The Republic of Vietnam is a former Imperial American colony that has become one of the United Technocracies' staunchest allies. It has adopted the United Technocracies' form of oligarchal technocracy, mixed with a syncretic Christian/Buddhist theocracy. It is considered a small interstellar state existing near the edge of human-occupied space
The Republic of Vietnam was originally made up of worlds the Imperial government deemed questionably habitable, as they were used to test several new terraforming methods. Not wanting to use "good" Americans to test if the terraforming worked properly, the worlds were instead populated by villagers from American Indochina, an area which has for centuries tried and failed to overthrow its American occupiers. American military commanders reasoned that if the guerillas in the area had no local population to blend into and approved of the practice. Millions of Indochinese villagers were forcibly deported and sent to the colonies (some of which were given to Britain, who used them in similar tests in the 240-300 area). One fifth of American Indochina's native population was deported by the end of the program.
As the Americans suspected, the new terraforming techniques didn't work as well as planned. Crops regularly failed in the nutrient-poor soil and the days and nights were either too long or not long enough. Many of the colonists died of starvation and, after learning what they could, the Americans abandoned the worlds. The colonists established a Republic of Indochina, which became the Republic of Vietnam after a nationalist party representing the majority Vietnamese took over and began a mass ethnic cleansing of Laotians and Cambodians about seven decades after the founding.
The worlds making up the Republic of Vietnam wouldn't be found until 2562, when a United Technocracies exploratory fleet encountered the systems. They quickly established diplomatic relations and informed the Vietnamese about the fate of their American overlords. Acting pragmatically the Technocracies did not inform the Vietnamese about their relationship with the Coalition, only doing so after the Laguna Crisis. The children of rich Vietnamese families were educated in Technocracy schools, where they learned about Oligarchal Technocracy and spread those ideals when they returned to their homeland. They returned to a country that was becoming increasingly divided between the rich, Catholic aristocracy that had received what little favors the Americans had given and radical Buddhist groups. Religious conflict threatened to divide the nation, but the Technocracy-educated intellectuals applied their knowledge of Oligarchal Technocracy and came up with a compromise. Their leader, Brother Ngo, declared that the teachings of Buddha and Jesus were identical because they were both inspired by the same God, one that had spoken to him personally and called him to unite the country under the system of Oligarchal Technocracy. This new, syncretic interpretation was nothing new; many peasants believed in a mixture of Catholicism and Buddhism, with radical Buddhists peasants and reactionary Catholic aristocrats causing most of the conflict. The majority did not want to see the country plunge into civil war over religions that, according to Brother Ngo's interpretation, were identical. A popular movement promoted the technocrats and demanded they be installed in government, and the government stepped down to prevent all-out war. Brother Ngo installed himself as Supreme Leader of the Republic and Prophet of the Almighty.
A new system, modeled off the United Technocracies model, was established. The old Catholic aristocrats simply became the new Pendulum caste and the peasants remained peasants, but Ngo built a cult of personality around himself until he declared in 2604 that he was the brother of Jesus Christ himself. After his 'ascension,' Ngo made hyperbolic condemnations of the rest of the galaxy, calling the Coalition's State Church and the Dijonist cult heretics and infidels that would be thrown into damnation during the End Times, which were soon. Peasants were encouraged to give alms to Ngo and his "disciples," who used them to fund their rambunctious, corrupt lifestyles. When Ngo died in 2615, a massive state funeral was held and his body was preserved in the Temple of the Messiah. His successor, Disciple Phan, was installed as the new Supreme Leader and declared that one day, Brother Ngo will rise from the grave and offer salvation to all. Fortunate peasants can spend their savings to make a pilgrimage to the Temple and pray to Brother Ngo's corpse. The faithful wait for the day when Brother Ngo rises from the grave to smite the sinful galaxy and takes his followers to Paradise.
Despite Ngo's hyperbolic claims such as controlling the weather and inventing faster-than-light travel, his nation was and still is dependent on Technocracy aid to prop up its constantly failing economy. The food shortages that plagued Vietnam's history are still common, and no efforts have been made by either the Vietnamese or Technocracy governments to fix them. Most Vietnamese weapons are of Technocracy manufacture, as Vietnam itself has a very weak industrial base. However, Vietnamese troops joined with the Technocracy's and Judea's during the Galactic War when the Technocracy officially entered the war in 2747.