AKA: Socialist Republic of Vietnam Dimensions: 331.698 km², 128,565 sq mi Population: 90,549,390
The country of Vietnam is the easternmost country on the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia, bordered by China to the north, Laos to the northwest, Cambodia to the southwest, and the South China Sea to the east.
The country is famed overseas largely for the "Vietnam War"; a 20-year conflict which saw the involvement of the United States of America and its Pacific allies during the "War against Communism" period following the second World War.
Vietnam became independent from Imperial China in 938 AD, following the Battle of Bạch Đằng River. Successive Vietnamese royal dynasties flourished as the nation expanded geographically and politically into Southeast Asia, until the Indochina Peninsula was colonized by the French in the mid-19th century. Efforts to resist the French eventually led to their expulsion from the country in the mid-20th century, leaving Vietnam divided politically into two countries (North Vietnam and South Vietnam). Fighting between the two sides continued, with heavy foreign intervention during what would become known as the "Vietnam War", ending with a North Vietnamese victory in 1975.
Emerging from this prolonged military engagement, the Communist nation became politically isolated. In 1986, the government instituted economic and political reforms and began a path towards international reintegration. By 2000, it had established diplomatic relations with most nations. Its economic growth have since been among the highest in the world since 2000, however, the country still suffers from high levels of income inequality, disparities in healthcare provision, and poor gender equality.