VIETNAM NEWS JANUARY 23

Hanoi’s air quality continues worsening

VIETNAM NEWS JANUARY 23

Hanoi’s air pollution has continued worsening in many areas, posing health risks for local residents.

According to the Hanoi Department of Natural Resources and Environment, the air quality index at the city’s 34 air monitoring stations this morning, January 21 faced extremely severe pollution. Four stations located in Thanh Xuan District, Cau Giay District and Hoan Kiem District had the worst results.    

The department’s Environmental Protection Board said that the content of high fine particulate matters of PM 2.5 and PM 10 increased by 1.3-2 times against the day before.

Weather conditions with the thick dense smog and high moisture is among the major causes of the serious pollution in the city, the board added.

In addition, exhaust fumes from vehicles, industrial production activities and dust from on-going construction sites also contribute to the problem.

People were advised not go out for exercise or open doors in the early morning or at night, particularly those with respiratory diseases. Masks should be used when out.

No new COVID-19 cases reported on January 23

Vietnam recorded no new COVID-19 cases on January 23, according to the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control.

Vietnam has so far reported 1,548 infections, including 693 locally-transmitted cases and 553 new cases from July 25, 2020 when the pandemic broke out in the central city of Da Nang.

As many as 1,411 patients were given the all-clear from the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 while the number of deaths related to the disease was kept at 35.

Among patients undergoing treatment at medical establishments across the country, nine tested negative for the virus once, 15 others twice and seven thrice.

Up to 19,412 people who had close contact with COVID-19 patients or entered Vietnam from pandemic-hit areas are under quarantine, 125 of them are in hospitals, 18,103 others in state-designated establishments and 1,184 at their homes.

The committee requested continuing with prevention and control measures to prevent the resurgence of the virus in the community./.

Golf project recalled after criminal deforestation

Authorities in Lam Dong Province have suspended a golf project that has caused damage to forested land over a 13-year period. 

Lam Dong Province People's Committee has issued an official decision to suspend the Da Lat Golf and Resort Project of Han Viet Investment Company. The Department of Planning and Investment was asked to complete the procedures and the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development must work with Duc Trong District authorities to assess the damages caused to the forest. The Department of Finance will evaluate and order Han Viet Company to compensate.

The project was given an investment permit in 2007. 268 ha of forest land was allocated to Han Viet Company. But in the past 13 years, Han Viet Company has done nothing, abandoning the project and letting illegal loggers destroy the forest.

They also didn't include a forest fire prevention plan in their application, nor assign any guards to the forest. As a result, hundreds of 20-50cm diameter pine trees were cut down. Most of the trees were taken away before the authorities arrived.

In some areas, the loggers even put up concrete poles and barriers to claim land plots. They divided the land into small lots which are 1,000 to 2,000 square metres which were then illegally sold to different buyers to plant agricultural trees for some hundreds of millions of VND each lot.

The forest protection departments have sent employees to patrol the forest and asked Han Viet Company many times to meet with them to discuss compensation and reforestation but the company refused to co-operate.

Vietnam deports Chinese illegal immigrants

Police in the southern central province of Phu Yen have deported eight Chinese nationals who had illegally entered Vietnam after they finished a 14-day quarantine for Covid-19 prevention.

On Friday, the local police co-operated with concerned agencies to take the Chinese people to the border area of the northern province of Lang Son to hand over them to the Chinese side.

They were among nine Chinese residents caught illegally sneaking into Vietnam at the end of December last year. They were on a passenger bus which was on the way from Haiphong City to HCM City.  

All of the Chinese nationals had their personal papers with them but they did have enough required papers to prove that they had lawfully entered Vietnam. The eight were detained, while the other fled and is still being hunted by Vietnamese authorities.

The Chinese men said that they sought to come to Vietnam as a way to illegally enter Cambodia to work.

The Chinese illegal immigrants were fined VND4,000 (USD173.91) each by Phu Yen police and were sent to a local quarantine site.

News website, handbook on external relations launched

VIETNAM NEWS JANUARY 23
The news website is available at www.ttdn.vn


A news website on external relations was launched on January 22, aiming to provide information about the Party’s policies and standpoints, the State’s laws as well as the country’s foreign affairs and international integration, and promote the image, culture, history and people of Vietnam.

The website also spotlights major international news and issues of public concern, while supplying documents, data and professional guidelines on external relations, and rejecting wrongful and distorted information and stances on Vietnam.

The news website, available at www.ttdn.vn, also provides a library of photos and videos featuring major external events of the Party and State as well as the images, culture and people of Vietnam.

The launching of the website is expected to diversify the forms of external information popularisation, especially among foreigners and Vietnamese people abroad with high interaction.

A handbook, entitled “Glorious Fatherland, Vietnam’s Fortune” was also launched at the ceremony. It consists of three parts, highlighting the outstanding achievements of Vietnam on the path of “Doi moi” (renewal), integration and development; the position and prestige of Vietnam; and the vision and desire of Vietnam.

Published by the Su That (Truth) National Political Publishing House and Tre (Youth) Publishing House, the publication provides valuable information and documentary data on the overall situation of Vietnam 75 years after its liberation and 35 years of implementing the “Doi moi” cause./.

Vietnam expands use of PrEP service to reduce HIV infections

VIETNAM NEWS JANUARY 23
ARV drugs


Vietnam is working to expand the use of Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) service and antiretroviral (ARV) drugs to reduce HIV infections in the community.

According to the Vietnam Administration for HIV/AIDS Control (VAAC) under the Ministry of Health, as of September 2020, Vietnam had recorded over 213,000 people living with HIV and 107,810 dead HIV carriers since the first case was detected in Ho Chi Minh City in 1990.

Additional 11,000 new infections and 2,800 fatalities are reported in the country each year. At present, nearly 151,000 HIV carriers nationwide are treated with ARV therapy.

VAAC Director Nguyen Hoang Long said that HIV antibody tests are currently conducted at all districts nationwide, while all 63 provinces and cities are able to carry out confirmatory tests.

Vietnam is exerting efforts to expand the application of confirmatory tests to the district level.

Vietnam is one of the first countries in the world to apply the PrEP programme. As of September 30, 2020, more than 13,600 people living with HIV nationwide had been provided with PrEP service.

PrEP helps to reduce 98 percent of the risk of infecting HIV in the community, Long said.

Vietnam is striving to have about 30 percent or 60,000 people in the MSM (men having sex with men) community using PrEP by 2025, and the rate is hoped to increase to 40 percent by 2030./.

Committee orders tightened border control to prevent illegal entry

The National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control has ordered the tightening of border control to prevent any illegal entry.

Representatives from the Ministries of Health, National Defence, and Public Security told a meeting of the committee in Hanoi on January 21 that the repatriation of overseas Vietnamese should be based on assessment of domestic quarantine capacity, especially given the appearance of new coronavirus variants.

Vietnamese abroad should be encouraged to follow COVID-19 prevention and control regulations in their host countries, they said, stressing the need to ensure absolute safety on repatriation flights.

Regarding vaccine research, production, and distribution, the Ministry of Health will actively partner with other ministries and agencies to complete relevant mechanisms and push ahead with vaccine trials.

The Ministries of Education and Training, Industry and Trade, and Transport were asked to report on COVID-19 prevention and control at schools, markets, supermarkets, commercial centres, and bus stations, and on public transport.

As the Tet (Lunar New Year) holiday is approaching, greater efforts are needed to inspect the work in localities nationwide, the committee said.

It also requested localities seriously observe guidelines set by the Ministry of Health at quarantine centres, saying any violations will be handled strictly.

According to Hoang Minh Duc, deputy head of the General Department of Preventive Medicine at the Ministry of Health, as of 5pm on January 20, Vietnam had recorded 1,544 COVID-19 cases, of which 884 were imported.

Vaccine producers are making every effort to accelerate research towards clinical trials, he said, noting that two vaccines - one developed by the Nanogen Pharmaceutical Biotechnology JSC (NANOGEN) and the other by the Institute of Vaccines and Medical Biologicals (IVAC) - have been put into testing.

Vietnam is one of 40 countries and territories around the world to have begun human trials of COVID-19 vaccines./.

Hanoi tightens COVID-19 prevention and control

Vice Chairman of the Hanoi municipal People’s Committee Chu Xuan Dung has required departments, agencies, mass organisations and people to continue seriously comply with the Prime Minister and municipal authorities’ instructions on strengthening COVID-19 prevention and control.

During a meeting of the municipal Steering Committee on COVID-19 Prevention and Control in Hanoi on January 21, the vice chairman particularly asked the public security force to closely monitor entries from abroad and punishing illegal immigrants and violators of pandemic prevention and control regulations.

Deputy Director of the municipal Health Department Hoang Duc Hanh said the risk of the COVID-19 infection in the community remains high because the pandemic is still raging in other countries while there are many people illegally crossing the border to enter Vietnam each day.

Meanwhile, the cold weather also makes it easier for the virus to spread, he said, adding that negligence in the community after a long time without any community infection is another problem. 

Director of the municipal Health Department Nguyen Khac Hien asked districts, communes and townships to have plans readied in order to timely respond to emergencies when infections are discovered and prevent their spread in the community.

According to him, the city will soon put the Me Linh field hospital into operation to quarantine F1 cases.

Deputy Director of the municipal Tourism Department Ngo Minh Hoang said over 20,000 people arriving from abroad have been put under quarantine in 16 out of 18 hotels designated by the city.

From January 14-21, Hanoi recorded three new imported COVID-19 cases who are receiving treatment at the branch of the Central Hospital for Tropical Diseases in the outlying district of Dong Anh.

The capital city has so far reported 203 infections with no deaths and gone through 157 consecutive days without local transmissions./.

Military officers promoted to rank of Senior Lieutenant General

VIETNAM NEWS JANUARY 23
Party General Secretary and State President Nguyen Phu Trong (middle) hands over the promotion decisions to the two deputy ministers

Deputy Ministers of National Defence Nguyen Tan Cuong and Vo Minh Luong have been promoted from the rank of Lieutenant General to Senior Lieutenant General.

Party General Secretary and State President Nguyen Phu Trong, who is also Secretary of the Central Military Commission, Chairman of the National Defence and Security Council, and commander of the armed forces, handed over the promotion decisions to the two deputy ministers at a ceremony held in Hanoi on January 22.

Congratulating Cuong and Luong, Minister of National Defence General Ngo Xuan Lich described their promotions as a great honour of the officers, their families, and the Vietnam People’s Army.

He expressed his hope that the two deputy ministers will continue to promote the Vietnam People’s Army’s glorious tradition, uphold the revolutionary virtue and loyalty to the Party, Fatherland and people, and make considerable efforts to serve the nation and people.

On behalf of the two officers, Cuong expressed his sincere and deep gratitude to the Party, State, Central Military Commission, Ministry of National Defence and the Party General Secretary and State President, promising absolute loyalty to the Party, State and people and pledging to strive and sacrifice for the whole life for the Party’s revolutionary cause.

Cuong said he and Luong pledged to overcome all challenges to fulfill all missions entrusted by the Party, State and military./.

HCM City to change water supply source for better water quality

Ho Chi Minh City will pump water from locations further upstream the Sai Gon and Dong Nai Rivers to supply its residents since the rivers, the current main source of water for the city, are affected by industrial pollution and saline intrusion.

This is part of the city’s project on water supply development during 2020-2050 and a programme on clean water supply and ending exploitation of underground water during 2020-2030 recently approved by the municipal People’s Committee.

Currently, some 94 percent of the water supply for the city is pumped from the Sai Gon-Dong Nai river system to Tan Hiep and Thu Duc water treatment plants.

A survey from the municipal Department of Natural Resources and Environment showed that water in downstream Sai Gon river is suffering from severe microbiological pollution, and slight oil contamination.

According to Ho Phi Long, Director of the Centre of Water Management and Climate Change under the Vietnam National University- HCM City, as the Sai Gon River is severely polluted, it is a must to develop hi-tech water treatment plants if the city continues to draw the water for local use.

Besides, the salinity levels in the downstream section of the river are extremely high during the dry season, making it unpotable, he added.

Long said the water upstream the Sai Gon and Dong Nai rivers is in safe zone, which is less impacted by climate change and sea level rise in the next 50-100 years./.

People always put at centre of Party and State’s policies, decisions

The Party and the State have pursued a consistent policy of ensuring social welfare for people, as reflected through a raft of Party documents, National Assembly resolutions, strategies, plans, projects and programmes of the Government.

Social welfare activities have been rolled out in different sectors, from health care to education, insurance, employment and poverty reduction.

In 2020 when millions of labourers were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, and natural disasters battered many provinces and cities, the Party and the State adopted multiple countermeasures.

The Party and the State consistently protected human rights and people’s health and lives with strong and humanitarian policies and decisions. Meanwhile, the Government proposed the legislature issue solutions and fiscal policies to remove difficulties in production, business and social welfare.

Notably, a package worth 62 trillion VND (2.66 billion USD) has been implemented to support those affected by the pandemic, which is an unprecedented decision by the Government.

Of the funding, about 12.9 trillion VND had been disbursed as of late 2020, benefiting nearly 12,000 people and over 30,000 household businesses.

Insurance coverage has also been expanded, with the rate of labourers joining social insurance growing around 32.7 percent last year, and up to 90.7 percent of the national population covered by health insurance.

The number of poor households dropped from 9.88 percent in late 2015 to only below 3 percent in 2020, statistics showed.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has recently affirmed that the Government will make continuous efforts in poverty reduction, especially in rural, mountainous and ethnic minority-inhabited areas.

He also pledged to facilitate the building of affordable houses and cultural facilities at industrial parks, while increasing health insurance coverage, particularly for children, the elderly, and those in difficult circumstances.

“People should be placed at the centre of all polices and decisions,” the leader stressed.

Party General Secretary and State President Nguyen Phu Trong has also emphasised that the Party and the State exerted efforts to ensure social progress and equality, with attention paid to sustainability of population and development policies./.

HCM City, Australian institute seal cooperation deal

VIETNAM NEWS JANUARY 23

The Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee and the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) of Australia on January 22 signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on cooperation in tertiary education and smart city building.

Sealed at a virtual ceremony, the MoU covers the two sides’ join work in the next five years with a focus on international-standard tertiary education in IT and communications, mechanical engineering-automation-AI, business management, finance, banking, tourism, health, and urban management.

Per the pact, the two sides will also intensify their collaboration in conducting joint researches on green city projects; strengthening connection between their research and start-up communities for innovation ideas and technology transfer; and exchanging experience in urban planning, public transport improvement, and environmental protection.

The southern economic hub and the institute has agreed to promote innovation and startups, and to enhance leadership capacity of the city’s officials in urban management, smart city building, digital government, and innovation.

Speaking at the event, Vice Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Duong Anh Duc said the pact is the first between the city and an international partner this year. It will open up more cooperation opportunities in the future, he said.

Peter Coloe, Chairman of RMIT Vietnam and Deputy Vice-Chancellor Global Development at RMIT University, highlighted the university’s commitment to always being a trustful and long-term partner of Vietnam and to making contributions to the country’s growth.

The same day, the municipal People’s Committee and RMIT Vietnam co-organised a forum on smart city building for a sustainable future with the participation of their experts and urban managers./.

Committee orders tightened border control to prevent illegal entry

The National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control has ordered the tightening of border control to prevent any illegal entry.

Representatives from the Ministries of Health, National Defence, and Public Security told a meeting of the committee in Hanoi on January 21 that the repatriation of overseas Vietnamese should be based on assessment of domestic quarantine capacity, especially given the appearance of new coronavirus variants.

Vietnamese abroad should be encouraged to follow COVID-19 prevention and control regulations in their host countries, they said, stressing the need to ensure absolute safety on repatriation flights.

Regarding vaccine research, production, and distribution, the Ministry of Health will actively partner with other ministries and agencies to complete relevant mechanisms and push ahead with vaccine trials.

The Ministries of Education and Training, Industry and Trade, and Transport were asked to report on COVID-19 prevention and control at schools, markets, supermarkets, commercial centres, and bus stations, and on public transport.

As the Tet (Lunar New Year) holiday is approaching, greater efforts are needed to inspect the work in localities nationwide, the committee said.

It also requested localities seriously observe guidelines set by the Ministry of Health at quarantine centres, saying any violations will be handled strictly.

 

According to Hoang Minh Duc, deputy head of the General Department of Preventive Medicine at the Ministry of Health, as of 5pm on January 20, Vietnam had recorded 1,544 COVID-19 cases, of which 884 were imported.

Vaccine producers are making every effort to accelerate research towards clinical trials, he said, noting that two vaccines - one developed by the Nanogen Pharmaceutical Biotechnology JSC (NANOGEN) and the other by the Institute of Vaccines and Medical Biologicals (IVAC) - have been put into testing.

Vietnam is one of 40 countries and territories around the world to have begun human trials of COVID-19 vaccines./.

Hanoi’s first metro route misses operational target again

Cat Linh-Ha Dong metro route, the first of its kind in Hanoi, has not yet been handed over to the Vietnamese side, so it will not be possible to enter official operation before January 25 as scheduled.

The Cat Linh-Ha Dong metro line undertook trial runs from December 12-31, 2020. The pilot operation was closely supervised by Vietnamese agencies and China Railway Sixth Group Co., the project’s general contractor.   

Up to 5,700 trips were run during the trial period with a total length of 70,000 kilometres.

The route’s technical reports were basically finished for the line to be put into operation before the 13th National Party Congress as previously mentioned by Minister of Transport Nguyen Van The. The 13th National Party Congress is slated to start on January 25 and end on February 2.

Speaking to Dantri/DTiNews, Deputy Minister of Transport Nguyen Ngoc Dong said that the ministry had not yet received the Chinese general contractor’s report on the project’s pilot operation.

“The project has not yet been handed over to Vietnam, so it is impossible for its official operation before the 13th National Party Congress,” Dong noted.

According to Vu Hong Truong, CEO of Metro Hanoi, his company was still holding safety drills on the line. The firm is waiting for the assessments of the pilot run in order to transfer the project.

The project was initially slated to become operational in 2017, but was then delayed many times. The project’s total investment increased to VND18 trillion from the VND8.7 trillion (USD381 million).

Tet Viet Festival opens in Ho Chi Minh City

VIETNAM NEWS JANUARY 23
At the opening ceremony of the 2021 Tet Viet (Vietnamese Tet) Festival


The 2021 Tet Viet (Vietnamese Tet) Festival kicked off at Le Van Tam Park in Ho Chi Minh City on January 21 night.

Jointly organised by the municipal Department of Industry and Trade and the Vietnam Cuisine Culture Association (VCCA), the event aims to honour cultural values and cuisine, as well as customs and anecdotes during the country’s biggest traditional Lunar New Year (Tet) festival.

In his speech at the event, Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Ta Quang Dong highlighted the significance of the festival, expressing his hope that it will contribute to promoting tourism and economic recovery of the city.

While praising departments, sectors, associations and businesses for their efforts and coordination to organise the 2021 Tet Viet Festival, Vice Chairman of the municipal People's Committee Phan Thi Thang said she believed the festival will help diversify tourism products of the city, creating a joyful atmosphere on the threshold of the Lunar New Year festival.

Ho Chi Minh City aims to become Asia's leading vibrant tourism city, so it has launched many new tourism products and travel events to attract holiday-makers, Thang said

The event is not only an important activity for the tourism and trade industry, but also an opportunity to introduce the traditional cultural activities of the nation, contributing to promoting Vietnam's unique culture to international friends, she added.

VCCA Secretary General Le Tan said highlights of the festival are an exhibition on Tet feasts, traditional music performances and folk games.

Tet dishes across the country are served at the event, which is set to feature about 150 pavilions.

Director of the HCM City Tourism Department Nguyen Thi Anh Hoa said the second Tet Viet festival also aims to bolster consumers’ demand, attract more tourists ahead of the country’s longest holiday, and promote HCM City’s image as a dynamic, open and friendly destination.

The four-day festival is expected to attract more than 70,000 visitors./.

Formosa special environmental supervision ends

Deputy Director of Vietnam Environment Administration, Hoang Van Thuc, announced that they has stopped the special supervision at Hung Nghiep Formosa Ha Tinh Steel Co Ltd (FHS) who caused the mass fish death disaster in the central region. 

FHS was responsible for the mass fish deaths along the coast of the central provinces of Ha Tinh, Quang Binh, Quang Tri and Thua Thien-Hue in 2016. The pollution damaged about 400 hectares of coral and affected over 260,000 people who earn their living by working in sea-related activities. It was accused of 53 violations by the inspector of the Vietnamese Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment.

The supervision team for FHS' production activities, which includes the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, state agencies of Ha Tinh and organisations and experts, has recently held a meeting to evaluate FHS' implementation of their commitments to address the violations and do more for environmental protection.

According to Thuc, the team already held a meeting on December 12 and concluded that from July 2016 until now, FHS has done its best to fulfil its promises and commitments. All violations had been resolved. The company have upgraded and repaired environmental protection works and built an additional 10 more constructions as per requested.

Solid waste, as well as wastewater and dust, was also managed more tightly so as not to affect maritime activities and to be more environmentally-friendly.

"FHS has been very quickly and seriously followed all commitments and realised more clearly that environmental protection is a key factor for long-term business in Vietnam," he said. "After being established in 2016, the supervision team had many programmes to monitor the production activities at FHS, especially how it collected and treated waste be for discharging into the environment."

The data was transmitted to the Vietnam Environment Administration and Ha Tinh Department of Natural Resources and Environment via 24 monitoring stations all day and night. The team also carried out irregular inspections and analyse the results. In the coming time, FHS will add two more dust monitoring stations.

"The data from the monitoring stations were broadcast live at the monitor in front of the factory's gate for the public," he said. "All of their activities in the past five years are under strict monitoring."

After gathering opinions from all agencies and localities authorities, the team decided to stop the special supervision at FHS. The ministry asked FHS to continue follow environmental protection regulations. There will be irregular inspections in the future.

Paintings feature the buffalo – zodiac sign for 2021

The buffalo, the zodiac sign for 2021, is the theme of a painting exhibition that opened at the Da Nang Fine Arts Museum in central Da Nang city on January 21.

The event showcases 30 oil and acrylic pictures created by painter Ngo Thanh Hung, depicting the buffalo in the Vietnamese culture as an industrious, smart, strong, and brave animal via bright colours and unique painting techniques.

The buffalo is the second animal sign in the 12-year cycle of the Vietnamese zodiac and also a symbol of the wet rice civilisation in Southeast Asia, including Vietnam.

According to folk beliefs, buffaloes help humans with physically demanding works in agriculture like ploughing, raking, and carrying rice. They are also the main character in major traditional festivals like the Tich Dien (ploughing) or buffalo fighting festivals.

Nguyen Thi Trinh, Deputy Director of the Da Nang Fine Arts Museum, said the exhibition aims to warm up the atmosphere ahead of the Lunar New Year (Tet) and help visitors learn more about the role of the buffalo in the Vietnamese culture.

Hung, born in 1982, is currently a lecturer at the Da Nang University of Architecture and a member of the city’s fine arts association.

The exhibition will last through January 31./.

Da Nang treasures contributions of foreigners: city leader

Da Nang has appreciated the contributions and accompany of foreigners in the city in a tough year of 2020, and hoped to continue to receive more assistance from foreign individuals, organisations and businesses during the recovery process in the city and the central region as a whole, said Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Le Trung Chinh.

Speaking at a meeting with foreigners in the city on January 21, Chinh said that 2020 was an important year for Da Nang in accomplishing tasks for the 2016-2020 period, but during the year, the city faced many difficulties due to the COVID-19 pandemic and natural disasters.

In the toughest time, Da Nang still prioritised investment in development and ensuring security, defence and social welfare, he said.

Chinh noted that the city still saw some bright spots in the year, including a year-on-year rise of nearly 38 percent in foreign direct investment (FDI), and a rise in public investment disbursement.

Due to increasing demand for medicine amid the pandemic, the city’s pharmaceutical industry enjoyed growth of over 44 percent. Many other sectors also saw expansion, including information and communications, finance-banking, and insurance, he said.

The chairman affirmed that while the traditional form of external activities is limited due to impacts of COVID-19, the city has still worked to broaden and strengthen friendship and cooperation with localities of countries across the world.

Particularly, the city has signed an agreement on setting up relations with a foreign locality online for the first time with Gold Coast city of Australia.

So far, Da Nang has established official cooperative ties with 45 localities of 20 countries and territories worldwide, he said.

In 2020, Da Nang was honoured as a smart city of Vietnam, while its outstanding achievements in many areas were recognised, the official added./.

Photo exhibition held to celebrate 13th National Party Congress

VIETNAM NEWS JANUARY 23
Politburo member and permanent member of the Party Central Committee’s Secretariat Tran Quoc Vuong; Politburo member, Secretary of the Party Central Committee and Chairman of its Commission for Information and Education Vo Van Thuong and officials visit the photo exhibition held by the Party Central Committee’s Commission for Information and Education and the Vietnam News Agency 


A photo exhibition was opened on January 22 at the National Convention Centre in Hanoi by the Party Central Committee’s Commission for Information and Education and the Vietnam News Agency (VNA) in celebration of the 13th National Party Congress.

Those present at the opening ceremony included Politburo member and permanent member of the Party Central Committee’s Secretariat Tran Quoc Vuong; Politburo member, Secretary of the Party Central Committee and Chairman of its Commission for Information and Education Vo Van Thuong; Secretary of the Party Central Committee, President of the Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics, and Chairman of the Party Central Committee’s Theoretical Council Nguyen Xuan Thang; member of the Party Central Committee and Minister of Information and Communications Nguyen Manh Hung.

On display are 100 big-sized black & white and colour photos selected from tens of thousands of images in VNA’s archives.

They provide a comprehensive view of the country’s major successes and achievements during the glorious struggle against foreign invaders and national construction and safeguarding under the Communist Party of Vietnam’s leadership over the last 91 years, since the Party was founded on February 3, 1930.

In the past 12 tenures, the Party has led Vietnam’s revolution in weathering countless harsh difficulties and challenges and posting great victories to gain national independence, freedom, reunification, and development.

Some of the outstanding exhibits capture images of Vietnam’s revolution between the first and second congresses (1935-1951), such as the Nghe-Tinh Soviet Movement in 1930-1931; the revolutionary movement to fight for people’s welfare and democracy in 1936-1939; the foundation of the Vietnam Propaganda Liberation Army (now the Vietnam People’s Army) on December 22, 1944; the August Revolution in 1945 and President Ho Chi Minh reading the Declaration of Independence on September 2 of the same year to establish the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (now the Socialist Republic of Vietnam).

They also include photos of memorable moments in the period from after the second congress, in the resistance war against French colonialists; and the “globe-shaking” victory of the Dien Bien Phu Campaign against France in 1954; the fight against US imperialists in the south as well as socialism building efforts in the north, like the “Dong Khoi” (simultaneous uprising) in Ben Tre in 1960, the General Offensive and Uprising in the spring of 1968, the “Hanoi - Dien Bien Phu in the Air” victory in December 1972, and the General Offensive and Uprising in the spring of 1975, with the peak being the Ho Chi Minh Campaign, which completely liberated the south and reunified the country.

Since reunification, VNA reporters have taken countless vivid images of brave, undaunted, industrious, and creative Vietnamese people overcoming hardships to carry out the “Doi Moi” (Renewal) policy issued at the sixth congress in 1986 and to integrate into the world.

Other highlights of the exhibition are photos of the country’s achievements during the Party’s 12th tenure (2016-2021), including in national industrialisation and modernisation, improvements to living standards, the enhancement of people’s trust in the Party’s leadership, the COVID-19 fight, and bilateral and multilateral diplomatic activities.

The exhibition will last through February 2, 2021.

On December 3, VNA launched a special website providing information on the 13th National Party Congress in different forms and languages, at http://daihoidang.vn.

It features information, both archival and updated, in the form of text, photos, videos, infographics, and data so that domestic and foreign media agencies and readers can quickly gain an insight into all national Party congresses in history, along with all-level Party congresses, ahead of the 13th National Party Congress, and latest information about the 13th congress.

The website is available in six languages: Vietnamese, English, French, Russian, Spanish, and Chinese./.

Indonesia ends search operation for bodies, debris of crashed plane

The National Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas) of Indonesia on January 21 terminated the search operation for the bodies of passengers and debris of the crashed Sriwijaya Air Flight SJ-182 after a period of 13 days, according to Antara news agency.

The decision was made based on tactical considerations, retrieved bodies, effectiveness, and after a meeting with the bereaved families and a joint meeting with Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi, Basarnas chief, Vice Marshal Bagus Puruhito informed.

Although the search operation has been declared closed, Basarnas will continue to monitor any developments through a follow-up operation, he said.

More than 4,300 personnel, 63 vessels, and 15 airplanes were used in the joint operation.

In total, the joint team collected 324 bags of human remains, 68 bags of small debris, and 55 bags of large debris from the crash site.

The team also retrieved the flight data recorder (FDR) on the fourth day of the search operation and the cockpit voice recorder (CVR) on the seventh day of the search operation.

The Sriwijaya Air flight SJ-182 had lost contact on January 9, 2021, shortly after take-off and crashed between Lancang Island and Laki Island, Seribu Islands, DKI Jakarta. The plane had taken off from Jakarta and was headed to Pontianak.

All 50 passengers and 12 crew members on board died in the accident, the worst aviation accident since the crash into the sea of a Boeing 737 MAX of Lion Air that killed 189 people in 2018./. 

Aussie expert assesses how 13th National Party Congress impacts Vietnam’s future

Vietnam’s current leaders, including those to be elected by the 13th National Party Congress, want the country to play a greater role internationally and to step up proactive international integration, said Carlyle A. Thayer, an Emeritus Professor of Politics at the University of New South Wales in Australia.

The expert made his statement in a recent article, in which he mentioned that in October last year, Vietnamese leaders released the text of the draft Political Report to be submitted to the 13th National Party Congress and the text of the socio-economic development plan for the next five years.

He said according to the texts, Vietnam will continue on its path of domestic economic reform and anti-corruption drive. The nation will also step up its proactive efforts in international economic integration, including meeting its obligations under the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement and free trade agreements with the European Union and the Eurasian Economic Union.

While Vietnam has been a relative success story amidst the COVID-19, it faces several impediments to resuming high economic growth, noted the article.

Vietnam’s recovery will be affected by developments that is cannot control, such as US and European recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, it added./. 

VNPT, Viettel to deploy 5G in An Giang

Telecom providers VNPT and Viettel have registered to pilot 5G services in the Mekong Delta province of An Giang this year, Deputy Director of the provincial Department of Information and Communications Nguyen Thanh Hai has said.
 
Hai made the announcement during a conference to launch tasks in 2021, hosted by the An Giang Provincial People’s Committee on January 20.
All localities in the province are covered by 3G, 4G and mobile broadband, he said, and internet subscribers account for 65 percent of the population.

The province ranked seventh out of 63 cities and provinces last year in information technology (IT) application and third regarding administration modernisation in the Public Administrative Reform Index, according to the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC).

An Giang will this year bolster the application of tourism management and promotions, digital transformation programme and infrastructure investment in the postal sector and logistics at large, and e-commerce. It will also strive to set up a concentrated IT zone.

After telecoms providers conducted commercial 5G trials in cities such as Hanoi and HCM City, many provinces sent recommendations to MIC to allow carriers to deploy 5G in their urban areas, industrial zones, and key areas.

Responding to the requests, the Vietnam Telecommunications Authority under MIC said that based on testing results and proposals from businesses, the ministry would study and license mobile businesses to deploy 5G, prioritising industrial parks, high-tech parks, and IT to focus on implementing innovative digital technologies./.

Hanoi to focus on fuelling domestic tourism in 2021

The Hanoi Department of Tourism has decided to concentrate resources on promoting the domestic tourism market this year and will prepare to welcome international arrivals when conditions allow.

The goal was unveiled at a conference held by the Department of Tourism on January 20 to deploy tasks for 2021.

According to the department's Director Dang Huong Giang, it has compiled three growth scenarios for the sector. One projects an early recovery that allows Hanoi to welcome 15.34 million domestic visitors, double the figure in 2020. An early recovery would mean the normal operation of services and accommodation facilities, with average occupancy exceeding 45 percent.

The sector has also set out an overall target of catering to between 13.16 and 19.4 million tourists, including 10.96-15.34 million domestic visitors.

Products to be launched to stimulate domestic tourism will cover key destinations in the capital such as the Thang Long Ancient Citadel, Hoa Lo Prison, Duong Lam ancient village, and Van Mieu (the Temple of Literature) and Quoc Tu Giam (Vietnam’s first university).

The development of culinary, nightlife, and extreme sports tours are also a focus.

Meanwhile, a series of promotional events are scheduled to take place before, during, and after the 31st Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games 31) hosted by Vietnam later this year. The event will take place from November 21 to December 2 in Hanoi and 11 neighbouring cities and provinces, including Bac Ninh, Hai Duong, Hai Phong, Quang Ninh, Ha Nam, Nam Dinh, Ninh Binh, Hoa Binh, Vinh Phuc, Phu Tho, and Bac Giang./.

Vietnamese expats in Germany have high expectations for Party Congress

VIETNAM NEWS JANUARY 23
Vietnamese expatriates in Germany have had faith in the leadership of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV).


Vietnamese expatriates in Germany have had faith in the leadership of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) in the past and hope that the successful organisation of the 13th National Party Congress will help the country enter a new stage of development.

Professor Nguyen Van Thoai from the University of Trier in Rheinland-Pfalz state recalled Vietnam’s tough period after being subject to a trade embargo in the 1980s. Thanks to the Party’s introduction of the “Doi Moi” (renewal) policy in 1986, the country has shot to stardom in the international arena.

Remarkable achievements have been recorded since, with GDP now topping 250 billion USD and the emergence of the private sector that contributes significantly to national development.

Thoai especially emphasised that Vietnam has become recognised worldwide for its control over the COVID-19 pandemic and its ability to expand its economy.

Regarding external affairs, Vietnam has played an increasingly important role within ASEAN as well as the UN, with a host of initiatives and contributions being praised by international friends.

Along with establishing sound multilateral relations with many countries, Vietnam has engaged in UN peacekeeping missions, Thoai underscored, saying that Vietnamese expatriates and intellectuals have been delighted with the homeland’s achievements.

Sharing the same view, President of the Tan Trao Association in Germany, Le Hong Cuong, expressed his pride over the Party’s leadership - a key factor in the country’s achievements and victories.

The CPV’s policies have helped the country gain prestige in the region and the world while improving local livelihoods, he said, emphasising that Vietnamese expatriates keep a close watch on political and socio-economic achievements in their homeland.

Meanwhile, vice president of the Germany-Vietnam economic innovation association, Nguyen Viet Anh, has faith in the 13th National Party Congress’s success on the back of the meticulous preparation of documents that are in line with the Party’s strategies and public opinion.

Thoai and Anh held that along with economic development, the country needs to pay due attention to improving the environment and outlining additional policies to narrow the development gap between urban and rural areas as well as the rich and poor.

Anh hoped that Party and State leaders will continue to promote socio-economic development based on the country’s strengths and international cooperation, and enhance science-technology application to respond to climate change and ensure energy security.

He also hoped that the Party and State continue to support the development of the intellectual community in foreign countries, since they are an important bridge in stepping up international science-technology cooperation, contributing to the country’s economic development.

At a conference held by the Vietnamese Embassy in Germany to collect Vietnamese expatriates’ opinions on the draft documents to be submitted to the 13th National Party Congress, they expressed their hope that the Party and State will have more policies to promote national solidarity, encourage expatriates’ contributions to the homeland, and support them in preserving traditional cultural values./.

Source: VNA/VNN/VNS/SGGP/VOV/NDO/Dtinews/SGT/VIR 

 
 

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