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On 2 July 1976, Saigon merged with the surrounding Gia Định Province and was officially renamed Ho Chi Minh City after revolutionary leader Hồ Chí Minh (although the name The Ho Chi Minh City Metropolitan Area, a metropolitan area covering most parts of the southeast region plus Tiền Giang Province and Long An Province under planning, will have an area of 30,000 square kilometres (12,000 sq mi) with a population of 20 million inhabitants by 2020.
Ho Chi Minh City has gone by several different names during its history, reflecting settlement by different ethnic, cultural and political groups.
Truong Mealy (former director of King Norodom Sihanouk's royal Cabinet), says that, according to a Khmer Chronicle, The Collection of the Council of the Kingdom, Prey Nokor's proper name was Preah Reach Nokor (Khmer: (the circumflex is sometimes omitted), abbreviated HCMV.
The name commemorates Hồ Chí Minh, the first leader of North Vietnam.
) prior to annexation by the Vietnamese in the 17th century.
Under the name Saigon, it was the capital of the French colony of Cochinchina and later of the independent republic of South Vietnam 1955–75.
In 1954, the Geneva Agreement partitioned Vietnam along the 17th parallel (Bến Hải River), with the communist Việt Minh, under Ho Chi Minh, gaining complete control of the northern half of the country, while the Saigon government continued to govern the State of Vietnam which continued in the southern half of the country and the southern half gaining independence from France.
The State officially became the Republic of Vietnam when Bảo Đại was deposed by his Prime Minister Ngô Đình Diệm in 1955 in the referendum.
Beginning in the early 17th century, colonization of the area by Vietnamese settlers gradually isolated the Khmer of the Mekong Delta from their brethren in Cambodia proper and resulted in their becoming a minority in the delta.The average elevation is 19 metres (62 ft) above sea level.It borders Tây Ninh Province and Bình Dương Province to the north, Đồng Nai Province and Bà Rịa–Vũng Tàu Province to the east, Long An Province to the west and the East Sea to the south with a coast 15 km (9 mi) long.Following the death of Franklin Roosevelt and the abandonment of anti-colonialist policies the U. supported France in regaining its control over the country, with effective control spanning mostly in the Southern half and parts of the Red River Delta region like Hanoi, Haiphong and Thái Bình.Former Emperor Bảo Đại made Saigon the capital of the State of Vietnam in 1949 with himself as head of state.