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in Chinese), but the Grand Secretariat of Qing dynasty pointed out that the name Nam Viet/Nanyue includes regions of Guangxi and Guangdong in China, and 'Nguyễn Phúc Ánh only has Annam, which is simply the area of our old Jiaozhi ( Archaeological excavations have revealed the existence of humans in what is now Vietnam as early as the Paleolithic age.

Homo erectus fossils dating to around 500,000 BC have been found in caves in Lạng Sơn and Nghệ An provinces in northern Vietnam.

Vietnam was then unified under a Marxist-Leninist government but remained impoverished and politically isolated.

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After the Mạc dynasty was defeated, the Lê dynasty was nominally reinstalled, but actual power was divided between the northern Trịnh lords and the southern Nguyễn lords, who engaged in a civil war for more than four decades before a truce was called in the 1670s.

During this time, the Nguyễn expanded southern Vietnam into the Mekong Delta, annexing the Central Highlands and the Khmer lands in the Mekong Delta.

Its capital city has been Hanoi since the reunification of North and South Vietnam in 1976, with Ho Chi Minh City as the most populous city.

The northern part of Vietnam was part of Imperial China for over a millennium, from 111 BC to AD 939.

Between the 11th and 18th centuries, Vietnam expanded southward in a process known as From the 16th century onwards, civil strife and frequent political infighting engulfed much of Vietnam.

First, the Chinese-supported Mạc dynasty challenged the Lê dynasty's power.

By about 1000 BC, the development of wet-rice cultivation and bronze casting in the Ma River and Red River floodplains led to the flourishing of the Đông Sơn culture, notable for its elaborate bronze Đông Sơn drums.

At this time, the early Vietnamese kingdoms of Văn Lang and Âu Lạc appeared, and the culture's influence spread to other parts of Southeast Asia, including Maritime Southeast Asia, throughout the first millennium BC.

Following the 1406–7 Ming–Hồ War which overthrew the Hồ dynasty, Vietnamese independence was briefly interrupted by the Chinese Ming dynasty, but was restored by Lê Lợi, the founder of the Lê dynasty.

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