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Country Study/News journal

In terms of its maritime stakes, its exclusive economic zone is pegged at 200 nautical miles, its contiguous zone at 24 nautical miles, its continental shelf extending to the continental margin’s edge at 200 nautical miles, and its territorial sea at 12 nautical miles. The population is estimated at 93.42 million as of July of 2014. The capital city is Hanoi, and Ho Chi Minh is the other key city. These geographic and population data are useful in the context of relevant international news involving Vietnam and its neighbors. The map below situates Vietnam in the context of its boundaries and neighbors (Central Intelligence Agency):Easily the top current event in Vietnam is the recent series of events touched off by China aggressively deploying an oil rig into an area that belongs to Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone in the early part of 2014, which fueled riots and the further simmering of anti-Chinese sentiments among the Vietnamese. The deployment of the oil rig was made in the disputed Paracel Islands in the South China Sea, a move that prompted thousands of Vietnamese to storm Chinese business installations in the country in massive riots that were precipitated by mass protests in March. The oil rig was moved to Chinese territory and outside Vietnam’s economic zone in July, but not after the incident highlighted the problematic territorial disputes that China has with its neighbors, Vietnam among them, and centering on China’s so-called 9-dash line that cuts through disputed territories along the South China Sea. That 9-dash line, moreover, is a unilateral claim by China that basically carves the South China Sea as Chinese territory, something that Vietnam and its neighbors in the region have been disputing with much bitterness. This is a major current event because of its potential to spark unrest and violence, as evidenced by the incidents outlined above. Internally too, the

Country Study/News journal