Bao Tin Hoc
The people of Vietnam regained independence and broke away from China in AD 938 after their victory at the battle of Bạch Đằng River. Successive dynasties flourished along with geographic and political expansion deeper into Southeast Asia, until it was colonized by the French in the mid-19th century. Efforts to resist the French eventually led to their expulsion from the country in the mid-20th century, leaving a nation divided politically into two countries. Fighting between the two sides continued during the Vietnam War, ending with a North Vietnamese victory in 1975.
Emerging from this prolonged military engagement, the war-ravaged nation was politically isolated. The government's centrally planned economic decisions hindered post-war reconstruction and its treatment of the losing side engendered more resentment than reconciliation. In 1986, it instituted economic and political reforms and began a path towards international reintegration. By 2000, it had established diplomatic relations with most nations. Its economic growth had been among the highest in the world in the past decade. These efforts culminated in Vietnam joining the World Trade Organization in 2007 and its successful bid to become a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council in 2008.
The Vietnamese people are an ethnic group originating from what is now northern Vietnam and the lower reaches of southern China. They are the majority ethnic group of Vietnam, comprising 86% of the population as of the 1999 census, and are officially known as Kinh to distinguish them from other ethnic groups in Vietnam. The earliest recorded name for the ancient Vietnamese people was known as the Lạc peoples.
Earliest Vietnames People
The earliest Vietnamese people are thought to have gradually moved from Indonesia through the Malay Peninsula and Thailand until they settled on the edges of the Red River in the Tonkin Delta. Archaeologists believe that at this time the Himalayas, a chain of mountains in northern Burma and China, created an icy barrier which isolated the people of Southeast Asia. During the Ice Age, (12,000-8,000 BC) the extreme northern and southern parts of the earth froze into giant glaciers and icebergs, while at the equator temperatures did not fall below freezing. Due to the formation of icebergs in the far north, the ocean levels around the equator dropped significantly. This resulted in the exposure of the shallow areas surrounding the coasts and islands of Southeast Asia which today is known as the Sunda Shelf.