Here under are Vietnam ’s top ten events in 2011 selected by the Vietnam News Agency (VNA):

1. The 11 th National Party Congress: The 11 th National Party Congress, which took place in Hanoi from January 12-19, adopted documents of strategic significance for the national development, including the Platform for National Construction during the Transitional Period towards Socialism (supplemented, developed in 2011) and the Socio-economic Development Strategy in the 2011-2020 period. The Congress elected a 175-member Party Central Committee led by General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong.

2. Elections on the largest ever scale: On May 22, for the first time, Vietnam held the elections of deputies to the 13th National Assembly and People’s Councils at all levels for the 2011-2016 term in the same day. The success of the elections was an important progress in the process of building, consolidating and perfecting a socialist law-governed state.

3. Vietnam-China agreement on basic principles guiding the settlement of sea-related issues: On October 11, in Beijing, Vietnam and China signed an agreement on basic principles guiding the settlement of sea-related issues, defining principles guiding the settlement of disputes in the East Sea through peaceful solutions, on the basis of international law and taking into account the interests of concerned parties. Earlier, in May and June 2011, China had several actions violating the sovereignty and jurisdiction rights over Vietnam ’s continental shelf and exclusive economic zone in the East Sea .

4. Inflation control and economic restructuring: With the implementation of the Party and State’s decisive policies with top priority given to curbing inflation, stabilising the macro economy and ensuring social welfare, Vietnam capped inflation at 18.12 percent and attained a GDP growth rate of 5.8 percent in 2011. At its third meeting in Hanoi from October 6-10, the 11 th Party Central Committee decided to boost economic restructuring in combination with renewal in the growth model on a sustainable basis.

5. Campaign to bring home more than 10,000 workers from Libya : In the face of political instabilities in Libya , from February 23 to April 4, Vietnam brought home over 10,000 workers safely from Libya . Most workers returned home through the largest ever “air bridge”.

6. First under river tunnel opens to traffic: On November 20, the Thu Thiem tunnel, the first under river in Vietnam and the most modern in Southeast Asia , and the entire East-West Highway opened to traffic. The tunnel is 1,490m long, 33m wide and 9m high and has six lanes. The operation of the tunnel and the highway will help boost socio-economic development of Ho Chi Minh City in particular and the country in general.

7. The Citadel of Ho Dynasty and Xoan singing honoured by UNESCO: On June 27, in Paris , the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) recognised the Citadel of Ho Dynasty in Vinh Loc district, the central province of Thanh Hoa , as a word cultural heritage. On November 24, in Bali ( Indonesia ), UNESCO approved a decision to recognise Xoan singing, a vocal art of villages in the ancestral land of Phu Tho , as an Intangible Cultural Heritage in need of Urgent Protection. To date, Vietnam has 16 heritages recognised by UNESCO.

8. Vietnam records high achievements at SEA Games 26: At the 26 th Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games 26) held in Indonesia, the Vietnamese sports team bagged 288 medals, including 96 gold medals, ranking third in the metal tally. However, the men’s U23 football squad failed to win any medal at this Games, making their fans disappointed.

9. Hand-foot-mouth disease spreads out: In 2011, the hand-foot-mouth disease spread through all 63 cities and provinces nationwide with more than 90,000 cases. Over 150 of them, mostly children died. The disease had great impacts on the lives of people and raised worries in the society.

10. Serious floods in the Mekong Delta: Due to climate change impacts, from October to early November 2011, the Mekong Delta region experienced the biggest flooding over the past decade, which killed 85 people and caused a property loss of over 4 trillion VND./.