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Vietnam Geography 1996

    • Location:
      Southeastern Asia, bordering the Gulf of Thailand, Gulf of Tonkin, and South China Sea, between China and Cambodia

    • Map references:
      Southeast Asia

    • Area:

        total area:
        329,560 sq km

        land area:
        325,360 sq km

        comparative area:
        slightly larger than New Mexico

    • Land boundaries:
      total 3,818 km, Cambodia 982 km, China 1,281 km, Laos 1,555 km

    • Coastline:
      3,444 km (excludes islands)

    • Maritime claims:

        contiguous zone:
        24 nm

        continental shelf:
        200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin

        exclusive economic zone:
        200 nm

        territorial sea:
        12 nm

    • International disputes:
      maritime boundary with Cambodia not defined; involved in a complex dispute over the Spratly Islands with China, Malaysia, Philippines, Taiwan, and possibly Brunei; unresolved maritime boundary with Thailand; maritime boundary dispute with China in the Gulf of Tonkin; Paracel Islands occupied by China but claimed by Vietnam and Taiwan

    • Climate:
      tropical in south; monsoonal in north with hot, rainy season (mid-May to mid-September) and warm, dry season (mid-October to mid-March)

    • Terrain:
      low, flat delta in south and north; central highlands; hilly, mountainous in far north and northwest

    • Natural resources:
      phosphates, coal, manganese, bauxite, chromate, offshore oil deposits, forests

    • Land use:

        arable land:

        permanent crops:

        meadows and pastures:

        forest and woodland:


    • Irrigated land:
      18,300 sq km (1989 est.)

    • Environment:

        current issues:
        logging and slash-and-burn agricultural practices are contributing to deforestation; soil degradation; water pollution and overfishing threatening marine life populations; inadequate supplies of potable water because of groundwater contamination

        natural hazards:
        occasional typhoons (May to January) with extensive flooding

        international agreements:
        party to - Biodiversity, Climate Change, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands; signed, but not ratified - Nuclear Test Ban

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