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Vietnam today: a guide to a nation at a crossroads by Mark A. Ashwill

By Mark A. Ashwill

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Additional resources for Vietnam today: a guide to a nation at a crossroads

Sample text

The National Assembly has a broad mandate to oversee all government functions, and it decides important issues related to national policy and people’s livelihoods, mainly in the areas of planning and budget. About 80 percent of the deputies to the National Assembly are Party members. The assembly meets twice a year for seven to ten weeks at a time; elections are held every five years. The Government The Party is the leader, but the state is in charge of managing the country’s development. The government is the executive body, and the president, as head of state, is responsible for internal management and external relations.

Ho Chi Minh Empires fall. Even the colonial empire came to an end. But culture remains. The Vietnamese people have lived through several such experiences in the course of their eventful history. —Huu Ngoc Unlike countries whose geography insulates them somewhat from foreign attack, Vietnam—which is bordered by China to the north and Laos and Cambodia to the west—has been vulnerable to invasion from land and sea throughout its history. Kieu, in the national poem The Tale of Kieu, symbolizes in many ways the fate of the Vietnamese and their country.

Though administratively autonomous, each village could be quickly mobilized, along with neighboring villages, in the event of foreign invasion. This made military victory over the Vietnamese problematic. Foreign forces would literally have to win the war one village at a time, and gains were often short-lived, in contrast to other countries where the fall of a fortress might mean control of an A Brief History 29 entire city. Vietnamese history is generally seen as one of nation building and defense.

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