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|Socialist Republic of Vietnam|
|Motto: Độc lập - Tự do - Hạnh phúc
"Independence - Freedom - Happiness"
|Anthem: Tiến Quân Ca
"Army March" (first verse)
|Largest city||Ho Chi Minh City|
|Official scripts||Vietnamese alphabet|
|Government||Unitary socialist republic,
|-||President||Nguyễn Minh Triết|
|-||Prime Minister||Nguyễn Tấn Dũng|
|-||General Secretary of CPV||Nông Đức Mạnh|
|-||Chairman of National Assembly of Vietnam||Nguyễn Phú Trọng|
|Legislature||National Assembly of Vietnam|
|-||French annexation||1853 to 1883|
|-||Independence from France||2 September 1945|
|-||Reunification||30 April 1975|
|-||Current constitution||15 April 1992|
|-||Total||331,690 km2 (65th)
128,527 sq mi
|-||1 April 2009 census||85,846,997 (13th)|
|GDP (PPP)||2009 estimate|
|GDP (nominal)||2010 estimate|
|-||Total||$104,600 billion |
|Gini (2002)||37 (medium) (59th)|
|HDI (2010)||0.572 (medium) (113th)|
|Currency||đồng (₫) (
|Time zone||UTC+7 (UTC+7)|
|-||Summer (DST)||No DST (UTC+7)|
|Drives on the||right|
|1||According to the official name and 1992 Constitution.|
Vietnam ( ; Vietnamese: Việt Nam, listen (help·info)), officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam (Vietnamese: Cộng hòa xã hội chủ nghĩa Việt Nam, listen (help·info)), is the easternmost country on the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is bordered by People's Republic of China (PRC) to the north, Laos to the northwest, Cambodia to the southwest, and the South China Sea, referred to as East Sea (Vietnamese: Biển Đông), to the east. With a population of over 86 million, Vietnam is the 13th most populous country in the world.
The people of Vietnam regained independence and broke away from China in AD 938 after their victory at the battle of Bạch Đằng River. Successive dynasties flourished along with geographic and political expansion deeper into Southeast Asia, until it was colonized by the French in the mid-19th century. Efforts to resist the French eventually led to their expulsion from the country in the mid-20th century, leaving a nation divided politically into two countries. Fighting between the two sides continued during the Vietnam War, ending with a North Vietnamese victory in 1975.
Emerging from this prolonged military engagement, the war-ravaged nation was politically isolated. In 1986, the government instituted economic and political reforms and began a path towards international reintegration. By 2000, it had established diplomatic relations with most nations. Its economic growth has been among the highest in the world in the past decade. These economic reforms also introduced inequality in many spheres of life in Vietnam such as income distribution and women's rights.
Việt Nam () was adopted as the official name of the country by Emperor Gia Long in 1804. It is a variation of "Nam Việt" (南越, Southern Việt), a name used in ancient times. In 1839, Emperor Minh Mạng renamed the country Đại Nam ("Great South"). In 1945, the nation's official name was changed back to "Vietnam". The name is also sometimes rendered as "Viet Nam" in English.
The area now known as Vietnam has been inhabited since Paleolithic times, and some archaeological sites in Thanh Hóa Province purportedly date back several thousand years. Archaeologists link the beginnings of Vietnamese civilization to the late Neolithic, Early Bronze Age, Phung Nguyen culture, which was centered in Vĩnh Phúc Province of contemporary Vietnam from about 2000 to 1400 BCE.
By about 1200 BCE, the development of wet-rice cultivation and bronze casting in the Ma River and Red River plains led to the development of the Dong Son culture, notable for its elaborate bronze drums. The bronze weapons, tools, and drums of Dong-Sonian sites show a Southeast Asian influence that indicates an indigenous origin for the bronze-casting technology.
Many small, ancient copper mine sites have been found in northern Vietnam. Some of the similarities between the Dong-Sonian sites and other Southeast Asian sites include the presence of boat-shaped coffins and burial jars, stilt dwellings, and evidence of the customs of betel-nut-chewing and teeth-blackening.