The Socialist Republic of Vietnam (Vietnamese: Cộng Hòa Xã Hội Chủ Nghĩa Việt Nam; Chu Nom: ) or more commonly known as Vietnam (Việt Nam; ) is the easternmost country on the Indochina peninsula. Vietnam is bordered by China to the north, Laos to the northwest, Cambodia to the southwest, and the South China Sea to the east. With a population of about 84 million people, Vietnam is the 13th most populous country in the world. Vietnam is included in the "Next Eleven" economic group; according to the government, Vietnam's GDP grew by 8.17% in 2006, the second fastest growing country in East Asia and the first in Southeast Asia. At the end of 2007, the finance minister stated that Vietnam's GDP growth was expected to reach a record high in the last ten years at 8.44%.
Vietnam's history dates back 4000 years. Vietnam from the 11th century BC to the 10th century AD was mostly under the rule of the Chinese empire. In 939 AD, Vietnam became politically independent, and began to use Champa as the country's name. This period is considered a period of building Vietnamese identity.
The area of Vietnam is 332,698 km², almost equivalent to the area of Germany. The part of Vietnam which borders its international boundaries is 4639 km and the length of the coast is about 3444 km. Its topography consists of heavily forested hills and mountains, with the lowlands covering no more than 20% of it. Mountains account for 40% of Vietnam's total area, with small hills contributing 40% and tropical forests 42%. The northern part consists mostly of mountains and the Red River delta. Phan Xi Pang, located in Lao Cai province, is Vietnam's highest mountain at 3,143 meters. The south is divided into coastal lowlands, the peaks of the Annamite Chain, with extensive forests. Consisting of five flat plains of basalt soil, mountains contribute 16% of cultivated land and 22% of Vietnam's total forested land.
The Red River Delta (also known as Song Hong), is a flat triangular area of 15 000 km², smaller but more developed and densely populated than the Mekong River Delta. Formerly the Red River Delta was a small bay in the Gulf of Tonkin region, filled by large deposits of river deposits over the millennial period and extending 100 meters into the Gulf of Tonkin each year. The Mekong Delta covers about 40,000 square kilometers, is a lowland no more than three meters above sea level from any point and is crossed by a network of canals and rivers. So much sediment is carried by the branches and flows of the Mekong River that the delta extends about 60 to 80 meters seaward each year.
Vietnam has a tropical monsoon climate, with an average humidity of 84% throughout the year. However, due to differences in latitude and topographical diversity, climate tends to vary greatly from place to place. During the winter or dry season, generally from November to April, the monsoons usually blow from the Northeast along the coast of China and towards the Gulf of Tonkin, increasing the amount of humidity; As a result, winter in most of Vietnam is dry. The average annual temperature is generally higher in the lowlands than in the mountains and highlands.
The Socialist Republic of Vietnam is a single party state. A new constitution was passed in April 1992 replacing the 1975 version. The former main role of the Communist party was reinstated in all organs of government, politics and society. Only political organizations cooperating with or supported by the Communist Party are allowed to participate in elections. These include the Vietnam Fatherland Front, the trade union party in Vietnam