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The Asian side of the world - II

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Jean-François Sabouret

Part Three. Constructing theories

The Northern Mountains, another aspect of Vietnamese history

Philippe Le Failler

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September 2013

The Northern Mountains lean against the Laotian and Chinese borders and surround the Red River delta. This strategic underpopulated area, which was difficult to access for a long time, is characterized by wide ethnic diversity and was for a long time overlooked by national economic development. It is now undergoing unprecedented economic growth and raising growing interest. The systematic utilisation of its hydroelectric potential is visible everywhere, as can be seen by the many reddish scars that spoil the landscape. In order to reduce its dependence on Chinese importations, over the past 10 years Viet Nam has set about building hundreds of small and large dams to attain energy autonomy at a time when its needs are growing by 20% per year. At the same time, a fast growing tourist industry shows another Viet Nam, with indented peaks criss-crossed with terraced rice fields, which are a pleasant alternative to the flatness of the delta area rice fields. The economic int...

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