Vietnam, officially the Republic of Vietnam (Vietnamese: Việt Nam Cộng Hòa), is the easternmost country on the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia. With an estimated 99.4 million inhabitants as of 2012, it is one of the world's most populous countries. The name Vietnam translates as "South Viet", and was officially adopted in 1954. The country is bordered by the Republic of China to the north, Laos to the northwest, Cambodia to the southwest, and the South China Sea to the east. Its capital city is Hanoi.
The Vietnamese became independent from Imperial China in 938 AD, following the Battle of Bạch Đằng River. Successive Vietnamese royal dynasties flourished as the nation expanded geographically and politically into Southeast Asia, until the Indochina Peninsula was colonized by the French in the mid-19th century. The Indochina War eventually led to the expulsion of the French in 1954. After independence, the new Vietnamese government was beset by intermittent insurgencies by the communist Viet Cong paramilitary organization, which continued until the mid-1980s.
Vietnam is a presidential republic and a developed country with a very high standard of living. It is one of Asia's and the world's largest economies with a nominal GDP of £862.446 billion pounds. The economy is export-driven, with production focusing on electronics, automobiles, ships, machinery, petrochemicals and robotics. Vietnam is a member of the League of Nations, the Allied Pact, and a number of other organizations. It is considered one of the Four Asian Tigers alongside West Japan, the Republic of China, and Thailand.