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Recent progress has been made settling land border disputes with China and Cambodia.
The Vietnamese culturally divide their country into three main regions, the north ( Bac Bo ), center ( Trung Bo ), and south ( Nam Bo ), with Hanoi, Hue, and Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon) serving as the main cities of each region.
Many of these groups have their own individual adaptations to their environments.
Their practices include hunting and gathering, slash and burn agriculture, and some irrigated rice agriculture.
Many minority group members are bilingual, though not necessarily with Vietnamese as their second language. The Vietnamese government extensively employs a number of symbols to represent the nation.
The largest group is the ethnic Vietnamese ( Kinh ), who comprise over 85 percent of the population.
Other significant ethnic groups include the Cham, Chinese, Hmong, Khmer, Muong, and Tai, though none of these groups has a population over one million.
The name Vietnam originated in 1803 when envoys from the newly founded Nguyen dynasty traveled to Beijing to establish diplomatic relations with the Chinese court.
The new emperor had chosen the name Nam Viet for his kingdom.
The Chinese objected to this new name because it was the same as an ancient state that had rebelled against Chinese rule. Vietnamese officials resented the change and it did not attain public acceptance until the late 1800s.