|the territories of SE Asia that were colonized by France and held mostly until 1954: included Cochin China, Annam, and Tonkin (now largely Vietnam), Cambodia, Laos, and Kuang-Chou Wan (returned to China in 1945, now Zhanjiang)|
|Vietnam or Viet Nam (ˌvjɛtˈnæm)|
|Official name: Socialist Republic of Vietnam a republic in SE Asia: an ancient empire, conquered by France in the 19th century; occupied by Japan (1940--45) when the Communist-led Vietminh began resistance operations that were continued against restored French rule after 1945. In 1954 the country was divided along the 17th parallel, establishing North Vietnam (under the Vietminh) and South Vietnam (under French control), the latter becoming the independent Republic of Vietnam in 1955. From 1959 the country was dominated by war between the Communist Vietcong, supported by North Vietnam, and the South Vietnamese government; increasing numbers of US forces were brought to the aid of the South Vietnamese army until a peace agreement (1973) led to the withdrawal of US troops; further fighting led to the eventual defeat of the South Vietnamese government in March 1975 and in 1976 an elected National Assembly proclaimed the reunification of the country. Official language: Vietnamese. Religion: Buddhist majority. Currency: dong. Capital: Hanoi. Pop: 82 481 000 (2004 est). Area: 331 041 sq km (127 816 sq miles)|
|Viet Nam or Viet Nam|
Capital of Vietnam, located in the northern part of the country.
Note: It was the scene of heavy fighting between French and Vietnamese communist forces from 1946 to 1954.
Note: It became the capital of North Vietnam in 1954, when the French evacuated the city.
Note: During the Vietnam War, the city suffered heavy bombing by the United States.
Note: Vietnam was under the control of France from the second half of the nineteenth century until World War II, when it was occupied by the Japanese. The country became an autonomous state in 1946. France's attempts to reassert control resulted in the French Indochina War (1946–1954), in which the French were defeated.
Note: The Geneva Conference of 1954 divided Vietnam into North Vietnam, controlled by communists, and South Vietnam, controlled by noncommunists.
Note: In the Vietnam War of 1954–1975, South Vietnam, which was aided by the United States, fought communist insurgents, who were aided by North Vietnam. The war ended when the communists overran the south in 1975. The country was reunified in 1976.
Note: American involvement in the Vietnam War was strongly protested in the United States.
Note: Great numbers of Vietnamese refugees, known as boat people, fled the country in the aftermath of the war.
Note: Between 1978 and 1979, Vietnam invaded Cambodia and installed a puppet government.