The early days - 1000 years of chinese domination- Liberation from china - China bites back - Le lo enters the scene - The coming of the europeans - Lording it over the people - Tay son rebrllion - The last of the nguyens - The french takeover - Independence aspiration - WWII breaks out - A false dawn - War with the french - A separate south vietnam - A new north vietnam - The north south war - Enter the cavalry - The turing point - Nixon his doctrine- Other foreign involvement - The fall of the south - Reunification of vietnam - Opening the door - Vietnam today


Relations with Vietnam's old nemesis, the USA, have improved in recent years. In early 1994 the USA f inally lifted its economic embargo , which had been in place since the 1960s. Full diplomatic relations with the USA have been restored and Bill Clinton, who didn't fight in the war (and didn't inhale!), became the first US president to visit north ern Vietnam in 2000. George W Bush followed suit in 2006. as Vietnam was welcomed into the World Trade Organization (WTO). Relations have also improved with the historic enemy China. Vietnam is still overshadowed by its northern neighbor and China still secretly thinks of Vietnam as a renegade province. But Vietnam's economic boom has caught Beijing's attention and it sees northern Vietnam as the fastest route from Yunnan and Sichuan to the South China Sea. Cooperation towards the future is more important than the conflict of the past. Vietnam is an active member of Asean, an organization originally estab­lished as a bulwark against communism, and this is all adding up to a rosy economic picture. Vietnam's economy is growing at more than 8% a year and tourists just can't get enough of the place. The future is bright, but ultimate success depends on how well the Vietnamese can follow the Chinese road to development: economic liberalization without political liberalization. With only two million paid-up members of the Communist Party and 80 millio n Vietnamese, it is a road they must tread carefully.