Party General Secretary meets OVs in China

Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong visited the Vietnamese Embassy and met with overseas Vietnamese people and students in Beijing on April 8 during his official visit to China.

Mr Trong briefed the OVs on current home situation and key tasks being implemented by the Party, State and people. He underscored that Vietnam and China are neighbouring countries with traditional friendship and cooperation remains their main policy despite twists and turns in a period of time. Bilateral relations have been lifted to comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership.

The senior Vietnamese delegation’s visit to China this time aims to consolidate political trust, elevate friendly relations and enhance comprehensive cooperation in all fields, maintain peace and stability and accelerate negotiations to seek proper solutions for the settlement of sea-related issues in order to develop bilateral relations in a stable and healthy manner in the future, Mr Trong asserted.

The Party General Secretary hoped that OVs and students in China strictly follow the residing country’s laws and promote solidarity and mutual support. He also stressed the important role of the Vietnamese Embassy in handling differences between the two countries and protecting national sovereignty and interests as well as OVs’ legitimate rights.

Party leader meets China friendship associations

Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong met with representatives from the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (CPAFFC), the China-Vietnam Friendship Association and a number of former Chinese experts and diplomats, who worked in Vietnam, in Beijing on April 8.

The Party leader, who is on an official visit to China, noted that Vietnam and China have enjoyed a time-honoured friendship and comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership. Both are constructing independent, sovereign and socialist nations, he said.

He thanked Chinese friends for their meaningful assistance to Vietnam during the country’s national construction, hailing the practical activities of the CPAFFC and the China-Vietnam Friendship Association to enhance diplomatic ties.

The Party chief also expressed his hope that the associations and Chinese friends would continue exerting efforts for the development of the bilateral ties.

CPAFFC President Li Xiaolin recalled memories of her visit to Vietnam on the occasion of the 65th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties.

She pledged that her association would continue working closely with the Vietnam Union for Friendship Organisations to further foster the China-Vietnam relations.

The CPAFFC will continue making contributions to promoting mutual understanding and cooperation between the two countries while coordinating with Vietnamese partners to organise activities to deepen the friendship and partnership, she vowed.

Meanwhile, Vice Chairman of the China-Vietnam Friendship Association Zhang Dewei said the association and Chinese fans of Vietnam will do their best to promote solidarity and friendship between the two peoples.

Lao leader hails Vietnam labour and social welfare cooperation

Lao Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong lauded the results of the 4th Vietnam-Laos Labour and Social Welfare Ministerial Meeting while receiving a delegation from the Vietnamese Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA) in the capital city of Vientiane on April 7.

He told the delegation—led by Minister Pham Thi Hai Chuyen—that their working visit would contribute to boosting bilateral friendship, special solidarity and comprehensive cooperation between the parties, states and people of Vietnam and Laos.

For her part, Chuyen thanked the Lao government and people for their warm reception.

She also affirmed that the two countries are set to deploy the Vietnam-Laos labour cooperation pact to boost programmes on labour, welfare and personnel training.

The 4th Vietnam-Laos labour and social welfare ministerial meeting took place in Vientiane on the day, highlighting the close and effective engagement between the two agencies.

Participating officials informed each other on their countries’ current policies and laws related to the workforce and social welfare.

Appreciating the achievements resulting from their cooperation in recent years, they discussed measures to address obstacles to improving ties in social security, insurance and vocational training, among others.

Minister Pham Thi Hai Chuyen and her Lao counterpart Onchan Thammavong agreed that their inter-ministerial affiliation has grown in quality and scale in line with the specific needs of each nation.

NA Standing Committee debate revised Penal Code

Members of the 13th National Assembly (NA) Standing Committee scrutinised amendments to the Penal Code during the committee’s ongoing 37th session in Hanoi on April 7, voicing contrary opinions on the restriction of the death penalty.

The Government has proposed reducing the crimes eligible to the death penalty to 15 from the current 22, saying that the reduction is aimed to demonstrate the State’s humanitarian policy and carry out judicial reform.

While most participants backed the general proposal, NA Vice Chairman Huynh Ngoc Son argued that the death penalty should not be abolished for the crime of breaching peace, the crime of waging aggressive war, crimes against humanity, and war crimes, deemed the most serious among the crimes.

Chairwoman of the NA Committee for Social Affairs Truong Thi Mai agreed with the draft revision to not impose the death penalty on criminals aged 70 and above in line with global standards.

Son countered, saying people in their 70’s are generally still physically and mentally capable, able to continue perpetuating crimes such as leading crime organisations.

He urged the classification of specific groups of crimes and communicating circumstances for the death penalty in the hope of deterring criminals.

The draft revised Penal Code comprises 441 articles, increasing by 87 articles from the current one. It supplements 63 articles, amends 370 articles and abrogates eight others in the current Penal Code.

NA Chairman Nguyen Sinh Hung emphasised that the amendment of the Penal Code should be in line with the spirit of the 2013 Constitution, particularly in issues related to the people. He asked relevant agencies to continue working on the draft before submitting it to the NA again.

The NA Standing Committee’s 37th session is convening from April 6-10.

Binh Duong, Tokyu Group co-develop public transportation

Japanese Tokyu Group is collaborating with Becamex IDC Corporation in urban development and a shuttle bus system in the southern province of Binh Duong and its vicinity.

At a working session with Japanese investors, Chairman of the Binh Duong provincial People’s Committee Tran Van Nam spoke highly of the shuttle bus project injected by Japan, saying it will contribute to changing public transportation and raising resident awareness of the future of modern transportation.

He underscored that the province will tackle difficulties and facilitate conditions for investors to effectively operate their projects.

Tokyu, with its business cornerstone of urban development underpinned by transportation, provides service for 2.9 million people every year.

Tokyu President Koshimura Toshiaki said the group will carry out the Binh Duong project in a timely manner.

The project’s initiative in the province is a bus system called “Kaze Shuttle”, applying Japan’s latest technology and using environmentally-friendly compressed natural gas.

Invested by the Tokyu-Becamex Joint Venture Company, the 22.1 kilometre route connects Thu Dau 1 city and the province’s Integrated Administration Centre (Binh Duong New City).

The system is intended to utilise Japanese expertise in running a punctual timetable, serving customers and providing education about safe driving.

Japan is currently investing in 225 projects in Binh Duong with 5 billion USD in capital disbursed.

Party Economic Commission Head meets EP trade official

Head of the Party Central Committee’s Economic Commission Vuong Dinh Hue asked the European Parliament’s International Trade Committee to facilitate the signing of the Vietnam-European Union free trade agreement (FTA).

He made the request during a meeting with Chairman of the European Parliament’s International Trade Committee Bernd Lange in Hanoi on April 7.

Hue underscored that in addition to the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) signed in November 2014, the FTA will be a milestone towards elevating bilateral ties.

The EU is a key partner of Vietnam, said Hue, expressing his hope of bolstering comprehensive cooperation with the EU, especially in trade and investment.

The host said that Vietnam gives top priority to the negotiations of the FTA with the EU, as the comprehensive agreement would bring practical benefits to both sides.

For his part, Bernd Lange said that his visit to Vietnam is significant as the two sides are celebrating the 25th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties and taking the final stage of FTA negotiations.

He pledged that the Committee would consider Vietnam’s proposals, including the recognition as a market economy, and promote the conclusion of FTA negotiations.

PM meets with Quang Tri ancient citadel veterans

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung welcomed the Quang Tri Ancient Citadel Veteran Group in Hanoi on April 7 on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of Southern Liberation and National Reunification (April 30, 1975-2015) and the 43rd Quang Tri Liberation Day (May 1, 1972-2015).

During the meeting, the Prime Minister highlighted that the liberation of Central Quang Tri province was a catalyst to the success of the Paris talks and the 1975 Spring Campaign which ultimately brought about the liberation of the southern region and national re-unification.

He affirmed that the Party and Government highly respect the soldiers of the Quang Tri citadel and martyrs and veterans nationwide for their sacrifice during the fight for national reunification.

He spoke highly of efforts made by the group to contribute to local socio-economic targets and expressed his hope that the group would proactively cooperate with relevant agencies in the search for martyr remains and support disadvantaged members.

After one-year of operation, the group has found over 400 martyr remains, raised fund for construction of over 100 houses and presented hundreds of account books to assist the impoverished in balancing their savings.