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Location of Vietnam in Indochina
Vietnam (Vietnamese: Việt Nam, [vîət nāːm] (listen)), officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, is a country in Southeast Asia. Located at the eastern edge of mainland Southeast Asia, it covers 311,699 square kilometres. With a population of over 96 million, it is the world's fifteenth-most populous country. Vietnam borders China to the north, Laos and Cambodia to the west, and shares maritime borders with Thailand through the Gulf of Thailand, and the Philippines, Indonesia, and Malaysia through the South China Sea. Its capital is Hanoi and its largest city is Ho Chi Minh City.

Vietnam was inhabited as early as the Paleolithic age. The first known states during the first millennium BC centered on the Red River Delta, located in modern-day northern Vietnam. The Han dynasty annexed and put Northern and Central Vietnam under Chinese rule from 111 BC, until the first dynasty emerged in 939. Successive monarchical dynasties absorbed Chinese influences through Confucianism and Buddhism, and expanded southward to the Mekong Delta. The Nguyễn—the last imperial dynasty—fell to French colonisation in 1887. Following the August Revolution, the nationalist Viet Minh under the leadership of communist revolutionary Ho Chi Minh proclaimed independence from France in 1945.

Vietnam went through prolonged warfare through the 20th century. After World War II, France returned to reclaim colonial power in the First Indochina War, from which Vietnam emerged victorious in 1954. The Vietnam War began shortly after, during which the nation was divided into communist North supported by the Soviet Union and China, and anti-communist South supported by the United States. Upon North Vietnamese victory in 1975, Vietnam reunified as a unitary socialist state under the Communist Party of Vietnam in 1976. An ineffective planned economy, trade embargo by the West, and wars with Cambodia and China crippled the country. In 1986, the Communist Party initiated economic and political reforms, transforming the country to a market-oriented economy.

The reforms facilitated Vietnamese integration into global economy and politics. A developing country with a lower-middle-income economy, Vietnam is one of the fastest growing economies of the 21st century. It is part of international and intergovernmental institutions including the United Nations, the ASEAN, the APEC, the CPTPP, the Non-Aligned Movement, the OIF, and the WTO. It has assumed a seat on the United Nations Security Council twice. Contemporary issues in Vietnam include corruption and a poor human rights record. (Full article...)

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Map indicating towns and cities in which significant fighting occurred during the Tet offensive of 1968
Map indicating towns and cities in which significant fighting occurred during the Tet offensive of 1968

The Tet Offensive (Vietnamese: Sự kiện Tết Mậu Thân 1968, lit. "1968 Yang Earth Monkey Tet event", also Tổng tiến công và nổi dậy, Tết Mậu Thân 1968, "General offensive and uprising of Tet Mau Than") was a major escalation and one of the largest military campaigns of the Vietnam War. It was launched on January 30, 1968 by forces of the Viet Cong (VC) and North Vietnamese People's Army of Vietnam (PAVN) against the forces of the South Vietnamese Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN), the United States Armed Forces and their allies. It was a campaign of surprise attacks against military and civilian command and control centers throughout South Vietnam. The name is the truncated version of the Lunar New Year festival name in Vietnamese, Tết Nguyên Đán, with the offense chosen during a holiday period as most ARVN personnel were on leave. The purpose of the wide-scale offensive by the Hanoi Politburo was to trigger political instability, in a belief that mass armed assault on urban centers would trigger defections and rebellions.

The offensive was launched prematurely in the late night hours of 30 January in the I and II Corps Tactical Zones of South Vietnam. This early attack allowed allied forces some time to prepare defensive measures. When the main operation began the next morning, the offensive was countrywide and well coordinated; eventually more than 80,000 PAVN/VC troops struck more than 100 towns and cities, including 36 of 44 provincial capitals, five of the six autonomous cities, 72 of 245 district towns, and the southern capital. The offensive was the largest military operation conducted by either side up to that point in the war. (Full article...)
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  • ... that the 1983 memoir Home Before Morning, which details the author's time as a Vietnam War nurse, is dedicated to "all of the unknown women who served forgotten in their wars"?
  • ... that the township of Hồ Xá in Vietnam was once known as the "B-52 bomb pocket"?
  • ... that wushu athlete Nguyễn Thúy Hiền was voted the best Vietnamese female athlete of the 20th century?
  • ... that the Vietnamese pop song "Ghen Cô Vy" was produced to educate people on how to avoid contracting COVID-19?
  • ... that Mongol general Uriyangkhadai invaded the territory of the Song dynasty in southern China by going through Tibet and Vietnam?
  • ... that the Vietnam mouse-deer, which had been feared to have gone extinct nearly 30 years ago, was sighted again in 2019?

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Vietnam News

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12 March 2022 – COVID-19 pandemic
COVID-19 pandemic in Vietnam
Vietnam reports a record 454,197 new COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours, including a record 225,693 new cases in Hanoi, which is the highest single-day total in any municipality or province. (VnExpress)
15 February 2022 – COVID-19 pandemic
COVID-19 pandemic in Vietnam
Vietnam lifts its COVID-19-related curbs on international passenger flights with no limitation on the number of flights in order to restore the travel to pre-pandemic level. (Al-Jazeera)
19 January 2022 – COVID-19 pandemic
COVID-19 pandemic in Vietnam
Vietnam reports its first three locally transmitted cases of the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant in Ho Chi Minh City. (Hanoi Times)


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