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Yearbook 1997

1997 VietnamVietnam. Through the reform policy (Đi Mo迂i), initiated in 1986, the Vietnam Communist Party tried to liberalize the economy without diminishing its power. However, during the year, bureaucracy, unprofitable state-owned enterprises and corruption in the administration, police and party continued to hamper development.

According to Countryaah, eight arrested, two of them police, were sentenced to death in May in Hanoi for smuggling large amounts of heroin. Even more worrying for the rulers was that thousands of peasants in the northern province of Thai Binh in May and June protested violently against the taxes and abuse of power by corrupt authorities. It was the worst unrest reported after the country's reunification in 1975. The regime responded by promising cleansing in local authorities.

1997 Vietnam

A new National Assembly, President, Prime Minister and Party President was appointed during the year to continue Đi Mo迂i. At the July 20 election, more young and well-educated members and more women (26%) came into Parliament. However, with 384 of its 450 seats, the Communist Party retained its absolute grip on government power.

Two months later, Parliament voted for 60-year-old Trn Đu迂c Lu迂o迂ng to become new president after leaving Lễ Đu迂c Anh. New Prime Minister after Vo Văn Kiễt became 63-year-old Phan Văn Khai. The rejuvenation of the country's leadership trophy was completed in December, when the Communist Party Central Committee appointed 66-year-old General Lễ Kha Phiễu to succeed 80-year-old Đ Mu迂o迂i as the party's secretary general - the highest post of the regime.

In foreign policy, Vietnam and the US normalized their relations and exchanged the first ambassadors in May; Lễ Văn Bang arrived in Washington and Douglas Peterson - prisoner of war in Vietnam 1966-73 - to Hanoi. Later in the year, Madeleine Albright visited Vietnam as the first US foreign minister after the war.

In early November, southern Vietnam was hit by a typhoon that killed over 580 people and robbed about 150,000 people of their homes and crops.

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