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Vietnam. 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

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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

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