Vietnam (officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam) is located on the most eastern point of the Indochina Peninsula and has a population of approximately 94.6 million people, making it the world's 15th-most-populous country. Its border countries are China (north), Laos (northwest), Cambodia (southwest), Thailand (southwest), and the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia beyond the South China Sea (east/southeast).
Vietnam established diplomatic relations with all nations by the year 2000 after decades of isolation. Since then, its economic growth rate has been listed as being among the highest in the world. Vietnam joined the World Trade Organization in 2007, and is a member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation and the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie.
Vietnam’s political framework is based on a single-party socialist republic. The General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam is seated in the highest position as the Party leader and head of the Politburo. The head of state is the President of Vietnam while the Prime Minister of Vietnam is head of government, all under the Communist Party of Vietnam. The government and the President of Vietnam have executive power to act where necessary. The Government is elected by the National Assembly for a five-year term. The Prime Minister, currently Nguyễn Xuân Phúc, acts as head of the Government, and can be dismissed by the President.
The Political Bureau, or Politburo, of the Central Committee Communist Party of Vietnam – formerly the Standing Committee of the Central Committee – heads up the Communist Party of Vietnam between twice-annual Central Committee meetings. The Politburo directs the government and actions policies put forward by the National Party Congress or the Central Committee.
The Central Committee elects and ranks members of the Politburo after the National Party Congress. The current Politburo has 19 members and the top-ranking member is given the title of General Secretary of the Central Committee.
The National Assembly elects the President, who acts as the commander-in-chief of the Vietnam People's Armed Forces and Chairman of the Council for Defence and Security, for a five-year term – he has the power to make decisions regarding executive brands. The government is led by the Prime Minister, supported by several Deputy Prime Ministers and additional ministers who oversee particular aspects of government. The President can appoint or dismiss Vice Presidents, Prime Ministers, Deputy Chief Judges of the Supreme People's Court, and the Heads of the Supreme People's Procuracy. The President has the power to declare a state of emergency or war. Trương Tấn Sang was re-elected President on 25 July 2011.
The executive branch oversees the direction of the politics, economy, culture, social aspect, national defence, security and external activities of Vietnam. The National Assembly, a unicameral legislative body, has 500 members each elected to serve four-year long terms. The legislature is the highest organ of the state, and includes the power to enact and amend the constitution and laws, as well as adopt the government budget, supervise the Government of Vietnam, and appoint the judiciary. The office of the President of the Socialist Republic is regularly elected, as are the National Assembly and the People's Councils.
Every five years, the direction of the Party and the Government is decided at the National Congress; Congress also elects the Central Committee. During Congress, delegates vote on policies and candidate positions in the central party – Congress is dissolved immediately after new polices are ratified. The Central Committee implements decisions made at the National Congress over the course of a five-year period before the next Congress is called to session. In between the twice-annual meetings of the Central Committee, the Politburo maintains the implementation of policies ratified at the National Congress.
The Central Committee meets twice each year to implement Congressional policy; between these meetings, the Secretariat and the Politburo operate to direct policy realization. The Central Committee also elects the Secretariat, for which the General Secretary is responsible. The Secretariat solves organisational problems and assists in the implementation of Central Committee orders, as initiated by policy decided upon in the National Party Congress.