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The Socialist Republic of Vietnam is a country in Southeast Asia. Situated in eastern Indochina, it borders China, Laos, Cambodia, and the South China Sea.
Vietnam's history goes back more than 2,700 years. For a thousand years, it was under the rule of successive dynasties of the Chinese Empire. Vietnam regained independence in the early 10th century, and complete autonomy a century later. However, Vietnam remained a vassal state dependent on the good will of the Chinese emperors. The native dynastic period ended in mid-19th century, when the country was colonized by France. During World War II, Japan occupied Vietnam. After the war, France attempted to re-establish control but ultimately failed. The Geneva Accords partitioned the country into North Vietnam and South Vietnam. During the Cold War period, the North was supported by the People's Republic of China and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics while the South was supported by the United States, Australia and other western countries. Tensions quickly escalated into the Vietnam War. The war continued until the Paris Peace Accords on January 27, 1973 formally recognized sovereignty for both sides. American troops were withdrawn by March 29, 1973.
But by January 1974, the war was fully restarted, and yet, the newly enacted War Powers Resolution prevented the United States from defending South Vietnam. Saigon fell in April 1975.
In 1976, Vietnam was officially unified under the North Vietnamese government as "The Socialist Republic of Vietnam." Refugees continued fleeing from Vietnam through the rest of the decade, and into the next.
In 1979, Vietnam invaded Cambodia and removed Pol Pot from power and into hiding, thereby decisively stabilizing Cambodia. Only one month later, however, partially in retaliation, China launched a failed invasion of Vietnam: the Sino-Vietnamese War.
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