socialist republic vietnam

Cultural Dictionary
Vietnam [(vee-et-nahm, vee-et-nam)]

Republic in Southeast Asia, bordered by Cambodia and Laos to the west, China to the north, and the South China Sea (an arm of the Pacific Ocean) to the east and south.

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.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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