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 Mass organisations oppose use of force in Gaza; Assets of former chief inspector to be scrutinised; Vietnam, Denmark eye US$1bln in trade by 2016; Victoria aspires to stronger cooperation with Vietnam

Assets of former chief inspector to be scrutinised

The Central Inspection Commission of the Communist Party of Vietnam has announced a decision to look into the assets of Tran Van Truyen, former Chief Government Inspector.

The commission will send a task force, including some Ben Tre provincial officials, to inspect inspect and assess his assets.

Since mid-February year, information published in the Vietnamese press publicly raised questions over Truyen’s luxurious home, which covers 16,000 square metres in Ben Tre Province.

Some newspapers have mentioned other villas in the province said to be owned by Truyen in the province, as well as other large homes that belong to him and his relatives in District 2 and District 7 of HCM City.

At a meeting with voters in Hanoi recently, General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong said the Central Inspection Commission of the Communist Party of Vietnam will take a close look at Truyen’s case, noting that he will not be shown leniency because he is retired.

Mass organisations oppose use of force in Gaza

Four mass organisations of Vietnam have voiced their opposition to the use of force against civilians in the Gaza Strip, and urged the parties concerned to immediately end it and hold negotiations for a solution to the conflict.

In their joint statement issued on July 23, the Vietnam Committee for Solidarity with the Palestinian People, the Vietnam Committee for Solidarity and Cooperation with Asia, Africa and Latin America, the Vietnam Peace and Development Foundation and the Vietnam Peace Committee described the on-going fighting in Gaza as a violation of peace, security and human rights in the region and the world.

“We also call on all parties to abide by international law and cooperate with the international community for prompt restoration of peace and stability in the region,” they added.

The organisations expressed profound sympathies to the people of Gaza over their sufferings and losses, and reiterated their solidarity with and support for the legitimate national aspirations of the Palestinian people.

The statement also denounced the bloody conflict and violence that have killed nearly 600 and injured thousands, most of them women and children. More than 100,000 Palestinians have left their home due to escalating hostilities.

Chairman of Japan Alumni of Vietnam awarded Japan's certificate of merit

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan (MOFA) on July 24 decided to present a MOFA certificate of merit to Honourary Chairman of the Japan Alumni of Vietnam (JAV), Nguyen Ngoc Binh in recognition of his contributions to boosting Vietnam-Japan relations.

Nguyen Ngoc Binh was appointed Vice Chairman of JAV at its establishment in 2001 and became Chairman in 2004.

He has made ceaseless efforts in strengthening connections between former Vietnamese students in Japan and led JAV to positively contribute to the friendship and relations between the two countries.

In 2006, JAV joined the ASEAN Council of Japan Alumni (ASCOJA) which helped raise the position of JAV in the region. In 2013, Vietnam hosted for the first time a congress of ASCOJA in Hanoi with the participation of Nguyen Ngoc Binh as congress chairman.

Chairman Binh has contributed to consolidating the Vietnamese student network in Japan, as well as co-operated with the Japanese side in holding activities on studying in Japan, helping to increase the number of Vietnamese students in Japan.

Hanoi Party Committee Secretary Nghi visits US

Politburo member and Secretary of the Hanoi Party Committee Pham Quang Nghi is leading a delegation to visit the US from July 21 at the invitation of the US Department of State.

In Washington DC, Nghi met a number of politicians including Under Secretary for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman, Thomas Shannon, Counselor to Secretary of State John Kerry, Tony Blinken, Deputy National Security Adviser for President Barack Obama, Patrick Leahy President pro tempore of the Senate and Senator John McCain.

At the meetings with the US high ranking officials, Hanoi Party Committee Secretary Nghi said that Vietnamese Party and State value and continuously foster cooperation ties with the US in the spirit of a joint declaration on Vietnam- US comprehensive partnership announced in Washington last July. He also asked the US to further open its market for Vietnamese products, restrict trade barriers, encourage US investment in Vietnam and recognise the country’s market economy status.

Nghi also met with Kenneth Wollack, President of the National Democratic Institute (NDI), and Mark Green, President of the International Republican Institute (IRI).

Nghi proposed that the US increase assistance to Vietnam in dealing with was aftermath, including dioxin remediation, support for dioxin victims, bomb and mine clearance, and search for personnel missing in action (MIA).

Vietnam applauds the US’s strengthening of cooperation with Asia-Pacific for peace, stability and prosperity in the region, Nghi added.

The Hanoi leader also spoke highly of contributions by congress people to the development of bilateral ties as well as the relations between the two countries’ legislatures and cooperation between localities.

The US officials said the US attaches great importance to Asia- Pacific in its overall strategy, and vowed to accelerate negotiations of the Trans- Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement to end the process this year. They pledged to provide technical assistance for Vietnam to improve its capacity and flexibility in meeting TPP commitments.

US senators spoke highly of Vietnam’s leading role in resolving regional issues and said the US Congress supports the government in promoting relations with Vietnam .

US officials expressed their concern over recent tensions in the East Sea after China illegally placed its oil platform Haiyang Shiyou-981 in Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone and continental shelf. They said the US had its interest in maintaining peace and stability in the Asia- Pacific region, including freedom, safety and security of navigation in the East Sea. They appreciated Vietnam’s recent efforts to prevent confrontations and disputes in the region

Nghi is scheduled to leave Washington Dc for New York on July 23, continuing his working visit to the US.

Vietnam, Denmark eye US$1bln in trade by 2016

The government of Denmark is actively implementing the new Growth Strategy for Vietnam, encouraging Danish businesses to invest in Vietnam, aiming to raise bilateral trade ties to US$1 billion in 2016.

Danish Foreign Minister Martin Lidagaard made the statement at a meeting with Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister-cum-Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh on the sidelines of the 20th ASEAN-EU Ministerial Meeting (AEMM) in Brussels, Belgium, on July 23.

Valuing Vietnam’s recent dynamic development and its increasing role globally, Lidagaard said Denmark considers the Southeast Asian nation one of its priority partners in the region.  

He told Minh that Denmark has proposed bilateral negotiations of a free trade agreement (FTA) with Vietnam, and it pledged to help speed up current FTA negotiations between Vietnam and the EU.

For his part, Minh thanked Denmark for maintaining official development assistance (ODA) to Vietnam, saying the aid has been used effectively in the areas of administrative reform, education, and the environment.

The two diplomats said both Vietnam and Denmark will accelerate implementation of the 2014-2015 Action Plan to soon realise their Comprehensive Partnership established in September 2013.

Regarding the East Sea issue, Lidagaard said Denmark supports the EU’s stance and hopes parties concerned will resolve the dispute by peaceful means in accordance with international law, especially the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

Victoria aspires to stronger cooperation with Vietnam

The Australian State of Victoria attaches importance to developing relations with Vietnam and its localities, primarily in economics, trade, investment and education.

Victoria Governor Alex Chernov and other State legislators shared the view at separate meetings with Vietnamese Ambassador to Australia Luong Thanh Nghi during the latter’s visit on July 21-22.

They underlined the need to boost cooperation between Melbourne and Ho Chi Minh City within the framework of the Business Partner Cities BPC) network in Asia.

Chernov praised the Vietnamese community’s contribution to Victoria’s economic development and cultural diversification, and emphasised on the importance of people-to-people exchange between the two countries.

He expressed his wish to visit Vietnam one day in the future.

Nghi briefed the host on the fine development of the comprehensive partnership between Vietnam and Australia in recent times and spoke highly of Victoria’s contribution to promoting bilateral ties over the past 40 years.

He hoped with a wealth of experience in infrastructure development, high technology, research and education development, Victory will make a substantial contribution to Vietnam-Australia relations.

While staying in Victoria, Nghi visited Coles Retail Group, RMIT University and representatives from 20 businesses and universities in the State.

He asked Australian businesses to further import Vietnamese goods, especially agricultural products, and universities to create conditions for Vietnamese students to pursue their study there.

Nghi also worked with the Australia-Vietnam Friendship Association, the Vietnamese Businesses Association and the Vietnamese Students Association, hoping that these associations will launch practical activities to help foster ties between the two countries.

Vietnam calls for immediate end to Gaza violence

Vietnam calls for an immediate end to violence in Gaza, believing that it is the ceasefire that can help restart peaceful negotiations and promote a safe environment for the human rights in the region, said a Vietnamese representative at the United Nations.

Delivering a speech at the 21st special session of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) on the human rights situation in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, in Geneva on July 23, Ambassador Nguyen Trung Thanh, head of the Vietnamese delegation to the UN, emphasised that the escalation of violence in the region has caused casualties among civilians, particularly women and children.

Once the use of violence is halted and security restored, nations involved can gain progress in seeking sustainable and long-term solutions via peaceful dialogues, Trung said, adding that the vicious circle of violence will prevent them from finding out measures to deal with issues of justice, security and human rights, and humanitarian matters.

As a member of the UNHRC, Vietnam expects the special session will yield constructive results, stated Thanh.

Since the Israeli military launched the operation “Protective Edge” on July 7, over 600 Palestinians have been killed in the Gaza Strip and another 3,504 injured.

President meets ex-prisoners of Hoa Lo

President Truong Tan Sang on July 23 visited Hoa Lo Prison (Maison Centrale) relic and met with revolutionaries who were detained and tortured there in the 1930-1954 period.

The French built the house in 1901 near Hanoi’s French Quarter to imprison, torture and execute Vietnamese political activists, especially revolutionaries, agitating for national independence and freedom.

Inside prison cells, Vietnamese communists secretly established Party organisations, running political courses, publishing newspapers and leading the revolution against French colonialism.

Many communists managed to escape the prison and returned to the revolutionary life. Five of them were later elected Party General Secretaries, and 78 Party Central Committee members, while hundreds of others held key positions during different periods of the revolution.

The Party and State has conferred the title “the Hero of People’s Armed Forces” to the collective of Hoa Lo Prison revolutionaries, acknowledging their great contribution to the struggle for national freedom and independence.

It is reported that most of the Hoa Lo revolutionaries have died, and only few are still alive aged between 80 and 100.  

President Sang was moved when meeting with the age-old revolutionaries who helped culminate in the victory of the August 1945 Revolution and the war of resistance against French colonialism in 1954.

They [Hoa Lo Prison revolutionaries] have set a bright example for generations of Vietnamese people in the cause of national construction and defence, Sang said.

He wished them good health and happiness with their families and set an exemplary role model especially in instilling patriotism and self-reliance in younger generations.

President Sang asked relevant ministries, sectors and Hanoi city to introduce new policies to better take care of war veterans.

Party officials visit Nicaragua to foster ties

A delegation led by Chairman of the Party Central Committee’s Commission for Foreign Relations Hoang Binh Quan visited Nicaragua from July 19 – 22 at the invitation of the ruling Sandinista National Liberation Front Party (FSLN).

During their stay, the Vietnamese guests had a meeting with FSLN Politburo member and Speaker of the Nicaraguan Parliament Rene Nunez, who informed them about his country’s achievements in poverty alleviation and social policy implementation.

Nunez affirmed that Nicaragua always cherishes its friendship and cooperation with Vietnam and expressed his hope for expanded bilateral partnership in economics, trade and investment.

The Nicaraguan leader also voiced his wish that the two countries’ legislative bodies will intensify their friendship and cooperation in the future.

For his part, Quan congratulated the FSLN and the Nicaraguan people on their accomplishments and briefed the host on Vietnam’s socio-economic development.

He stated Vietnam’s resolve to enhance its ties with Nicaragua, especially in economics, trade and investment.

Hoang Binh Quan also held talks with Secretary of the FSLN’s International Relations Jacinto Suarez, during which both sides pledged to continue implementing effectively their cooperation agreements.

The two sides exchanged their views on international issues of mutual concern and agreed to further support each other at regional and international forums.

The Vietnamese delegation attended a ceremony marking the 35th anniversary of the success of the Sandinista Revolution (July 19, 1979 - 2014).

The event in capital Managua drew the participation of some 100,000 people and officials from 35 countries, including Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, El Salvador President Salvador Sánchez Cerén, and Cuban Vice President Ramiro Valdes.

Vietnam Navy’s first victory in ex-soldiers’ memory

Fifty years has passed since the Vietnam People’s Navy won the first victory in the battlefield against the Americans (August 5, 1964), but memory of such glorious past remains vivid in the mind of those who contributed to it.

Tran Cong Kec and Bui Xuan Chuc, now in their 70s, recalled that in November 1958, they were called in the Vietnam People’s Navy after undergoing a five-month training in the northern province of Bac Giang.

In August 1964 when the US launched a fierce raid in the Gianh river in the central province of Quang Binh, they were performing duties on sub-chaser T229 and patrol vessel T124, respectively.

Chuc reminisced that at 12:40 am on August 5, fleets of US planes unexpectedly appeared and fired rockets relentlessly into Vietnamese naval vessels.

“We struck back immediately while raising anchor sailing to Ha Long bay to minimise as much damages as possible. To avoid bombs dropped by the enemies, we fired back rounds of rockets together with smokes to blur their vision,” he said.

The navy attacked the US destroyer Maddox in the Tonkin Gulf, shot down eight aircraft and arrested the first US pilot Everett Alvarez in northern Vietnam.

Now looking back, the soldiers said they believe that the triumph was the result of a thorough preparation and the wholehearted support of their fellows and people nationwide, materially and spiritually.

Before the fighting, militiamen and civilians assisted logistics groups in charge of taking supplies, medicines and ammunition aboard. They were also ready to take wounded soldiers to medical stations or lay the deceased to rest.

“It is the strong will and sure-to-win confidence that brought us the victory,” Kec stressed.

Now retired as a Colonel, Kec often tells the story of his army services to his family members on festive occasions. A son chose to follow his step by working for the Ho Chi Minh City-based military port. Two of his sons-on-laws are members of the naval force.

Besides Orders and Medals recognising his merits, Chuc also keeps an album featuring his timeline, including images taken when he was a student at a naval technical school, his meeting with the late President Ho Chi Minh in 1960, and a brave soldier.

He said these small items will help his descendants understand more about the tradition of his family and the cost of peace and independence that the nation has had today.

PM approves Central Highlands planning till 2030

Prime Minister, Nguyen Tan Dung has approved Central Highlands' planning till 2030, in which the region will strive for an urbanisation rate of about 40.7 percent.

The Central Highlands covering a total area of more than 54,600sq.km. comprises five provinces of Kon Tum, Gia Lai, Dak Lak, Dak Nong and Lam Dong.

In 2030, the region is expected to be home to about 7,390,600 people, of which 3,095,600 will live in 117 urban areas. It will serve as a centre for trade activities of countries in the Greater Mekong River sub-region and the East Sea.

Based on particular features of geography, infrastructure, advantages and potential for development, the Central Highlands will be divided into sub-regions and economic development corridors.

Accordingly, the northern Central Highlands sub-region, including Gia Lai and Kon Tum provinces, will focus on developing hydropower industry and ecotourism, while the southern sub-region, including Dak Nong and Lam Dong, will concentrate on mineral exploitation and high-tech agriculture. Dak Lak province, the central sub-region, will develop the agroforestry sector, and coffee processing and export.

By 2030, 10 border gates, 24 industrial zones and 74 industrial clusters will be established in the region.

The region will also make efforts to develop tourism along with environmental protection, and boost connectivity with localities in central and southern Vietnam.

VNA/VNS/ND/Dantri/VOV

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