Conquest by the French
Vietnam became part of French Indochina
Vietnam divides into Communist North & Anti-Communist South
Withdrawal of US Armed Forces from Vietnam
Vietnam Commits to increased economic liberation
Under the Geneva Accords of 1954, Vietnam was divided into the Communist North and Anti-Communist South. US economic and military aid to South Vietnam grew through the 1960’s in an attempt to bolster the government, but US armed forces were withdrawn following a cease-fire agreement in 1973. Two years later, North Vietnamese forces overran the South reuniting the country under the Communist rule.
Despite the return of peace, for over a decade the country experienced little economic growth because of conservative leadership policies. However, since the enactment of Vietnam’s “doi moi” (renovation) policy in 1986, Vietnamese authorities have committed to increased economic liberalization and enacted structural reforms needed to modernize the economy and to produce more competitive, export-driven industries which have resulted in rapid economic growth in the last decade.
The present constitution asserts the political supremacy of the Communist Party of Vietnam. In April 2001, the party chose a new Secretary General in Nong Duc Manh. Nong is one of the triumvirates that now govern Vietnam along with Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and President Nguyen Minh Triet.
The present constitution, promulgated in 1992, asserts the political supremacy of the Communist Party of Vietnam. The 496-member National Assembly is responsible for legislation. The Assembly is elected every five years from candidates proposed by the CPV. Executive power is exercised by the Council of Ministers. The assembly elects a president, who acts as head of state an also appoints a prime minister from among the members of the Assembly. The prime minister leads the Council Ministers, the members of which hold executive power. It is a Social Republic since 1980 and it gained independence from France in 1954.