Vietnam, officially the Free Republic of Vietnam, is the easternmost country on the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is bordered by the remains of China to the north, Laos to the northwest, Cambodia to the southwest, and the South China Sea, referred to as the East Sea (Bien Dong in Vietnamese). With a population of over 65 Million, Vietnam is the 13th most populous country in the world.
In 1983 Vietnam was led by the communists of former North Vietnam. The ruling party had only been in power for eight years, and their grip on power was still shaky. The nation relied on fellow communists in the Soviet Union for economic and military aid. Thus officially the controls of the Vietnamese economy lay in Moscow, not in Hanoi.
Doomsday changed the Vietnamese nation forever. In one cataclysmic event, the Warsaw Pact, China and NATO were all but wiped out. Vietnam also suffered nuclear strikes to its capitol Hanoi and Cam Ranh Bay, which was the largest Soviet naval port outside of the USSR. Vietnam was thrown into chaos as its economy was destroyed by the loss of its vital aid from the Soviet Union.
The devastated economy was the least of Vietnam's worries. They were in the middle of a war with Cambodia, and there was the new matter of the Chinese refugees fleeing the destruction of China.
Vietnamese Civil War
In 1984 it seemed like Vietnam was becoming more and more destitute with each passing day. The government's heavy-handed attempts to solve the problem only made it worse. On October 26th a group of military officers secretly formed a pact to liberate Vietnam from the inept communists ruling it. They use the forces under their command to seize control of the former South Vietnamese capital of Saigon and declared South Vietnam free once again. Almost immediately their forces swelled as soldiers who hadn't been paid in years shot their commanding officers and defected. They were also aided by hordes of refugees that came to Vietnam after Doomsday. Many of these refugees were Chinese refugees eager to strike back at the regime that forced them to leave. Battle after bloody battle saw the fortunes of the Vietnam War reversed. Slowly but surely the new nation's border advanced north until in 1988 the new capital of Thai Nguyen was liberated and the remains of the former government was arrested, tried, and swiftly executed. On May 4th 1988 South Vietnamese General Vo Nguyen Giap declared Vietnam officially reunified under democratic control. In the first democratic election in Vietnam since communism took over in 1975, Giap was elected the first President of the Free Republic of Vietnam.
Treaty of Saigon
Soon after the Vietnamese Civil War ended, there was the matter of Cambodia. Both sides of the Vietnamese-Cambodian War were too preoccupied with economic recovery to actually fight. For the four years since Doomsday an unofficial truce was in place. The Cambodians in the Vietnamese-occupied parts of the country were used to Vietnamese rule. On June 10th, 1988 Vietnamese President Giap met with Cambodian leader Pol Pot to sign the Treaty of Saigon. They both agree on status quo ante bellum. They also signed an trade agreement, which would cause the countries to recover quicker than they would otherwise.
Vietnam is in the middle of a golden age. The remaining scars of communist control are fading fast. On August 8th, 2008 the government officially made it legal for their citizens to operate privately-owned businesses. Control of the many companies established by the Communists were handed over to senior employees. The people celebrated the fall of the neighboring communist dictatorship Yunnan, and have welcomed a new trading partner in the region.
For the first time in years the Vietnamese had a republican form of government. The new constitution was hevily based on the old American Constitution, as a way to distance themselves from the Communists.
The government is composed of three branches:
- Legislative: The bicameral Congress, made up of the Senate and the House of Representatives, makes federal law, declares war, approves treaties, has the power of the purse, and has the power of impeachment, by which it can remove sitting members of the government.
- Executive: The president is the commander-in-chief of the military, can veto legislative bills before they become law, and appoints the members of the Cabinet (subject to Senate approval) and other officers, who administer and enforce federal laws and policies.
- Judicial: The Supreme Court and lower federal courts, whose judges are appointed by the president with Senate approval, interpret laws and overturn those they find unconstitutional.
However there are differences between the Vietnamese constitution and the American constitution. Among others the President is directly elected by the people.
The Vietnamese maintain armed forces to defend themselves using old Warsaw Pact issued equipment as well as some new weaponry from the ANZC and other pacific nations, primarily using it to protect the Vietnamese-Chinese border from bandits living in former Chinese territory. The Vietnamese Army has had great success beating back the armed refugees that streamed into Vietnamese territory.
The Vietnamese economy has been blooming in recent years. It has become one of the "economic tigers" of East Asia. The ANZC aid strengthened the economic base of Vietnam, allowing it to fund increased industrial expansion. Before Doomsday most goods were imported from the USSR, and while it still imports goods from the ANZC, an increasing amount of goods on the Vietnamese market were manufactured right in Vietnam. Despite the ravages of Doomsday, Vietnam has emerged as one of the all-too-few economic success stories. Unlike most nations, the Vietnamese (while mourning those killed in Doomsday and the civil war) celebrate Doomsday as the day Vietnam was reborn like a phoenix rising from the flames.
The vital economic aid provided by the ANZC has forged strong relations between the former Cold War enemies. When contact was re-established with Siberia, relations were unsurprisingly strained due to Vietnam's new government. In recent years relations between Saigon and Krasnoyarsk have thawed, but they still remain cordial at best and chilly at worst. The Vietnamese have applied for League of Nations membership.