Vietnam , officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam , is the easternmost country on the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia. With an estimated 87.8 million inhabitants as of 2011, it is the world's 13th-most-populous country, and the eighth-most-populous Asian country. The name Vietnam translates as "South Viet", and was officially adopted in 1945. The country is bordered by China to the north, Laos to the northwest, Cambodia to the southwest, and the South China Sea to the east. Its capital city has been Hanoi since the reunification of North and South Vietnam in 1976.
The Vietnamese 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. The First Indochina War eventually led to the expulsion of the French in 1954, leaving Vietnam divided politically into two states, North and South Vietnam. Conflict between the two sides intensified, with heavy foreign intervention, during the Vietnam War, which ended with a North Vietnamese victory in 1975.
Vietnam was then unified under a Communist government, but was politically isolated and impoverished. In 1986, the government initiated a series of economic and political reforms, which began Vietnam's path towards integration into the world economy. By 2000, it had established diplomatic relations with most nations. Its economic growth has been among the highest in the world since 2000 and according to Citigroup, such high growth is set to continue.
Vietnam has the highest Global Growth Generators Index among 11 major economies, and its successful economic reforms resulted in it joining the World Trade Organization in 2007. However, the country still suffers from relatively high levels of income inequality, disparities in healthcare provision, and poor gender equality
The name Việt Nam is a variation of "Nam Việt" , a name that can be traced back to the Zhao dynasty of the 2nd century BC. The word Việt originated as a shortened form of Bách Việt, a word applied to a group of peoples then living in southern China and Vietnam. The form "Vietnam" is first recorded in the 16th-century oracular poem Sấm Trạng Trình. The name has also been found on 12 steles carved in the 16th and 17th centuries, including one at Bao Lam Pagoda in Haiphong that was carved in 1558
Between 1804 and 1813, the name was used officially by Emperor Gia Long. It was revived in the early 20th century by Phan Boi Chau's Viet Nam Vong Quoc Su ("History of the Loss of Vietnam"), and later by the Vietnamese Nationalist Party. The country was usually called Annam until 1945, when Emperor Bao Dai changed the official name back to Việt Nam. Since the use of Chinese characters was discontinued at this time, the alphabetic spelling of Vietnam is now official.
HaiThinh, living in Hanoi-Vietnam.