chinese minority was viewed as a corrupt bourgeoisie by the victorious Communists after the war. Mountainbased minorities (montagnards) were also sidelined; tensions persist over the settling of highlands by lowlanders. 

Women play an active role in society. 

There is no political or press freedom.

Economy:

Liberal economic policy (doi moi) from 1986: now one of fastest-growing economies. 

Major rice exporter. 

Cheap labor. 

Strong manufacturing: textiles, electrical goods. 

Diverse resource base.  

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