Vietnam. When the Communist Party held a congress in Hanoi in January, a new trio of leaders was elected. At the Prime Minister’s post there was no change, Nguyễn Tân Dung was re-elected for a new five-year term. New President became Tru’o’ng Tân Sang, while the former Speaker of the National Assembly Nguyễn Ph迆 Trọng was appointed to the important post of Party Secretary General. The Central Committee was expanded from 160 to 175 members. Several military members were elected, according to analysts, a sign that the party wants to strengthen the defense role as neighboring China grows ever more powerful.
According to Countryaah official site, the 1,400 delegates unanimously approved the new leadership and adopted a new five-year plan. No major political course changes were discussed. The Communist Party advocated market economy reform and democratization – albeit within the framework of the one-party state.
In May elections were held for the National Assembly. Of the 500 members elected, 496 belonged to the Communist Party or allied organizations. Four members were reported to be self-nominated, independent candidates. The turnout was over 99%. The new National Assembly met in July and formally elected the Prime Minister and President appointed by the party in January.
It was named in relation to China during the year because of the protracted border dispute over the South China Sea. A Chinese patrol boat cut cables in May on a Vietnamese ship looking for oil and gas. This led to demonstrations outside China’s embassy in Hanoi. In October, the countries signed an agreement to cooperate in research projects and jointly try to resolve the dispute.
Unusually heavy monsoon rains caused severe flooding in the fall. The material damage was extensive and at least 100 people died.
The independent Vietnam
The United States ’15-year war on Vietnam cost the superpower $ 150 billion, destroying 70% of the settlement in the north, and making 10 million acres useless. Yet Vietnam prevailed. On April 30, 1975, Vietcong triumphantly entered Saigon and on July 2, 1976, the country was reunited under the name of the Vietnamese Socialist Republic. The people now faced a gigantic task. The country was to be rebuilt after inhumane suffering and destruction. Many millions had been killed or injured. 40% of the arable land and forest was destroyed. Dams that were crucial to the cultivation of food were bombed to pieces. Large population groups in North Vietnam had been evacuated. Over ten million had become refugees in South Vietnam. The war had seized all resources in North Vietnam,
In North Vietnam, the Communist Party had consolidated its post-victory over France in 1954. It had developed the most stable leadership team in the socialist world. Unlike the Soviet Union and China, the leadership of the brilliant politician Ho Chi Minh, established in 1930, had never experienced purges. No one had been accused of being counter-revolutionary or following capitalist paths. Ho Chi Minh’s death in 1969 created no power struggle.
Already during the liberation struggle against France land reforms had been carried out in the liberated areas. In 1955-56, a collectivization campaign took place. However, because of its stubborn implementation, it met with widespread resistance. The policy was changed and the turmoil was quickly overcome. The leader of the collectivization campaign was relocated, but remained in the lead. A significant portion of the industry, roads, railways, schools, and hospitals that had been built were bombed to pieces by the United States. The new agricultural policy led to a significant increase in agricultural production until 1965, when the war against the United States began in earnest. All production was set to produce the most needed goods and weapons. Accuracy and simple living became the norm. The undisputed leader Ho did not live very differently from the average Vietnamese.
Developments in South Vietnam provided a stark contrast to this. In the South, an artificial community was built, based on North American dollar injections, with a high luxury standard for the upper class. The Saigon regime’s policy was to move the population to the cities, to prevent the guerrillas from being supported in the villages. In 1960, 85% of the population of South Vietnam was farmers, in 1975 it was reduced to 35%. Saigon had swelled to a city of 4 million. 8 million lived directly by the North Americans. The administration and army had swelled to 1.5 million and 3 million were unemployed.
When the war ended, 90% of the population in the big city of Da Nang suffered from syphilis. Saigon had 100,000 prostitutes and just as many drug addicts. U.S. Senator Fullbright characterized South Vietnam as “a land of mercenaries and prostitutes.” South Vietnam’s industry was based on imported raw materials and exports covered only 10% of imports. The North American dominion of South Vietnam had created a new class of officers, officials, and black-stock traders who lived high on U.S. aid.
So South Vietnam had to be rebuilt. Although the war was won, the Communist Party faced an almost as difficult task as winning the war. The Saigon regime had eradicated most of the communist cadres. In 1975, in a district of Saigon, there were only 15 Communists, 150 killed and 300 jailed. The most important task was to get the economic wheels started and to move part of the urban population out into the countryside.
The reconstruction of the country after the war and the integration of North and South Vietnam encountered far more problems than the Hanoi government had anticipated. During the war, North Vietnam had received large grain deliveries from China, and South Vietnam had received food aid from the United States. This ceased in 1975. For several years after 1975, Vietnam was hit by drought and flood disasters. Food production was not sufficient to cover even modest consumption.
The collectivization in the south and the creation of new agricultural areas encountered resistance in many places, and the bureaucracy in many areas was crippling. Due to the financial difficulties, the government had to ease into its socialization and integration programs, but at the same time the economic problems and political disappointment led to a significant number fleeing from South Vietnam. The situation in 1976 resulted in a more extensive purging of the party – ia. of the prokinesian groups.