HANOI, VIETNAM - VIETNAM'S capital Hanoi officially tripled in geographical size on Friday and doubled in population, becoming a city of 6.2 million, authorities in the communist country said.
Hanoi's city limits were expanded into rural areas to take in parts of neighbouring Vinh Phuc and Hoa Binh, and all of Ha Tay province, increasing the city's size by 3.6 times to 3,344 square kilometres.
The change, approved by the Communist Party-dominated national assembly in May, secures land for developing projects of national importance, including key urban infrastructure projects, the government has said.
The government plan had been made public only months before the vote, taking most Hanoians by surprise and triggering objections from some assembly deputies, historians and media commentators.
Hanoi celebrates its 1,000th anniversary in 2010.