Updated: Sep 9, 2022
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Vietnam, and officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.
Vietnam is a country in Southeast Asia and the easternmost country on the Indochinese Peninsula. Vietnam shares its land borders with China to the north, and Laos and Cambodia to the west.
It shares its maritime borders with Thailand through the Gulf of Thailand, and the Philippines, Indonesia, and Malaysia through the South China Sea.
Reason for Naming the country
The name Việt Nam is a modification of Nam Việt, a name that can be traced back to the Triệu dynasty of the 2nd century BC.
The word Việt originated as a shortened form of Bách Việt, the name of a group of people then living in southern China and Vietnam. The form "Vietnam" is first recorded in the 16th century. The name has also been found on 12 steles carved in the 16th and 17th centuries, including one at Bao Lam Pagoda in Hải Phòng that dates to 1558.
In 1802, Nguyễn Phúc Ánh (who later became Emperor Gia Long) established the Nguyễn dynasty. In the second year of his rule, he asked the Jiaqing Emperor of the Qing dynasty to give him the title 'King of Nam Viet after gaining power in Annam. The Emperor refused since the name was related to Zhao Tuo's Nanyue, which included the regions of Guangxi and Guangdong in southern China. The Qing Emperor, therefore, decided to call the area "Viet Nam" instead.