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The Landscape of Vietnam

TheLandscape of Vietnam

TheLandscape of Vietnam

Vietnamis a country located in South East Asia, lying on the Indo-ChinaPeninsula. The country is a full socialist republic, consisting of apopulation of over 90.5 million people. By virtue of its highpopulation, the country rates 14thon the list of most populated countries in the world and 4thamong the Asians most populous countries. The country is bordered byChina, Laos, Cambodia, and Malaysia. Vietnam’s capital city isHanoi (VietnamTravel Guide, 2015).


Vietnamhas a vast of natural resources that it prides upon. These resourcesinclude the reserves of minerals, the forests, and the bordering sea.The forests comprise of diverse plants, comprising of over 1500species of medicinal plants, 800 timber-producing trees, and 60bamboo species. Its forests is also a home to over 280 mammalspecies, 180 reptiles, 826 bird species and 100 amphibian species.The country has various rare species of animals featured on the WorldRed List. Besides, the country has a large energy potential,comprising of reserves such as natural gas, oil and coal, andhydropower. It also has mineral reserves such as gold, copper, andbauxite. Moreover, a vast of Vietnam land can support agriculture(McMahon,2012).


TheVietnam is a tropical monsoon climate, with a high humidity of over84 percent. Nevertheless, it comprises of various sub-climates,mediated by varied topographic aspects. For instance, the climate ofthe northern region experiences the summer, fall, spring, and winterseasons. The central region has an adverse climate characterized byfrequents periods of droughts and famine. The average amount ofrainfall the country receives is 1500-2000mm,while the average number of sunshine hours is 1,500-2,000, with aradiant heat averaging 100kcal/ cm2(Vietnam Travel Guide, 2015).

Religionand Language

Vietnamis conceived as one of the least religious countries in the globe.Nevertheless, the country evidences some of forms of folk religion,which has historically been shaped by the other popular Asianreligions such as the Taoism, Confucianism, and Buddhism. Thecountry’s popular language is Vietnamese, the most spoken of allAustro-Asiatic family of languages. However, most of its vocabularyhas been derived from the Chinese language. The Vietnamese constituteabout 80 percent of the population, while the rest comprises of thediverse ethnic groups. Of the remaining population, the Chinese makeup 3 percent, with majority occupying the South’s urban centers.Apart from Vietnamese, other languages popularly used in countryinclude Russian, English, French, and Chinese. Vietnamese is thenational language, while English is the official language. TheVietnamese people are popularly known for being very hospitable tostrangers. The Vietnamese people are highly welcoming and friendly tothe visitors (VietnamTravel Guide, 2015).


TheVietnamese population comprises of Mongols descendants from China andsome early migrants from Indonesia. Myths hold that the country wasfounded by Hung Vuong in 2879 BC. However, it was taken over by theChina in 111BC until 15thCountry, when the Cambodians were driven from the Area. The firstEuropeans to occupy the country were the Portuguese, but it wouldlater be colonized by France. Vietnam was one of the epicenters ofthe capitalism and Communism conflicts, the 1955 Vietnam War. Thecountry was divided into two, one side supported by the UnitedStates, and the other by the Communist powers such as Soviet andChina. In the Second World War period, the country was a zone ofoccupation of the French colonists and the Japanese troops. Thecountry gained independence in 1945. However, it was not long beforethe country reverted to war after the French showed the interest ofannexing the country. The anti-French war lasted 9 years, concludingin the 1954 with the division of the country into two: the North andthe South. The North was named the Democratic Republic of Vietnam,led by the Communist Party, while the South was under the USinfluence. Since the 1950s, the US involvement in the Vietnameseaffairs kept increasing over time, and would later culminate into the1965 War. The American troops were withdrawn in 1973 following thesigning of the Paris Treaty. The conflict continued until 1976,concluding with the reunion of the South and the North. Since then,the country has been peaceful (Karrnow,2012).

Formof Government

Vietnamis a socialist republic based on a single party framework, theCommunist Part of Vietnam. The state is headed by the president,while the government is headed by the prime minister. The governmentconsists of three arms the executive, the legislature and thejudiciary. The executive powers are exercised by the president andthe government. The power of legislation is vested in the NationalAssembly. The judiciary is headed by chief justice, and isindependent from the executive arm. As a socialist republic, Vietnamgovernment is espoused to the Hồ Chí Minh and Marxism–Leninismideologies, which serve as a framework for governance. The currentpresident of Vietnam is TrươngTấn Sang, while the prime minister is Nguyễn Tấn Dũng. Thesecretary general to theCommunist Part of Vietnam isNguyễn Phú Trọng (McMahon,2012).


Alook at the Vietnam’s economic conditions reveals it is dynamic,although there are still a myriad of issues that the government isstruggling to address. In general, the country’s economic freedomscore is only 54.0, which implies that the economy is still not aliberal one. Nevertheless, the country has made a significant numberof reforms to liberalize the economy. The country ranks 131ston the list of world’s vibrant economies, and 27thon among the Asia’s economies.

Therule of law is one of the outstanding economic challenges. The courtsystems are limited and less efficient in protecting the interests ofthe economy, especially in intervening on the matters of theintellectual property rights. The lack of transparency has also pavedway for corruption and embezzlement of government funds. The effortsto liberalize the country traces to 1986, having been founded by thedoi moi reforms and marked by Vietnam joining the World TradeOrganizations as from 2007. In 2012, in the inauguration of the newgovernment, the new elected leaders acknowledged the past regimes hadbeen characterized by massive mismanagement of the economy andpromised to stir rapid reforms that would renew rapid economicdevelopment. The economy of Vietnam is driven by tourism and exportof domestic products. Recently, the economic development has beenconstrained by lack of transparency and accountability, andinflation. Corruption is rampant in all sectors of government. Thehighest personal income tax rate levied is 35 percent, while thecorporate tax is 22 percent. Other forms of taxes include theproperty and value added tax. The tax burden accounts for assignificant as 19 percent of the domestic incomes. The massivecorruption levels and inflations have cost the government significantbudget deficits that have resulted in heavy borrowing. The governmentdebt is over 60 percent of the domestic products (Jahn,2012).


Traditionally,since independence, Vietnam diplomatic relationships were limited tosocialist countries such as the Soviet Union. However, the countrylater launched the economic revolutionary policy that would expandits international relationship scope.

Thepolicy created the allowance for the country to renew itsrelationships with the international institutions such as the WorldBank, the United Nations, the Asian Bank and International MonetaryFund. As of 1996, the country signed for membership of ASEAN FreeTrade Area (AFTA), and in 1998, it was accepted as a full member ofthe Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC). In 2007, Vietnam wasaccepted as a member of the World Trade Organization. Currently, thecountry is a member of over 63 International Organizations, andrecognizes and relates with over 650 non-governmental organizationsacross the world.

Sinceit joined the United Nations, the country has been increasinglyplaying a crucial rule facilitating the activity of the organization.Its active presence has also been noted in its participation in theECOSOC, Francophone, UN Security Council, ASEAN, UPU ExecutiveCouncils, Non-Aligned Movement, UNFPA, ECOSOC, and UNDP (Woods,2012).


Jahn,G. C. (2012). &quotThe dream is not yet over&quot. In FredenburgP., Hill B. (eds.): Sharingrice for peace and prosperity in the Greater Mekong Subregion.Victoria, Australia: Sid Harta Publishers.

Karrnow,S. (2012). Vietnam:A History.Penguin.

McMahon,R. (2012). MajorProblems in the History of the Vietnam War: Documents and Essays.

VietnamTravel Guide (2015). AboutVietnam.Retrieved fromhttps://www.holidaysvietnam.com/travel-guide/history-of-vietnam.html

Woods,L. (2012). Vietnam: a global studies handbook. ABC-CLIO.