World and Its Peoples: Eastern and Southern Asia - Vol. 6

By Paul Bernabeo | Go to book overview

Vietnam

Before French intervention in the region in the nineteenth century, central Vietnam
was the empire of Annam. After the Japanese invaded in World War II (1939–1945),
a Communist guerrilla force fought them in the north and attempted to establish
a state centered on Hanoi. After the war, France struggled to regain control, and
after the Communists defeated French forces in 1954, there were two independent
Vietnamese states: a monarchy in the south and a Communist state in the north.
South Vietnam (a republic after 1955) was unable to resist Communist infiltration
from the north. By 1964, U.S. advisers supporting the southern government had
grown into an army, and U.S. military involvement in the Vietnam War lasted until
1973. North Vietnam overran the south in 1975, and the two states united in 1976.
After the late 1980s, Vietnam made economic reforms, but growth has been
limited. Because it has a much larger population than its neighbors, except China,
Vietnam has an influential role in the region.

GEOGRAPHY

LocationSoutheast Asia, along the South China Sea between China and Cambodia
ClimateTropical climate with little seasonal variation in temperature; wet monsoon season from May through September; dry season from October through March
Area127.816 sq. miles (331,041 sq. km), excluding the disputed Spratly and Paracel islands
Coastline2.153 miles (3,444 km), excluding the disputed Spratly and Paracel islands
Highest pointFan-si-pan 10,306 ft (3,141 m)
Lowest pointBeside the South China Sea 0 ft (0 m)
TerrainFlat delta regions in the north and south; central highlands; mountains in the northwest
Natural resourcesCoal, phosphates, manganese, bauxite, offshore oil and natural gas, timber
Land use
Arable land20.1 percent
Permanent crops6.9 percent
Other73.0 percent
Major riversMekong, Red River, Black River
Major lakeHoa Binh reservoir
Natural hazardsFlooding, drought

FLAG

The national flag of united
Vietnam was formerly the flag
of Communist North Vietnam.
The (lag is red and there is
a five-pointed gold star at
the center. Red represents
Communism. The five points of
the star represent the different
sections of Vietnamese society:
industrial workers, farmers,
intellectuals, the armed forces,
and young people.

METROPOLITAN AREAS, 1999 POPULATIONS

Urban population15 percent
Ho Chi Minh City4,630,000
Ho Chi Minh City3,320,000
Bien Hoa360,000
Hanoi2,610,000
Hanoi City1,450,000
Haiphong1,700,000
Haiphong City550,000
Da Nang750,000
Da Nang City440,000

-814-

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World and Its Peoples: Eastern and Southern Asia - Vol. 6
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page 721
  • Contents 723
  • Geography and Climate 724
  • Cambodia 756
  • Laos 786
  • Vietnam 814
  • Further Research 858
  • Index 862
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