Vietnam. Twenty-five years after the end of the Vietnam War, there was a clear rapprochement between Vietnam and the former enemy of the United States. In March, William Cohen came to visit as the first US Secretary of Defense after the war. Cohen thanked their hosts for the cooperation in the search for the remains of missing American soldiers.
Thousands of Vietnamese war veterans and active soldiers participated April 30 in military parades in the capital Hô Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon) to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the city’s conquest, an event that led to the end of the Vietnam War and the reunification of North and South Vietnam. Over three million Vietnamese and 58,000 Americans died in the war.
During the summer, the US and Vietnam signed a trade agreement that was expected to lead to a sharp increase in exports to Vietnam. In November, US President Bill Clinton came on a historic visit to Vietnam. Clinton was greeted with enthusiasm by the people and spoke of the reconciliation and healing of the wounds of war. The president praised the Vietnamese government for opening up the country’s economy to the free market, and in its delegation, he had representatives from many US large corporations.
- ABBREVIATIONFINDER: Offers three letter and two letter abbreviations for the country of Vietnam. Also covers country profile such as geography, society and economy.
China and Vietnam also improved their relations significantly during the year. Leading members of the Vietnam Communist Party attended a political seminar in China in June, which was unique. Vietnam, which was allied with the former Soviet Union, has had a tense relationship with China, among others. because of China’s support for the Cambodian Red Khmer. In the fall, it was announced that China had granted extensive loans for Vietnamese industrial projects.
This year’s monsoon rain led to rising floods along the Mekong River. During the fall, at least 280 people drowned, most of them children who could not swim. Nearly 200,000 people were forced to leave their homes, and the United Nations appealed for $ 10 million in disaster relief to those affected.
Human Rights Watch noted during the year that critics of the ruling Communist Party in Vietnam are still being persecuted. Religious oppression also continues, according to the organization. Although more than 22,000 prisoners were released in connection with the 25th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War, there were not many political or religious prisoners among the released. In April, however, some 30 people staged a demonstration outside the Communist Party headquarters in protest against widespread government corruption in the country. Street protests of this kind are very rare in Vietnam.
War with Kampuchea and China
At the same time, peace was not yet fully established in the area. In January 1979, Vietnam came to war with the Pol Pot government in Kampuchea (present-day Cambodia), which required significant sections of Vietnamese territory (see Cambodia). The same year, shortly after the Pol Pot regime was replaced by Heng Samrin, China invaded northern Vietnam. Allegedly in defense of the Chinese people who opposed a “Vietnamization campaign”. The real reason, however, was that China had been the collapsed Pol Pot’s main alliance partner. It reached new border crossings in 1980, but Vietnam had military superiority and the border between the two countries remained unchanged.
Kampuchea’s unity with the rest of Indochina is considered by Vietnam as essential to the country’s own security. Support for the Heng Samrin government against the Khmer Rouge, Prince Sihanouk and the National Liberation Front was costly to Vietnam – both because of military efforts and food aid. The United States, under the leadership of President Ronald Reagan, in 1981, did not get any better at barring UN aid and a North American aid organization.
Already at VKP’s 4th party congress in 1976, the goal had been formulated for self-sufficiency in the key sectors: In agriculture, the goal was the production of 20 million tonnes of grain – predominantly rice – per year, and within the energy production, construction of several thermal power plants was planned. At the same time, relations with the Soviet Union were strengthened with the signing of an oil exploration agreement.
Economic and political crisis
From 1985, the Vietnamese government released several political prisoners and initiated an approximation process with the ASEAN countries and the United States in search of solutions for the entire Indochina region. The US discussed how the search for unidentified North American dead soldiers could be organized, how Vietnamese loyal to the crashed regime could be sent into exile, and how children of North American soldiers could come to the United States.
On July 11, 1986, VKP Secretary General Le Duan died. He had held this post since 1969 and had been Ho Chi Minh’s close partner. As his successor, the party appointed 71-year-old Nguyen Van Linh, who had been a Vietcong strategist.
According to COUNTRYAAH, the population of Vietnam in 2000 was 79,910,301, ranking number 13 in the world. The population growth rate was 1.300% yearly, and the population density was 257.7173 people per km2.