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Vietnam vs. China

Introduction

VietnamChina
Background
The conquest of Vietnam by France began in 1858 and was completed by 1884. It became part of French Indochina in 1887. Vietnam declared independence after World War II, but France continued to rule until its 1954 defeat by communist forces under Ho Chi MINH. Under the Geneva Accords of 1954, Vietnam was divided into the communist North and anti-communist South. US economic and military aid to South Vietnam grew through the 1960s in an attempt to bolster the government, but US armed forces were withdrawn following a cease-fire agreement in 1973. Two years later, North Vietnamese forces overran the South reuniting the country under communist rule. Despite the return of peace, for over a decade the country experienced little economic growth because of conservative leadership policies, the persecution and mass exodus of individuals - many of them successful South Vietnamese merchants - and growing international isolation. However, since the enactment of Vietnam's "doi moi" (renovation) policy in 1986, Vietnamese authorities have committed to increased economic liberalization and enacted structural reforms needed to modernize the economy and to produce more competitive, export-driven industries. The communist leaders maintain tight control on political expression but have demonstrated some modest steps toward better protection of human rights. The country continues to experience small-scale protests, the vast majority connected to either land-use issues, calls for increased political space, or the lack of equitable mechanisms for resolving disputes. The small-scale protests in the urban areas are often organized by human rights activists, but many occur in rural areas and involve various ethnic minorities such as the Montagnards of the Central Highlands, Hmong in the Northwest Highlands, and the Khmer Krom in the southern delta region.

China's historical civilization dates from at least 1200 B.C.; from the 3rd century B.C. and for the next two millennia, China alternated between periods of unity and disunity under a succession of imperial dynasties. In the 19th and early 20th centuries, the country was beset by civil unrest, major famines, military defeats, and foreign occupation. After World War II, the Chinese Communist Party under MAO Zedong established an autocratic socialist system that, while ensuring China's sovereignty, imposed strict controls over everyday life and cost the lives of tens of millions of people. After 1978, MAO's successor DENG Xiaoping and other leaders focused on market-oriented economic development and by 2000 output had quadrupled. For much of the population, living standards have improved dramatically but political controls remain tight. Since the early 1990s, China has increased its global outreach and participation in international organizations.

Geography

VietnamChina
Location
Southeastern Asia, bordering the Gulf of Thailand, Gulf of Tonkin, and South China Sea, as well as China, Laos, and Cambodia
Eastern Asia, bordering the East China Sea, Korea Bay, Yellow Sea, and South China Sea, between North Korea and Vietnam
Geographic coordinates
16 10 N, 107 50 E
35 00 N, 105 00 E
Map references
Southeast Asia
Asia
Area
total: 331,210 sq km
land: 310,070 sq km
water: 21,140 sq km
total: 9,596,960 sq km
land: 9,326,410 sq km
water: 270,550 sq km
Area - comparative
about three times the size of Tennessee; slightly larger than New Mexico
slightly smaller than the US
Land boundaries
total: 4,616 km
border countries (3): Cambodia 1158 km, China 1297 km, Laos 2161 km
total: 22,457 km
border countries (15): Afghanistan 91 km, Bhutan 477 km, Burma 2129 km, India 2659 km, Kazakhstan 1765 km, North Korea 1352 km, Kyrgyzstan 1063 km, Laos 475 km, Mongolia 4630 km, Nepal 1389 km, Pakistan 438 km, Russia (northeast) 4133 km, Russia (northwest) 46 km, Tajikistan 477 km, Vietnam 1297 km
Coastline
3,444 km (excludes islands)
14,500 km
Maritime claims
territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin
territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin
Climate
tropical in south; monsoonal in north with hot, rainy season (May to September) and warm, dry season (October to March)
extremely diverse; tropical in south to subarctic in north
Terrain
low, flat delta in south and north; central highlands; hilly, mountainous in far north and northwest
mostly mountains, high plateaus, deserts in west; plains, deltas, and hills in east
Elevation extremes
mean elevation: 398 m
lowest point: South China Sea 0 m
highest point: Fan Si Pan 3,144 m
mean elevation: 1,840 m
lowest point: Turpan Pendi -154 m
highest point: Mount Everest (highest peak in Asia and highest point on earth above sea level) 8,848 m
Natural resources
antimony, phosphates, coal, manganese, rare earth elements, bauxite, chromate, offshore oil and gas deposits, timber, hydropower, arable land
coal, iron ore, helium, petroleum, natural gas, arsenic, bismuth, cobalt, cadmium, ferrosilicon, gallium, germanium, hafnium, indium, lithium, mercury, tantalum, tellurium, tin, titanium, tungsten, antimony, manganese, magnesium, molybdenum, selenium, strontium, vanadium, magnetite, aluminum, lead, zinc, rare earth elements, uranium, hydropower potential (world's largest), arable land
Land use
agricultural land: 34.8% (2011 est.)
arable land: 20.6% (2011 est.) / permanent crops: 12.1% (2011 est.) / permanent pasture: 2.1% (2011 est.)
forest: 45% (2011 est.)
other: 20.2% (2011 est.)
agricultural land: 54.7% (2011 est.)
arable land: 11.3% (2011 est.) / permanent crops: 1.6% (2011 est.) / permanent pasture: 41.8% (2011 est.)
forest: 22.3% (2011 est.)
other: 23% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land
46,000 sq km (2012)
690,070 sq km (2012)
Natural hazards
occasional typhoons (May to January) with extensive flooding, especially in the Mekong River delta

frequent typhoons (about five per year along southern and eastern coasts); damaging floods; tsunamis; earthquakes; droughts; land subsidence

volcanism: China contains some historically active volcanoes including Changbaishan (also known as Baitoushan, Baegdu, or P'aektu-san), Hainan Dao, and Kunlun although most have been relatively inactive in recent centuries

Environment - current issues
logging and slash-and-burn agricultural practices contribute to deforestation and soil degradation; water pollution and overfishing threaten marine life populations; groundwater contamination limits potable water supply; air pollution; growing urban industrialization and population migration are rapidly degrading environment in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City
air pollution (greenhouse gases, sulfur dioxide particulates) from reliance on coal produces acid rain; China is the world's largest single emitter of carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels; water shortages, particularly in the north; water pollution from untreated wastes; coastal destruction due to land reclamation, industrial development, and aquaculture; deforestation and habitat destruction; poor land management leads to soil erosion, landslides, floods, droughts, dust storms, and desertification; trade in endangered species
Environment - international agreements
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
party to: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note
note 1: extending 1,650 km north to south, the country is only 50 km across at its narrowest point

note 2: Son Doong in Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park is the world's largest cave (greatest cross sectional area) and is the largest known cave passage in the world by volume; it currently measures a total of 38.5 million cu m (about 1.35 billion cu ft); it connects to Thung cave (but not yet officially); when recognized, it will add an additional 1.6 million cu m in volume; Son Doong is so massive that it contains its own jungle, underground river, and localized weather system; clouds form inside the cave and spew out from its exits and two dolines (openings (sinkhole skylights) created by collapsed ceilings that allow sunlight to stream in)

note 1: world's fourth largest country (after Russia, Canada, and US) and largest country situated entirely in Asia; Mount Everest on the border with Nepal is the world's tallest peak above sea level

note 2: the largest cave chamber in the world is the Miao Room, in the Gebihe cave system at China's Ziyun Getu He Chuandong National Park, which encloses some 10.78 million cu m (380.7 million cu ft) of volume

note 3: China appears to have been the center of domestication for two of the world's leading cereal crops: millet in the north along the Yellow River and rice in the south along the lower or middle Yangtze River
Population distribution
though it has one of the highest population densities in the world, the population is not evenly dispersed; clustering is heaviest along the South China Sea and Gulf of Tonkin, with the Mekong Delta (in the south) and the Red River Valley (in the north) having the largest concentrations of people
overwhelming majority of the population is found in the eastern half of the country; the west, with its vast mountainous and desert areas, remains sparsely populated; though ranked first in the world in total population, overall density is less than that of many other countries in Asia and Europe; high population density is found along the Yangtze and Yellow River valleys, the Xi Jiang River delta, the Sichuan Basin (around Chengdu), in and around Beijing, and the industrial area around Shenyang

Demographics

VietnamChina
Population
98,721,275 (July 2020 est.)
1,394,015,977 (July 2020 est.)
Age structure
0-14 years: 22.61% (male 11,733,704/female 10,590,078)
15-24 years: 15.22% (male 7,825,859/female 7,202,716)
25-54 years: 45.7% (male 22,852,429/female 22,262,566)
55-64 years: 9.55% (male 4,412,111/female 5,016,880)
65 years and over: 6.91% (male 2,702,963/female 4,121,969) (2020 est.)
0-14 years: 17.29% (male 129,296,339/female 111,782,427)
15-24 years: 11.48% (male 86,129,841/female 73,876,148)
25-54 years: 46.81% (male 333,789,731/female 318,711,557)
55-64 years: 12.08% (male 84,827,645/female 83,557,507)
65 years and over: 12.34% (male 81,586,490/female 90,458,292) (2020 est.)
Median age
total: 31.9 years
male: 30.8 years
female: 33 years (2020 est.)
total: 38.4 years
male: 37.5 years
female: 39.4 years (2020 est.)
Population growth rate
0.84% (2020 est.)
0.32% (2020 est.)
Birth rate
14.5 births/1,000 population (2020 est.)
11.6 births/1,000 population (2020 est.)
Death rate
6 deaths/1,000 population (2020 est.)
8.2 deaths/1,000 population (2020 est.)
Net migration rate
-0.3 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2020 est.)
-0.4 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2020 est.)
Sex ratio
at birth: 1.09 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.11 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.09 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.88 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.66 male(s)/female
total population: 100.7 male(s)/female (2020 est.)
at birth: 1.11 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.16 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.17 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.9 male(s)/female
total population: 105.5 male(s)/female (2020 est.)
Infant mortality rate
total: 15.7 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 16 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 15.3 deaths/1,000 live births (2020 est.)
total: 11.4 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 11.9 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 10.9 deaths/1,000 live births (2020 est.)
Life expectancy at birth
total population: 74.4 years
male: 71.9 years
female: 77.1 years (2020 est.)
total population: 76.1 years
male: 74 years
female: 78.4 years (2020 est.)
Total fertility rate
1.77 children born/woman (2020 est.)
1.6 children born/woman (2020 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate
0.3% (2019 est.)
NA
Nationality
noun: Vietnamese (singular and plural)
adjective: Vietnamese
noun: Chinese (singular and plural)
adjective: Chinese
Ethnic groups
Kinh (Viet) 85.7%, Tay 1.9%, Thai 1.8%, Muong 1.5%, Khmer 1.5%, Mong 1.2%, Nung 1.1%, Hoa 1%, other 4.3% (2009 est.)

note: 54 ethnic groups are recognized by the Vietnamese Government

Han Chinese 91.6%, Zhuang 1.3%, other (includes Hui, Manchu, Uighur, Miao, Yi, Tujia, Tibetan, Mongol, Dong, Buyei, Yao, Bai, Korean, Hani, Li, Kazakh, Dai, and other nationalities) 7.1% (2010 est.)

note: the Chinese Government officially recognizes 56 ethnic groups

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS
230,000 (2019 est.)
NA
Religions
Buddhist 7.9%, Catholic 6.6%, Hoa Hao 1.7%, Cao Dai 0.9%, Protestant 0.9%, Muslim 0.1%, none 81.8% (2009 est.)
Buddhist 18.2%, Christian 5.1%, Muslim 1.8%, folk religion 21.9%, Hindu < 0.1%, Jewish < 0.1%, other 0.7% (includes Daoist (Taoist)), unaffiliated 52.2% (2010 est.)

note: officially atheist

HIV/AIDS - deaths
5,000 (2019 est.)
NA
Languages
Vietnamese (official), English (increasingly favored as a second language), some French, Chinese, and Khmer, mountain area languages (Mon-Khmer and Malayo-Polynesian)
Standard Chinese or Mandarin (official; Putonghua, based on the Beijing dialect), Yue (Cantonese), Wu (Shanghainese), Minbei (Fuzhou), Minnan (Hokkien-Taiwanese), Xiang, Gan, Hakka dialects, minority languages (see Ethnic groups entry)

note: Zhuang is official in Guangxi Zhuang, Yue is official in Guangdong, Mongolian is official in Nei Mongol, Uighur is official in Xinjiang Uygur, Kyrgyz is official in Xinjiang Uygur, and Tibetan is official in Xizang (Tibet)

Literacy
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 95%
male: 96.5%
female: 93.6% (2018)
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 96.8%
male: 98.5%
female: 95.2% (2018)
Major infectious diseases
degree of risk: very high (2020)
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: dengue fever, malaria, and Japanese encephalitis
degree of risk: high (2020)
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, Japanese encephalitis
soil contact diseases: hantaviral hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS)
note: a new coronavirus is causing an outbreak of respiratory illness (COVID-19) in China; illness with this virus has ranged from mild to severe with fatalities reported; the US Department of State has issued a do not travel advisory for China due to COVID-19; the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has also recommended against travel to China and published additional guidance at https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices/warning/novel-coronavirus-china; the US Department of Homeland Security has issued instructions requiring US passengers who have been in China to travel through select airports where the US Government has implemented enhanced screening procedures; as of 10 November 2020, China has reported 92,195 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 4,748 deaths to the World Health Organization
Education expenditures
5.7% of GDP (2013)
NA
Urbanization
urban population: 37.3% of total population (2020)
rate of urbanization: 2.98% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
urban population: 61.4% of total population (2020)
rate of urbanization: 2.42% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)

note: data do not include Hong Kong and Macau

Drinking water source
improved: urban: 98.6% of population
rural: 92.6% of population
total: 94.7% of population
unimproved: urban: 1.4% of population
rural: 7.4% of population
total: 5.3% of population (2017 est.)
improved: urban: 97.7% of population
rural: 87.8% of population
total: 92.8% of population
unimproved: urban: 2.3% of population
rural: 12.2% of population
total: 7.2% of population (2017 est.)
Sanitation facility access
improved: urban: 96.9% of population
rural: 82.1% of population
total: 87.3% of population
unimproved: urban: 3.1% of population
rural: 17.9% of population
total: 12.7% of population (2017 est.)
improved: urban: 97.1% of population
rural: 82% of population
total: 90.7% of population
unimproved: urban: 2.4% of population
rural: 18% of population
total: 9.3% of population (2017 est.)
Major cities - population
8.602 million Ho Chi Minh City, 4.678 million HANOI (capital), 1.618 million Can Tho, 1.300 million Hai Phong, 1.125 million Da Nang, 1.013 million Bien Hoa (2020)
27.058 million Shanghai, 20.463 million BEIJING (capital), 15.872 million Chongqing, 13.589 million Tianjin, 13.302 million Guangzhou, 12.357 million Shenzhen (2020)
Maternal mortality rate
43 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)
29 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight
13.4% (2017)
2.4% (2013)
Health expenditures
5.5% (2017)
5.2% (2017)
Physicians density
0.83 physicians/1,000 population (2016)
1.98 physicians/1,000 population (2017)
Hospital bed density
2.6 beds/1,000 population (2014)
4.3 beds/1,000 population (2017)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate
2.1% (2016)
6.2% (2016)
Contraceptive prevalence rate
77.5% (2016)
84.5% (2017)
Dependency ratios
total dependency ratio: 45.1
youth dependency ratio: 33.6
elderly dependency ratio: 11.4
potential support ratio: 8.8 (2020 est.)
total dependency ratio: 42.2
youth dependency ratio: 25.2
elderly dependency ratio: 17
potential support ratio: 5.9 (2020 est.)
data do not include Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan

Government

VietnamChina
Country name
conventional long form: Socialist Republic of Vietnam
conventional short form: Vietnam
local long form: Cong Hoa Xa Hoi Chu Nghia Viet Nam
local short form: Viet Nam
abbreviation: SRV
etymology: "Viet nam" translates as "Viet south," where "Viet" is an ethnic self identification dating to a second century B.C. kingdom and "nam" refers to its location in relation to other Viet kingdoms
conventional long form: People's Republic of China
conventional short form: China
local long form: Zhonghua Renmin Gongheguo
local short form: Zhongguo
abbreviation: PRC
etymology: English name derives from the Qin (Chin) rulers of the 3rd century B.C., who comprised the first imperial dynasty of ancient China; the Chinese name Zhongguo translates as "Central Nation" or "Middle Kingdom"
Government type
communist state
communist party-led state
Capital
name: Hanoi (Ha Noi)
geographic coordinates: 21 02 N, 105 51 E
time difference: UTC+7 (12 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
etymology: the city has had many names in its history going back to A.D. 1010 when it first became the capital of imperial Vietnam; in 1831, it received its current name of Ha Noi, meaning "between the rivers," which refers to its geographic location
name: Beijing
geographic coordinates: 39 55 N, 116 23 E
time difference: UTC+8 (13 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

note: China is the largest country (in terms of area) with just one time zone; before 1949 it was divided into five

etymology: the Chinese meaning is "Northern Capital"

Administrative divisions

58 provinces (tinh, singular and plural) and 5 municipalities (thanh pho, singular and plural)

provinces: An Giang, Bac Giang, Bac Kan, Bac Lieu, Bac Ninh, Ba Ria-Vung Tau, Ben Tre, Binh Dinh, Binh Duong, Binh Phuoc, Binh Thuan, Ca Mau, Cao Bang, Dak Lak, Dak Nong, Dien Bien, Dong Nai, Dong Thap, Gia Lai, Ha Giang, Ha Nam, Ha Tinh, Hai Duong, Hau Giang, Hoa Binh, Hung Yen, Khanh Hoa, Kien Giang, Kon Tum, Lai Chau, Lam Dong, Lang Son, Lao Cai, Long An, Nam Dinh, Nghe An, Ninh Binh, Ninh Thuan, Phu Tho, Phu Yen, Quang Binh, Quang Nam, Quang Ngai, Quang Ninh, Quang Tri, Soc Trang, Son La, Tay Ninh, Thai Binh, Thai Nguyen, Thanh Hoa, Thua Thien-Hue, Tien Giang, Tra Vinh, Tuyen Quang, Vinh Long, Vinh Phuc, Yen Bai

municipalities: Can Tho, Da Nang, Ha Noi (Hanoi), Hai Phong, Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)

23 provinces (sheng, singular and plural), 5 autonomous regions (zizhiqu, singular and plural), and 4 municipalities (shi, singular and plural)

provinces: Anhui, Fujian, Gansu, Guangdong, Guizhou, Hainan, Hebei, Heilongjiang, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Jilin, Liaoning, Qinghai, Shaanxi, Shandong, Shanxi, Sichuan, Yunnan, Zhejiang; (see note on Taiwan)

autonomous regions: Guangxi, Nei Mongol (Inner Mongolia), Ningxia, Xinjiang Uyghur, Xizang (Tibet)

municipalities: Beijing, Chongqing, Shanghai, Tianjin

note: China considers Taiwan its 23rd province; see separate entries for the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau

Independence
2 September 1945 (from France)
1 October 1949 (People's Republic of China established); notable earlier dates: 221 B.C. (unification under the Qin Dynasty); 1 January 1912 (Qing Dynasty replaced by the Republic of China)
National holiday
Independence Day (National Day), 2 September (1945)
National Day (anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China), 1 October (1949)
Constitution
history: several previous; latest adopted 28 November 2013, effective 1 January 2014
amendments: proposed by the president, by the National Assembly’s Standing Committee, or by at least two thirds of the National Assembly membership; a decision to draft an amendment requires approval by at least a two-thirds majority vote of the Assembly membership, followed by the formation of a constitutional drafting committee to write a draft and collect citizens’ opinions; passage requires at least two-thirds majority of the Assembly membership; the Assembly can opt to conduct a referendum
history: several previous; latest promulgated 4 December 1982
amendments: proposed by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress or supported by more than one fifth of the National People’s Congress membership; passage requires more than two-thirds majority vote of the Congress membership; amended several times, last in 2018
Legal system
Suffrage
18 years of age; universal
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch
chief of state: President Nguyen Phu TRONG (since 23 October 2018); note - President Tran Dai QUANG (since 2 April 2016) died on 21 September 2018
head of government: Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan PHUC (since 7 April 2016); Deputy Prime Ministers Truong Hoa BINH (since 9 April 2016), Vuong Dinh HUE (since 9 April 2016), Vu Duc DAM (since 13 November 2013), Trinh Dinh DUNG (since 9 April 2016), Pham Binh MINH (since 13 November 2013)
cabinet: Cabinet proposed by prime minister confirmed by the National Assembly and appointed by the president
elections/appointments: president indirectly elected by National Assembly from among its members for a single 5-year term; election last held on 2 April 2016 (next to be held in spring 2021); prime minister recommended by the president and confirmed by National Assembly; deputy prime ministers confirmed by the National Assembly and appointed by the president
election results: Nguyen Phu TRONG (CPV) elected president; percent of National Assembly vote - 99.8%; Nguyen Xuan PHUC elected prime minister; percent of National Assembly vote - 91%
chief of state: President XI Jinping (since 14 March 2013); Vice President WANG Qishan (since 17 March 2018)
head of government: Premier LI Keqiang (since 16 March 2013); Executive Vice Premiers HAN Zheng (since 19 March 2018), SUN Chunlan (since 19 March 2018), LIU He (since 19 March 2018), HU Chunhua (since 19 March 2018)
cabinet: State Council appointed by National People's Congress
elections/appointments: president and vice president indirectly elected by National People's Congress for a 5-year term (unlimited terms); election last held on 17 March 2018 (next to be held in March 2023); premier nominated by president, confirmed by National People's Congress
election results: XI Jinping reelected president; National People's Congress vote - 2,970 (unanimously); WANG Qishan elected vice president with 2,969 votes
Legislative branch
description: unicameral National Assembly or Quoc Hoi (500 seats - number following 2016 election - 494; number of current serving members - 484; members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by absolute majority vote; members serve 5-year terms)
elections: last held on 22 May 2016 (next to be held in May 2021)
election results: percent of vote by party -CPV 95.8%, non-party members 4.2%; seats by party - CPV 474, non-party CPV-approved 20, self-nominated 2; note - 494 candidates elected, 2 CPV candidates-elect were disqualified; composition - men 364, women 122, percent of women 26.6%
description: unicameral National People's Congress or Quanguo Renmin Daibiao Dahui (maximum of 3,000 seats; members indirectly elected by municipal, regional, and provincial people's congresses, and the People's Liberation Army; members serve 5-year terms); note - in practice, only members of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), its 8 allied independent parties, and CCP-approved independent candidates are elected
elections: last held in December 2017-February 2018 (next to be held in late 2022 to early 2023)
election results: percent of vote - NA; seats by party - NA; composition - men 2,238, women 742, percent of women 24.9%
Judicial branch
highest courts: Supreme People's Court (consists of the chief justice and 13 judges)
judge selection and term of office: chief justice elected by the National Assembly upon the recommendation of the president for a 5-year, renewable term; deputy chief justice appointed by the president from among the judges for a 5-year term; judges appointed by the president and confirmed by the National Assembly for 5-year terms
subordinate courts: High Courts (administrative, civil, criminal, economic, labor, family, juvenile); provincial courts; district courts; Military Court; note - the National Assembly Standing Committee can establish special tribunals upon the recommendation of the chief justice
highest courts: Supreme People's Court (consists of over 340 judges, including the chief justice and 13 grand justices organized into a civil committee and tribunals for civil, economic, administrative, complaint and appeal, and communication and transportation cases)
judge selection and term of office: chief justice appointed by the People's National Congress (NPC); limited to 2 consecutive 5-year-terms; other justices and judges nominated by the chief justice and appointed by the Standing Committee of the NPC; term of other justices and judges determined by the NPC
subordinate courts: Higher People's Courts; Intermediate People's Courts; District and County People's Courts; Autonomous Region People's Courts; International Commercial Courts; Special People's Courts for military, maritime, transportation, and forestry issues
note: in late 2014, China unveiled a multi-year judicial reform program; progress continued in 2018
Political parties and leaders
Communist Party of Vietnam or CPV [Nguyen Phu TRONG]

note: other parties proscribed

Chinese Communist Party or CCP [XI Jinping]

note: China has 8 nominally independent small parties controlled by the CCP

International organization participation
ADB, APEC, ARF, ASEAN, CICA, CP, EAS, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (NGOs), ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, MIGA, NAM, OIF, OPCW, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
ADB, AfDB (nonregional member), APEC, Arctic Council (observer), ARF, ASEAN (dialogue partner), BIS, BRICS, CDB, CICA, EAS, FAO, FATF, G-20, G-24 (observer), G-5, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, LAIA (observer), MIGA, MINURSO, MINUSMA, MONUSCO, NAM (observer), NSG, OAS (observer), OPCW, Pacific Alliance (observer), PCA, PIF (partner), SAARC (observer), SCO, SICA (observer), UN, UNAMID, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNFICYP, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNMIL, UNMISS, UNOCI, UN Security Council (permanent), UNTSO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC
Diplomatic representation in the US
Ambassador Ha Kim NGOC (since 17 September 2018)
chancery: 1233 20th Street NW, Suite 400, Washington, DC 20036
telephone: [1] (202) 861-0737
FAX: [1] (202) 861-0917
consulate(s) general: Houston, San Francisco
consulate(s): New York
Ambassador CUI Tiankai (since 3 April 2013)
chancery: 3505 International Place NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 495-2266
FAX: [1] (202) 495-2138
consulate(s) general: Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco; note - the US ordered closure of the Houston consulate in late July 2020
Diplomatic representation from the US
chief of mission: Ambassador Daniel KRITENBRINK (since 6 November 2017)
telephone: [84] (24) 3850-5000
embassy: 7 Lang Ha Street, Hanoi
mailing address: 7 Lang Ha Street, Ba Dinh District, Hanoi; 4550 Hanoi Place, Washington, DC 20521-4550
FAX: [84] (24) 3850-5010
consulate(s) general: Ho Chi Minh City
chief of mission: Ambassador Terry BRANSTAD (since 12 July 2017)
telephone: [86] (10) 8531-3000
embassy: 55 An Jia Lou Lu, 100600 Beijing
mailing address: PO AP 96521
FAX: [86] (10) 8531-3300
consulate(s) general: Guangzhou, Shanghai, Shenyang, Wuhan; note - the Chinese Government ordered closure of the US consulate in Chengdu in late July 2020
Flag description
red field with a large yellow five-pointed star in the center; red symbolizes revolution and blood, the five-pointed star represents the five elements of the populace - peasants, workers, intellectuals, traders, and soldiers - that unite to build socialism
red with a large yellow five-pointed star and four smaller yellow five-pointed stars (arranged in a vertical arc toward the middle of the flag) in the upper hoist-side corner; the color red represents revolution, while the stars symbolize the four social classes - the working class, the peasantry, the urban petty bourgeoisie, and the national bourgeoisie (capitalists) - united under the Communist Party of China
National anthem
name: "Tien quan ca" (The Song of the Marching Troops)
lyrics/music: Nguyen Van CAO

note: adopted as the national anthem of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam in 1945; it became the national anthem of the unified Socialist Republic of Vietnam in 1976; although it consists of two verses, only the first is used as the official anthem

name: "Yiyongjun Jinxingqu" (The March of the Volunteers)
lyrics/music: TIAN Han/NIE Er

note: adopted 1949; the anthem, though banned during the Cultural Revolution, is more commonly known as "Zhongguo Guoge" (Chinese National Song); it was originally the theme song to the 1935 Chinese movie, "Sons and Daughters in a Time of Storm"

International law organization participation
has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt
has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt
National symbol(s)
yellow, five-pointed star on red field; lotus blossom; national colors: red, yellow
dragon, giant panda; national colors: red, yellow
Citizenship
citizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Vietnam
dual citizenship recognized: no
residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years
citizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: least one parent must be a citizen of China
dual citizenship recognized: no
residency requirement for naturalization: while naturalization is theoretically possible, in practical terms it is extremely difficult; residency is required but not specified

Economy

VietnamChina
Economy - overview

Vietnam is a densely populated developing country that has been transitioning since 1986 from the rigidities of a centrally planned, highly agrarian economy to a more industrial and market based economy, and it has raised incomes substantially. Vietnam exceeded its 2017 GDP growth target of 6.7% with growth of 6.8%, primarily due to unexpected increases in domestic demand, and strong manufacturing exports.

Vietnam has a young population, stable political system, commitment to sustainable growth, relatively low inflation, stable currency, strong FDI inflows, and strong manufacturing sector. In addition, the country is committed to continuing its global economic integration. Vietnam joined the WTO in January 2007 and concluded several free trade agreements in 2015-16, including the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (which the EU has not yet ratified), the Korean Free Trade Agreement, and the Eurasian Economic Union Free Trade Agreement. In 2017, Vietnam successfully chaired the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Conference with its key priorities including inclusive growth, innovation, strengthening small and medium enterprises, food security, and climate change. Seeking to diversify its opportunities, Vietnam also signed the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for the Transpacific Partnership in 2018 and continued to pursue the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership.

To continue its trajectory of strong economic growth, the government acknowledges the need to spark a ‘second wave’ of reforms, including reforming state-owned-enterprises, reducing red tape, increasing business sector transparency, reducing the level of non-performing loans in the banking sector, and increasing financial sector transparency. Vietnam’s public debt to GDP ratio is nearing the government mandated ceiling of 65%.

In 2016, Vietnam cancelled its civilian nuclear energy development program, citing public concerns about safety and the high cost of the program; it faces growing pressure on energy infrastructure. Overall, the country’s infrastructure fails to meet the needs of an expanding middle class. Vietnam has demonstrated a commitment to sustainable growth over the last several years, but despite the recent speed-up in economic growth the government remains cautious about the risk of external shocks.

Since the late 1970s, China has moved from a closed, centrally planned system to a more market-oriented one that plays a major global role. China has implemented reforms in a gradualist fashion, resulting in efficiency gains that have contributed to a more than tenfold increase in GDP since 1978. Reforms began with the phaseout of collectivized agriculture, and expanded to include the gradual liberalization of prices, fiscal decentralization, increased autonomy for state enterprises, growth of the private sector, development of stock markets and a modern banking system, and opening to foreign trade and investment. China continues to pursue an industrial policy, state support of key sectors, and a restrictive investment regime. From 2013 to 2017, China had one of the fastest growing economies in the world, averaging slightly more than 7% real growth per year. Measured on a purchasing power parity (PPP) basis that adjusts for price differences, China in 2017 stood as the largest economy in the world, surpassing the US in 2014 for the first time in modern history. China became the world's largest exporter in 2010, and the largest trading nation in 2013. Still, China's per capita income is below the world average.

In July 2005 moved to an exchange rate system that references a basket of currencies. From mid-2005 to late 2008, the renminbi (RMB) appreciated more than 20% against the US dollar, but the exchange rate remained virtually pegged to the dollar from the onset of the global financial crisis until June 2010, when Beijing announced it would resume a gradual appreciation. From 2013 until early 2015, the renminbi held steady against the dollar, but it depreciated 13% from mid-2015 until end-2016 amid strong capital outflows; in 2017 the RMB resumed appreciating against the dollar – roughly 7% from end-of-2016 to end-of-2017. In 2015, the People’s Bank of China announced it would continue to carefully push for full convertibility of the renminbi, after the currency was accepted as part of the IMF’s special drawing rights basket. However, since late 2015 the Chinese Government has strengthened capital controls and oversight of overseas investments to better manage the exchange rate and maintain financial stability.

The Chinese Government faces numerous economic challenges including: (a) reducing its high domestic savings rate and correspondingly low domestic household consumption; (b) managing its high corporate debt burden to maintain financial stability; (c) controlling off-balance sheet local government debt used to finance infrastructure stimulus; (d) facilitating higher-wage job opportunities for the aspiring middle class, including rural migrants and college graduates, while maintaining competitiveness; (e) dampening speculative investment in the real estate sector without sharply slowing the economy; (f) reducing industrial overcapacity; and (g) raising productivity growth rates through the more efficient allocation of capital and state-support for innovation. Economic development has progressed further in coastal provinces than in the interior, and by 2016 more than 169.3 million migrant workers and their dependents had relocated to urban areas to find work. One consequence of China’s population control policy known as the "one-child policy" - which was relaxed in 2016 to permit all families to have two children - is that China is now one of the most rapidly aging countries in the world. Deterioration in the environment - notably air pollution, soil erosion, and the steady fall of the water table, especially in the North - is another long-term problem. China continues to lose arable land because of erosion and urbanization. The Chinese Government is seeking to add energy production capacity from sources other than coal and oil, focusing on natural gas, nuclear, and clean energy development. In 2016, China ratified the Paris Agreement, a multilateral agreement to combat climate change, and committed to peak its carbon dioxide emissions between 2025 and 2030.

The government's 13th Five-Year Plan, unveiled in March 2016, emphasizes the need to increase innovation and boost domestic consumption to make the economy less dependent on government investment, exports, and heavy industry. However, China has made more progress on subsidizing innovation than rebalancing the economy. Beijing has committed to giving the market a more decisive role in allocating resources, but the Chinese Government’s policies continue to favor state-owned enterprises and emphasize stability. Chinese leaders in 2010 pledged to double China’s GDP by 2020, and the 13th Five Year Plan includes annual economic growth targets of at least 6.5% through 2020 to achieve that goal. In recent years, China has renewed its support for state-owned enterprises in sectors considered important to "economic security," explicitly looking to foster globally competitive industries. Chinese leaders also have undermined some market-oriented reforms by reaffirming the "dominant" role of the state in the economy, a stance that threatens to discourage private initiative and make the economy less efficient over time. The slight acceleration in economic growth in 2017—the first such uptick since 2010—gives Beijing more latitude to pursue its economic reforms, focusing on financial sector deleveraging and its Supply-Side Structural Reform agenda, first announced in late 2015.

GDP (purchasing power parity)
$648.7 billion (2017 est.)
$607.4 billion (2016 est.)
$571.9 billion (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

$25.36 trillion (2018)
$23.21 trillion (2017 est.)
$21.72 trillion (2016 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

GDP - real growth rate
6.8% (2017 est.)
7.16% (2017 est.)
6.2% (2016 est.)
6.14% (2019 est.)
6.75% (2018 est.)
6.92% (2017 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)
$6,900 (2017 est.)
$6,600 (2016 est.)
$6,200 (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

$18,200 (2018)
$16,700 (2017 est.)
$15,700 (2016 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

GDP - composition by sector
agriculture: 15.3% (2017 est.)
industry: 33.3% (2017 est.)
services: 51.3% (2017 est.)
agriculture: 7.9% (2017 est.)
industry: 40.5% (2017 est.)
services: 51.6% (2017 est.)
Population below poverty line
8% (2017 est.)
3.3% (2016 est.)

note: in 2011, China set a new poverty line at RMB 2300 (approximately US $400)

Household income or consumption by percentage share
lowest 10%: 2.7%
highest 10%: 26.8% (2014)
lowest 10%: 2.1%
highest 10%: 31.4% (2012)

note: data are for urban households only

Inflation rate (consumer prices)
3.5% (2017 est.)
2.7% (2016 est.)
1.6% (2017 est.)
2% (2016 est.)
Labor force
54.659 million (2019 est.)
774.71 million (2019 est.)

note: by the end of 2012, China's working age population (15-64 years) was 1.004 billion

Labor force - by occupation
agriculture: 40.3%
industry: 25.7%
services: 34% (2017)
agriculture: 27.7%
industry: 28.8%
services: 43.5% (2016 est.)
Unemployment rate
3.11% (2018 est.)
2.2% (2017 est.)
3.64% (2019 est.)
3.84% (2018 est.)

note: data are for registered urban unemployment, which excludes private enterprises and migrants

Distribution of family income - Gini index
34.8 (2014)
37.6 (2008)
46.5 (2016 est.)
46.2 (2015 est.)
Budget
revenues: 54.59 billion (2017 est.)
expenditures: 69.37 billion (2017 est.)
revenues: 2.553 trillion (2017 est.)
expenditures: 3.008 trillion (2017 est.)
Industries
food processing, garments, shoes, machine-building; mining, coal, steel; cement, chemical fertilizer, glass, tires, oil, mobile phones
world leader in gross value of industrial output; mining and ore processing, iron, steel, aluminum, and other metals, coal; machine building; armaments; textiles and apparel; petroleum; cement; chemicals; fertilizer; consumer products (including footwear, toys, and electronics); food processing; transportation equipment, including automobiles, railcars and locomotives, ships, aircraft; telecommunications equipment, commercial space launch vehicles, satellites
Industrial production growth rate
8% (2017 est.)
6.1% (2017 est.)
Agriculture - products
rice, coffee, rubber, tea, pepper, soybeans, cashews, sugar cane, peanuts, bananas; pork; poultry; seafood
world leader in gross value of agricultural output; rice, wheat, potatoes, corn, tobacco, peanuts, tea, apples, cotton, pork, mutton, eggs; fish, shrimp
Exports
$214.1 billion (2017 est.)
$176.6 billion (2016 est.)
$2.49 trillion (2018)
$2.216 trillion (2017 est.)
$1.99 trillion (2016 est.)
Exports - commodities
clothes, shoes, electronics, seafood, crude oil, rice, coffee, wooden products, machinery
electrical and other machinery, including computers and telecommunications equipment, apparel, furniture, textiles
Exports - partners
US 20.1%, China 14.5%, Japan 8%, South Korea 6.8% (2017)
US 19.2%, Hong Kong 12.2%, Japan 5.9%, South Korea 4.4% (2018)
Imports
$202.6 billion (2017 est.)
$162.6 billion (2016 est.)
$2.14 trillion (2018)
$1.74 trillion (2017 est.)
$1.501 trillion (2016 est.)
Imports - commodities
machinery and equipment, petroleum products, steel products, raw materials for the clothing and shoe industries, electronics, plastics, automobiles
electrical and other machinery, including integrated circuits and other computer components, oil and mineral fuels; optical and medical equipment, metal ores, motor vehicles; soybeans
Imports - partners
China 25.8%, South Korea 20.5%, Japan 7.8%, Thailand 4.9% (2017)
South Korea 9.7%, Japan 8.6%, US 7.3%, Germany 5%, Australia 4.9% (2018)
Debt - external
$96.58 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$84.34 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$1.598 trillion (31 December 2017 est.)
$1.429 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
Exchange rates
dong (VND) per US dollar -
22,425 (2017 est.)
22,159 (2016 est.)
22,355 (2015 est.)
21,909 (2014 est.)
21,189 (2013 est.)
Renminbi yuan (RMB) per US dollar -
7.76 (2017 est.)
6.6446 (2016 est.)
6.2275 (2015 est.)
6.1434 (2014 est.)
6.1958 (2013 est.)
Fiscal year
calendar year
calendar year
Public debt
58.5% of GDP (2017 est.)
59.9% of GDP (2016 est.)

note: official data; data cover general government debt and include debt instruments issued (or owned) by government entities other than the treasury; the data include treasury debt held by foreign entities; the data include debt issued by subnational entities, as well as intragovernmental debt; intragovernmental debt consists of treasury borrowings from surpluses in the social funds, such as for retirement, medical care, and unemployment; debt instruments for the social funds are not sold at public auctions

47% of GDP (2017 est.)
44.2% of GDP (2016 est.)

note: official data; data cover both central and local government debt, including debt officially recognized by China's National Audit Office report in 2011; data exclude policy bank bonds, Ministry of Railway debt, and China Asset Management Company debt

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold
$49.5 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$36.91 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$3.236 trillion (31 December 2017 est.)
$3.098 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
Current Account Balance
$12.478 billion (2019 est.)
$5.769 billion (2018 est.)
$141.335 billion (2019 est.)
$25.499 billion (2018 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate)
$220.4 billion (2017 est.)
$12.01 trillion (2017 est.)

note: because China's exchange rate is determined by fiat rather than by market forces, the official exchange rate measure of GDP is not an accurate measure of China's output; GDP at the official exchange rate substantially understates the actual level of China's output vis-a-vis the rest of the world; in China's situation, GDP at purchasing power parity provides the best measure for comparing output across countries

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home
$129.5 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$293.2 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$1.523 trillion (31 December 2017 est.)
$1.391 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad
$19.75 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$18.97 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
$1.383 trillion (31 December 2017 est.)
$1.227 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares
$156.7 billion (29 December 2017 est.)
$87.95 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$52.39 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$7.335 trillion (December 2016 est.)
$8.234 trillion (December 2015 est.)
$8.518 trillion (31 est.)
Central bank discount rate
4.25% (7 October 2017)
15% (31 December 2011)
2.25% (5 December 2017 est.)
2.25% (31 December 2016 est.)
Commercial bank prime lending rate
7.07% (31 December 2017 est.)
6.96% (31 December 2016 est.)
4.35% (31 December 2017 est.)
4.35% (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of domestic credit
$313 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$277.3 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$27.34 trillion (31 December 2017 est.)
$23.02 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of narrow money
$85.96 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$73.48 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$8.351 trillion (31 December 2017 est.)
$7.001 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of broad money
$85.96 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$73.48 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$8.351 trillion (31 December 2017 est.)
$7.001 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
Taxes and other revenues
24.8% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
21.3% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)
-6.7% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
-3.8% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
GDP - composition, by end use
household consumption: 66.9% (2017 est.)
government consumption: 6.5% (2017 est.)
investment in fixed capital: 24.2% (2017 est.)
investment in inventories: 2.8% (2017 est.)
exports of goods and services: 100% (2017 est.)
imports of goods and services: -101% (2017 est.)
household consumption: 39.1% (2017 est.)
government consumption: 14.5% (2017 est.)
investment in fixed capital: 42.7% (2017 est.)
investment in inventories: 1.7% (2017 est.)
exports of goods and services: 20.4% (2017 est.)
imports of goods and services: -18.4% (2017 est.)
Gross national saving
29% of GDP (2017 est.)
29.5% of GDP (2016 est.)
27.5% of GDP (2015 est.)
45.8% of GDP (2017 est.)
45.9% of GDP (2016 est.)
47.5% of GDP (2015 est.)

Energy

VietnamChina
Electricity - production
158.2 billion kWh (2016 est.)
5.883 trillion kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - consumption
143.2 billion kWh (2016 est.)
5.564 trillion kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - exports
713 million kWh (2017 est.)
18.91 billion kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - imports
2.733 billion kWh (2016 est.)
6.185 billion kWh (2016 est.)
Oil - production
242,000 bbl/day (2018 est.)
3.773 million bbl/day (2018 est.)
Oil - imports
0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
6.71 million bbl/day (2015 est.)
Oil - exports
324,600 bbl/day (2015 est.)
57,310 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Oil - proved reserves
4.4 billion bbl (1 January 2018 est.)
25.63 billion bbl (1 January 2018 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves
699.4 billion cu m (1 January 2018 est.)
5.44 trillion cu m (1 January 2018 est.)
Natural gas - production
8.098 billion cu m (2017 est.)
145.9 billion cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - consumption
8.098 billion cu m (2017 est.)
238.6 billion cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - exports
0 cu m (2017 est.)
3.37 billion cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - imports
0 cu m (2017 est.)
97.63 billion cu m (2017 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity
40.77 million kW (2016 est.)
1.653 billion kW (2016 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels
56% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
62% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants
43% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
18% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels
0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
2% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources
1% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
18% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Refined petroleum products - production
153,800 bbl/day (2015 est.)
11.51 million bbl/day (2015 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption
438,000 bbl/day (2016 est.)
12.47 million bbl/day (2016 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports
25,620 bbl/day (2015 est.)
848,400 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports
282,800 bbl/day (2015 est.)
1.16 million bbl/day (2015 est.)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy
235.3 million Mt (2017 est.)
11.67 billion Mt (2017 est.)
Electricity access
electrification - total population: 100% (2019)
electrification - total population: 100% (2020)

Telecommunications

VietnamChina
Telephones - main lines in use
total subscriptions: 3,710,210
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 3.79 (2019 est.)
total subscriptions: 185,097,221
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 13.32 (2019 est.)
Telephones - mobile cellular
total subscriptions: 138,256,733
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 141.23 (2019 est.)
total subscriptions: 1,672,545,161
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 120.36 (2019 est.)
Internet country code
.vn
.cn
Internet users
total: 68,267,875
percent of population: 70.35% (July 2018 est.)
total: 751,886,119
percent of population: 54.3% (July 2018 est.)
Telecommunication systems
general assessment: despite being a communist country there are plans to part privatize the state’s holdings in telecom companies as well as a large number of other enterprises; competition is thriving in the market place; mobile dominates over fixed-line; FttH market growing, as is e-commerce; govt. is the driving force for growth and moving towards commercializing 5G services with test licenses issued in 2019; 5 major operators; Ho Chi Minh City to become the first smart city in Vietnam with cloud computing infrastructure, big data, data centers and security-monitoring centers (2020)
domestic: all provincial exchanges are digitalized and connected to Hanoi, Da Nang, and Ho Chi Minh City by fiber-optic cable or microwave radio relay networks; main lines have been increased, and the use of mobile telephones is growing rapidly; fixed-line 4 per 100 and mobile-cellular 141 per 100 (2019)
international: country code - 84; landing points for the SeaMeWe-3, APG, SJC2, AAE-1, AAG and the TGN-IA submarine cable system providing connectivity to Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Southeast Asia, Australia, and the US; satellite earth stations - 2 Intersputnik (Indian Ocean region) (2020)
note: the COVID-19 outbreak is negatively impacting telecommunications production and supply chains globally; consumer spending on telecom devices and services has also slowed due to the pandemic's effect on economies worldwide; overall progress towards improvements in all facets of the telecom industry - mobile, fixed-line, broadband, submarine cable and satellite - has moderated
general assessment: the largest Internet market in the world, with the majority, 98.6% of users accessing the Internet through mobile devices; moderate growth is predicted over the next five years in the fixed broadband segment; one of the biggest drivers of commercial growth is its increasing urbanization rate as rural residents move to cities; China will be the world's largest 5G market; the Chinese mobile market to reach penetration of 134% by 2024; maintains the largest M2M market in the world (2020)
domestic: 13 per 100 fixed line and 120 per 100 mobile-cellular; a domestic satellite system with several earth stations has been in place since 2018 (2019)
international: country code - 86; landing points for the RJCN, EAC-C2C, TPE, APCN-2, APG, NCP, TEA, SeaMeWe-3, SJC2, Taiwan Strait Express-1, AAE-1, APCN-2, AAG, FEA, FLAG and TSE submarine cables providing connectivity to Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and the US; satellite earth stations - 7 (5 Intelsat - 4 Pacific Ocean and 1 Indian Ocean; 1 Intersputnik - Indian Ocean region; and 1 Inmarsat - Pacific and Indian Ocean regions) (2019)
note: the COVID-19 outbreak is negatively impacting telecommunications production and supply chains globally; consumer spending on telecom devices and services has also slowed due to the pandemic's effect on economies worldwide; overall progress towards improvements in all facets of the telecom industry - mobile, fixed-line, broadband, submarine cable and satellite - has moderated
Broadband - fixed subscriptions
total: 12,994,451
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 13 (2018 est.)
total: 407.382 million
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 29 (2018 est.)
Broadcast media
government controls all broadcast media exercising oversight through the Ministry of Information and Communication (MIC); government-controlled national TV provider, Vietnam Television (VTV), operates a network of several channels with regional broadcasting centers; programming is relayed nationwide via a network of provincial and municipal TV stations; law limits access to satellite TV but many households are able to access foreign programming via home satellite equipment; government-controlled Voice of Vietnam, the national radio broadcaster, broadcasts on several channels and is repeated on AM, FM, and shortwave stations throughout Vietnam (2018)
all broadcast media are owned by, or affiliated with, the Communist Party of China or a government agency; no privately owned TV or radio stations; state-run Chinese Central TV, provincial, and municipal stations offer more than 2,000 channels; the Central Propaganda Department sends directives to all domestic media outlets to guide its reporting with the government maintaining authority to approve all programming; foreign-made TV programs must be approved prior to broadcast; increasingly, Chinese turn to online and satellite television to access Chinese and international films and television shows (2019)

Transportation

VietnamChina
Railways
total: 2,600 km (2014)
standard gauge: 178 km 1.435-m gauge; 253 km mixed gauge (2014)
narrow gauge: 2,169 km 1.000-m gauge (2014)
total: 131,000 km 1.435-m gauge (80,000 km electrified); 102,000 traditional, 29,000 high-speed (2018)
Roadways
total: 195,468 km (2013)
paved: 148,338 km (2013)
unpaved: 47,130 km (2013)
total: 4,960,600 km (2017)
paved: 4,338,600 km (includes 136,500 km of expressways) (2017)
unpaved: 622,000 km (2017)
Waterways
47,130 km (30,831 km weight under 50 tons) (2011)
110,000 km (navigable waterways) (2011)
Pipelines
72 km condensate, 398 km condensate/gas, 955 km gas, 128 km oil, 33 km oil/gas/water, 206 km refined products, 13 km water (2013)
76000 km gas, 30400 km crude oil, 27700 km refined petroleum products, 797000 km water (2018)
Ports and terminals
major seaport(s): Cam Pha Port, Da Nang, Haiphong, Phu My, Quy Nhon
container port(s) (TEUs): Saigon (6,155,535), Cai Mep (3,065,014) (2017)
river port(s): Ho Chi Minh (Mekong)
major seaport(s): Dalian, Ningbo, Qingdao, Qinhuangdao, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Tianjin
container port(s) (TEUs): Dalian (9,707,000), Guangzhou (18,858,000), Ningbo (24,607,000), Qingdao (18,262,000), Shanghai (40,233,000), Shenzhen (25,208,000), Tianjin (15,040,000) (2017)
LNG terminal(s) (import): Fujian, Guangdong, Jiangsu, Shandong, Shanghai, Tangshan, Zhejiang
river port(s): Guangzhou (Pearl)
Merchant marine
total: 1,863
by type: bulk carrier 83, container ship 38, general cargo 1266, oil tanker 114, other 362 (2018)
total: 5,594
by type: bulk carrier 1,231, container ship 262, general cargo 846, oil tanker 777, other 2,478 (2019)
Airports
total: 45 (2013)
total: 507 (2013)
Airports - with paved runways
total: 38 (2013)
over 3,047 m: 10 (2013)
2,438 to 3,047 m: 6 (2013)
1,524 to 2,437 m: 13 (2013)
914 to 1,523 m: 9 (2013)
total: 510 (2019)
over 3,047 m: 87
2,438 to 3,047 m: 187
1,524 to 2,437 m: 109
914 to 1,523 m: 43
under 914 m: 84
Airports - with unpaved runways
total: 7 (2013)
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2013)
914 to 1,523 m: 3 (2013)
under 914 m: 3 (2013)
total: 23 (2019)
over 3,047 m: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 0
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 7
under 914 m: 13
Heliports
1 (2013)
39 (2019)
National air transport system
number of registered air carriers: 5 (2020)
inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 224
annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 47,049,671 (2018)
annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 481.37 million mt-km (2018)
number of registered air carriers: 56 (2020)
inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 2,890
annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 436,183,969 (2018)
annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 611,439,830 mt-km (2018)
Civil aircraft registration country code prefix
VN (2016)
B (2016)

Military

VietnamChina
Military branches
People's Army of Vietnam (PAVN): PAVN Ground Forces, PAVN Navy (includes naval infantry), PAVN Air Force and Air Defense, Border Defense Force, and Vietnam Coast Guard; Vietnam People's Public Security; Vietnam Civil Defense Force (2019)
People's Liberation Army (PLA): Ground Forces, Navy (PLAN, includes marines and naval aviation), Air Force (PLAAF, includes airborne forces), Rocket Force (strategic missile force), and Strategic Support Force (information warfare, cyber, space forces); People's Armed Police (PAP, includes Coast Guard, Border Defense Force, Internal Security Forces); PLA Reserve Force (2020)
Military service age and obligation
18-27 years of age for compulsory and voluntary military service (females eligible for conscription, but in practice only males are drafted); conscription typically takes place twice annually and service obligation is 2 years (Army, Air Defense) and 3 years (Navy and Air Force) (2019)
18-22 years of age for selective compulsory military service, with a 2-year service obligation; no minimum age for voluntary service (all officers are volunteers); 18-19 years of age for women high school graduates who meet requirements for specific military jobs (2018)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP
2.3% of GDP (2018)
2.3% of GDP (2017)
2.5% of GDP (2016)
2.4% of GDP (2015)
2.3% of GDP (2014)
1.9% of GDP (2019)
1.9% of GDP (2018)
1.9% of GDP (2017)
1.9% of GDP (2016)
1.9% of GDP (2015)

Transnational Issues

VietnamChina
Disputes - international

southeast Asian states have enhanced border surveillance to check the spread of Asian swine fever; Cambodia and Laos protest Vietnamese squatters and armed encroachments along border; Cambodia accuses Vietnam of a wide variety of illicit cross-border activities; progress on a joint development area with Cambodia is hampered by an unresolved dispute over sovereignty of offshore islands; an estimated 300,000 Vietnamese refugees reside in China; establishment of a maritime boundary with Cambodia is hampered by unresolved dispute over the sovereignty of offshore islands; the decade-long demarcation of the China-Vietnam land boundary was completed in 2009; China occupies the Paracel Islands also claimed by Vietnam and Taiwan; Brunei claims a maritime boundary extending beyond as far as a median with Vietnam, thus asserting an implicit claim to Lousia Reef; the 2002 "Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea" eased tensions but differences between the parties negotiating the Code of Conduct continue; Vietnam continues to expand construction of facilities in the Spratly Islands; in March 2005, the national oil companies of China, the Philippines, and Vietnam signed a joint accord to conduct marine seismic activities in the Spratly Islands; Economic Exclusion Zone negotiations with Indonesia are ongoing, and the two countries in Fall 2011 agreed to work together to reduce illegal fishing along their maritime boundary; in May 2018, Russia’s RosneftVietnam unit started drilling at a block southeast of Vietnam which is within the area outlined by China’s nine-dash line and Beijing issued a warning

China and India continue their security and foreign policy dialogue started in 2005 related to a number of boundary disputes across the 2,000 mile shared border; India does not recognize Pakistan's 1964 ceding to China of the Aksai Chin, a territory designated as part of the princely state of Kashmir by the British Survey of India in 1865; China claims most of the Indian state Arunachal Pradesh to the base of the Himalayas, but the US recognizes the state of Arunachal Pradesh as Indian territory; Bhutan and China continue negotiations to establish a common boundary alignment to resolve territorial disputes arising from substantial cartographic discrepancies, the most contentious of which lie in Bhutan's west along China's Chumbi salient; Chinese maps show an international boundary symbol (the so-called “nine-dash line”) off the coasts of the littoral states of the South China Sea, where China has interrupted Vietnamese hydrocarbon exploration; China asserts sovereignty over Scarborough Reef along with the Philippines and Taiwan, and over the Spratly Islands together with Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan, Vietnam, and Brunei; the 2002 Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea eased tensions in the Spratlys, and in 2017 China and ASEAN began confidential negotiations for an updated Code of Conduct for the South China Sea designed not to settle territorial disputes but establish rules and norms in the region; this still is not the legally binding code of conduct sought by some parties; Vietnam and China continue to expand construction of facilities in the Spratlys and in early 2018 China began deploying advanced military systems to disputed Spratly outposts; China occupies some of the Paracel Islands also claimed by Vietnam and Taiwan; the Japanese-administered Senkaku Islands are also claimed by China and Taiwan; certain islands in the Yalu and Tumen Rivers are in dispute with North Korea; North Korea and China seek to stem illegal migration to China by North Koreans, fleeing privation and oppression; China and Russia have demarcated the once disputed islands at the Amur and Ussuri confluence and in the Argun River in accordance with their 2004 Agreement; China and Tajikistan have begun demarcating the revised boundary agreed to in the delimitation of 2002; the decade-long demarcation of the China-Vietnam land boundary was completed in 2009; citing environmental, cultural, and social concerns, China has reconsidered construction of 13 dams on the Salween River, but energy-starved Burma, with backing from Thailand, continues to consider building five hydro-electric dams downstream despite regional and international protests

Illicit drugs
minor producer of opium poppy; probable minor transit point for Southeast Asian heroin; government continues to face domestic opium/heroin/methamphetamine addiction problems despite longstanding crackdowns; enforces the death penalty for drug trafficking
major transshipment point for heroin produced in the Golden Triangle region of Southeast Asia; growing domestic consumption of synthetic drugs, and heroin from Southeast and Southwest Asia; source country for methamphetamine and heroin chemical precursors, despite new regulations on its large chemical industry; more people believed to be convicted and executed for drug offences than anywhere else in the world, according to NGOs
Refugees and internally displaced persons
stateless persons: 30,581 (2019); note - Vietnam's stateless ethnic Chinese Cambodian population dates to the 1970s when thousands of Cambodians fled to Vietnam to escape the Khmer Rouge and were no longer recognized as Cambodian citizens; Vietnamese women who gave up their citizenship to marry foreign men have found themselves stateless after divorcing and returning home to Vietnam; the government addressed this problem in 2009, and Vietnamese women are beginning to reclaim their citizenship
refugees (country of origin): 303,095 (Vietnam), undetermined (North Korea) (2019)
IDPs: undetermined (2014)

Source: CIA Factbook