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  1. Vietnam

  2. Statistics and History • 87 million people • 1000 year occupation by the Chinese from 111 BC to 939 AD • Different cultures in Tonkin, Annam, and Cochin China • Colonized by French in late 1800s and thrown out by 1954 • Geneva Accords of 1954 set country for unification but were ignored by southern regime under Ngo Dinh Diem and emperor Bao Dai • Diem regime encountered internal resistance from Viet Cong and received support from U.S. that eventually supported his removal from power by military coup • 1968 Half-million American forces on the ground – Tet Offensive proved the staying power of the Vietnamese – Nixon begins Vietnamization of conflict and expanded conflict into Cambodia – 1973 Paris Peace Accords pull the United States out of conflict • 1978 Vietnam invades Cambodia • 1979 China/Vietnamese conflict • 1986 DoiMoi Renovation • 1995 joined ASEAN and normalized relations with United States • Economic development in Vietnam has generated less inequality

  3. Institutions and Social Groups • Ho Chi Minh – Committed communist and founding father whose thought and image are central to conception of legitimacy in Vietnam • Communist Party of Vietnam – 3 percent of the population or about 3 million members – bung di – factionalism: reformers, neoconservatives, bureaucrats, and the military – doimoi – consistent with Ho’s views – Ruling Triumvirate include Party Secretary NongDucManh (northerner), President Nguyen Minh Triet (southerner), Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung (southerner) • The National Assembly – Increased attention to rule of law has increased role of National Assembly in politics – CPV dominates selection process for candidates to the assembly – Ho Chi Minh ideology is pre-requisite for elections • Military – 4.4 million man army is the largest in Southeast Asia – remains subordinate to party

  4. Democratization • 1989 President Nguyen Van Linh stated the party rejected, “bourgeois liberalization, pluralism, political plurality, and multiopposition parties aimed at denying Marxism-Leninism, socialism, and the party’s leadership.” • Democratic instability in Thailand, the Philippines, and Indonesia supported Vietnamese critique • No history of democracy and Confucian tradition emphasizing hierarchy and order complements dominance of Communist party • Mixed record on civil liberties – Buddhism v. Communist party = tensions, better relations with Catholic Church, Freedom of expression does not exist; labor rights improving

  5. Economic Development • After the end of the war in 1975, Vietnamese economy declined for a full fifteen years. Poor infrastructure, weak banking system, and switched from an exporter of rice to an importer of rice – war devastation and creation of dependent economy in the South combined with efforts toward collectivization contributed to abysmal state of Vietnamese economy • DoiMoi reforms instituted in 1986 creating incentives to develop; Investment code revised in 1987 as well – Development occurred more rapidly in South than in the North – unemployment remained high • Improvement of relations with United States increased foreign investment and contributed to boom in foreign investment – growth rates accelerated to 9.6% but slowed to 7% with Asian Financial Crisis and dissatisfaction with layers of bureaucracy and corruption to do business in Vietnam • Vietnamese economy climbed back to 8% growth rate by 2005 and is sustained as Vietnam joined the World Trade Organization. Vietnamese stock market grows at rapid rate and then crashes just as rapidly in 2008 – Government raises interest rates, bans importation of gold, increases taxes on luxuries, and devalues dong

  6. The Vietnamese State • Until recently, the Vietnamese Communist Party has been the state • History of social dislocation set forth the conditions for a strong state • Since 1986, new institutions such as the National Assembly has emerged as bearers of power • Legitimacy of state built upon successful revolutionary struggle and on performance in delivering economic goods • Top governmental officials are generally top party officials • Transferred over one hundred companies from the military to civilian control

  7. Foreign Policy • Before 1986, Vietnam foreign policy revolved around securing sovereignty against all aggressors • In post 1975 period Vietnamese foreign policy was framed by fundamental Marxist-Leninist Principles focused on statements of superior virtue rather than interests • Withdrew from Cambodia in 1989 but did not gain diplomatic credit for act until 1990 • Normalized relations with China in 1991 • U.S. embargo lifted in 1994 • Relations with the U.S. established in 1995 • Hosted APEC in 2006

  8. Conclusion • Vietnam’s future depends upon the ability of the Vietnamese communist party to balance economic development and one-party rule • Rich natural resources, disciplined workforce, and tradition of entrepreneurship are favorable features for development • Oppressive policies of the past prevented realization of this potential