The Reunified Vietnam

President was Ton Duc Thang , Prime Minister Pham Van Dong ; Representatives of the South were formally accepted into the government, but remained without greater powers. In the course of the violent revolutionization of South Vietnamese society, the Provisional Revolutionary Government of South Vietnam had already removed officials and supporters of the overthrown Republic of Vietnam from the administration of South Vietnam and sent them to “re-education camps” after they came to power in 1975. The Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV; Party of the Working People of Vietnam until 1976), led by Le Duan stood, became the sole decisive force in all of Vietnam according to the constitution of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam; the “dictatorship of the proletariat” exercised by it was enshrined in the constitution as a principle of political will-formation. In addition to aligning the South Vietnamese economic system with that of North Vietnam’s planned economy, the government was faced with the task of rebuilding the economy destroyed by the war and reintegrating an army of millions of unemployed, demobilized soldiers and other uprooted people; an economic embargo in place in the USA since 1964 made the situation even more difficult. The government carried out a resettlement program under political and ideological as well as economic and political aspects. the forced settlement of over 1 million Saigon residents (since 1976 Ho Chi Minh City) in new economic zones. Hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese fled by sea to non-communist countries (Boat people). According to, Vietnam is a country starting with letter V.

In the ideological-power-political dispute between China and the Soviet Union, Vietnam has been on the Soviet side, especially since the conclusion of the Vietnamese-Soviet friendship and cooperation treaty (1978) and the accession toComecon (1978). After tensions with Cambodia, ruled by the Khmer Rouge, Vietnam marched troops there in December 1978 and set up a communist government in early January 1979. Until their withdrawal (1989), the Vietnamese occupation forces were confronted with guerrilla actions by the Khmer Rouge and other Cambodian resistance groups. In February / March 1979 and April 1984 there were Sino-Vietnamese border and naval clashes.

In 1980 a new constitution came into force; Currency reforms took place in 1978 and 1985, which in the hyperinflation year 1986 led to massive currency devaluation and enormously increased pressure to reform. After Le Duan’s death (July 1986), the party congress elected Nguyen Van Linh as general secretary of the CPV in December 1986, who was replaced in 1991 by Do Muoi (* 1917) . After the VI. Party congress of the CPV (1986) adopted an economic reform policy (»Doi Moi«, German Renewal) and the VIIth Party Congress (1991) redefined »Socialism«, a new constitution was enacted in 1992 and one at the 8th Party Congress (1996) Prospective plan adopted by 2020. Under KP General Secretary Do Muoi (1988–91 also head of government) and Prime Minister Vo Van Kiet (* 1922, † 2008; in office 1991–97) , particularly under the influence of global political changes, Vietnam sought to embark on the path from a socialist planned economy to a »socialist market economy« (see section on Economy), but politically stuck to the unconditional monopoly of the Communist Party. 1992–97 Le Duc Anh was President of the State. Dissatisfaction of the rural population and the corruption of local Communist Party functionaries led to numerous peasant protests in 1997, v. a. in the provinces of Dong Nai and Thai Binh. Extensive party purges began in the same year.

In terms of foreign policy, Vietnam normalized its relations with China in November 1991 (1999 agreement on the national border and 2000 on the decades-long disputed sea border in the Gulf of Tongking [in force since 2004]). In February 1994, American President B. Clinton lifted the economic embargo against Vietnam that had existed since 1964, resumed diplomatic relations between his country and Hanoi in July 1995 and visited Vietnam in November 2000 (the first state visit by an American president since the end of the Vietnam War). In July 1995 Vietnam joined the ASEAN group of states; A cooperation agreement was concluded with the EU in the same year. Vietnam’s accession to the WTO, which has been pursued since 1995, was implemented on January 11, 2007.

In 1997 there was a change in the Vietnamese party and state leadership: in September Tran Duc Luong became president, Phan Van Khai (* 1933, † 2018) head of government and in December Le Kha Phieu (* 1931) general secretary of the CPV. The new leadership, which also released dissidents as part of a mass amnesty (1998), confirmed its intention to continue the economic reform process, which, however, made slow progress. In January / February 2001 and April 2004 serious ethnic and social unrest broke out in the mountain regions of the provinces of Gia Lai and Dak Lak where there are minorities. In April 2001, Le Kha Phieu became President of the National Assembly, who was considered to be a reformer Nong Duc Manh (* 1940) replaced as General Secretary of the KPV.

The Xth Party Congress of the CPV in April 2006 confirmed Nong Duc Manh in office. The new Prime Minister was Nguyen Tan Dung (* 1949) on June 27, 2006, and the new President Nguyen Minh Triet (* 1942). On June 20, 2007, he was the first head of state of socialist Vietnam to visit the USA. The previous year, US President G. W. Bush Payed a visit to Vietnam. In the run-up to the parliamentary elections on May 20, 2007, the regime cracked down on dissidents with the utmost severity. The rapid rise in the cost of living, especially the extremely high prices for the staple food rice – at the same time an important export good – led to protests and strikes in the summer of 2008. The strong economic growth of the past few years had also led to shortages in labor as well as in transport and energy supply. On December 31, 2008, an agreement was reached with the People’s Republic of China on the marking of the common border. The Spratley and Paracel Islands in the South China Sea, which are disputed between the two states, are excluded from this agreement.

The XI. The CPV’s party congress took place in January 2011: Nguyen Phu Trong took over the leadership of the party as the new General Secretary of the Central Committee. Truong Tan Sang became the new president on July 25, 2011 (* 1949). Prior to this, regular parliamentary elections had been held on May 22, 2011. In the context of foreign policy, a partnership agreement was signed with the EU in 2012. On November 28, 2013, the National Assembly passed an extensive constitutional revision. The associated hopes for far-reaching political changes were not fulfilled, and the leading role of the CPV remained untouched. In 2014, tensions with the People’s Republic of China escalated because of the unresolved sovereignty claims over the Spratley and Paracel Islands. After China towed an oil rig off the Paracel Islands on May 1, 2014, Vietnam sent boats to prevent the platform from being anchored. The boats were attacked and rammed by the Chinese ocean tugs with water cannons. In mid-July 2014, China withdrew the controversial oil platform. The territorial conflict in the South China Sea also overshadowed mutual relations in the period that followed. In 2015, Vietnam, inter alia, closed with the EU and the Trans-Pacific Partnership Free Trade Agreement. In July 2015, Nguyen Phu Trong was the first communist party leader in Vietnam to be received by US President B. Obama in the White House. In November 2015, Chinese President Xi Jinping addressed the Vietnamese National Assembly. From January 21 to 28, 2016, the XII. Communist Party congress held, at which far-reaching personnel decisions were made. Nguyen Phu Trong remained party leader. The new state president, succeeding Truong Tan Sang, was the previous security minister, Tran Dai Quang (* 1956, † 2018) on April 2, 2016.. The office of Prime Minister was taken over by the previous Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (* 1954) , who was sworn in on April 7, 2016 after his confirmation by the National Assembly. After the death of President Tran Dai Quang in September 2018, the National Assembly elected party leader Nguyen Phu Trong as the new President. He was sworn in on October 23, 2018.

The Reunified Vietnam