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The conquest of Vietnam by France began in 1858 and was completed by 1884. It became part of French Indochina in 1887. Vietnam declared independence after World War II, but France continued to rule until its 1954 defeat by Communist forces under Ho Chi MINH. 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military aid to South Vietnam grew through the 1960s in an attempt to bolster the government, but US armed forces were withdrawn following a cease-fire agreement in 1973.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 Communist rule. Despite the return of peace, for over a decade the country experienced little economic growth because of conservative leadership policies, the persecution and mass exodus of individuals - many of them successful South Vietnamese merchants - and growing international isolation. 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. The Communist leaders, however, maintain control on political expression and have resisted outside calls to improve human rights. The country continues to experience small-scale protests from various groups - the vast majority connected to land-use issues, calls for increased political space, and the lack of equitable mechanisms for resolving disputes. Various ethnic minorities, such as the Montagnards of the Central Highlands and the Khmer Krom in the southern delta region, have also held protests.


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Transportation

Airports World Ranking: 97
44 (2012)

Airports - with paved runways
Total 37
Over 3,047 m 9
2,438 to 3,047 m 6
1,524 to 2,437 m 13
914 to 1,523 m 9 (2012)

Airports - with unpaved runways
Total 7
1,524 to 2,437 m 1
914 to 1,523 m 3
Under 914 m 3 (2012)

Heliports
1 (2012)

Pipelines
Condensate 28 km; condensate/gas 10 km; gas 216 km; refined products 206 km (2010)

Railways World Ranking: 62
Total 2,632 km
Standard gauge 527 km 1.435-m gauge
Narrow gauge 2,105 km 1.000-m gauge (2008)

Roadways World Ranking: 27
Total 180,549 km
Paved 133,899 km
Unpaved 46,650 km (2008)

Waterways World Ranking: 7
17,702 km (5,000 km are navigable by vessels up to 1.8 m draft) (2011)

Merchant marine World Ranking: 20
Total 579
By type
Barge carrier 1, bulk carrier 142, cargo 335, chemical tanker 23, container 19, liquefied gas 7, passenger/cargo 1, petroleum tanker 48, refrigerated cargo 1, roll on/roll off 1, specialized tanker 1
Registered in other countries
86 (Cambodia 1, Kiribati 2, Mongolia 33, Panama 43, Taiwan 1, Tuvalu 6) (2010)

Ports and terminals
Cam Pha Port, Da Nang, Hai Phong, Ho Chi Minh City, Phu My, Quy Nhon

Transportation - note
The International Maritime Bureau reports the territorial and offshore waters in the South China Sea as high risk for piracy and armed robbery against ships; numerous commercial vessels have been attacked and hijacked both at anchor and while underway; hijacked vessels are often disguised and cargo diverted to ports in East Asia; crews have been murdered or cast adrift


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  Vietnam (Hanoi):


  GPS points from Vietnam (Hanoi)

My Thach Vietnam (general)

Dong Giang Phuong Vietnam (general)

Plei To Bau Ko Tu Vietnam (general)

Plei Pleir Vietnam (general)

Muong Bon Tinh Son La

Co Phung Tinh Son La

Xa Tan Loi Vietnam (general)

Khao Chan Tinh Lang Son




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