Low, flat delta in south and north; central highlands; hilly, mountainous in far north and northwest
GEO-POLITICAL SIGNIFICANCE ( :50)
Tropical in south; monsoonal in north with hot, rainy season (May to September) and warm, dry season (October to March)
Nationality: Vietnamese (singular and plural)
Population: 92,477,857 (July 2013 est.),
Languages: Vietnamese (official), English (increasingly favored as a second language), some French, Chinese, and Khmer, mountain area languages (Mon-Khmer and Malayo-Polynesian)
REACTION TO AMERICANS (:25)
NORTH/SOUTH CULTURES (:47)
Buddhist 9.3%, Catholic 6.7%, Hoa Hao 1.5%, Cao Dai 1.1%, Protestant 0.5%, Muslim 0.1%, none 80.8%
Vietnam is a densely-populated developing country that has been transitioning from the rigidities of a centrally-planned economy since 1986. Vietnamese authorities have reaffirmed their commitment to economic modernization in recent years. Vietnam joined the World Trade Organization in January 2007, which has promoted more competitive, export-driven industries.
ECONOMIC TRANSITION (1986-PRESENT) ( :56)
ECONOMIC STRENGTHS ( :50)
FOREIGN INVESTMENT ( :44)
The health of the Vietnamese people has suffered from decades of war, upheaval, and population increase. Malaria and tuberculosis are widespread, and cholera and bubonic plague continue to threaten many Vietnamese. Malnutrition also affects many in the country. Close to 80% of the Vietnamese population lives in rural areas, primarily in small villages. The housing of northern and southern Vietnam differs due to climatic differences.
IMPROVED LIVING STANDARDS ( :32)
HANOI & HO CHI MINH CITY/SAIGON (1:01)
ASEAN MEMBER NATION ( :39)
US Military Presence/Support
U.S. & Vietnamese officials work together to identify & recover POW/MIA military remains from the Vietnam War. American assistance supports the identification & deactivation of unexploded ordnances in the country. The U.S. provides military training in the areas of humanitarian relief, search & rescue & maritime security. It has recently provided $18 million to enhance related coastal patrol activities & offered other assistance for economic development.
US MILITARY RELATIONSHIP (1:51)