Vietnam News Agency marks Day of Invalids, Martyrs

The US Department of State on November 13 removed Vietnam from the list of “Countries of Particular Concern “(CPC) in recognition of the country’s constant efforts to improve its religious affairs. John Hanford, ambassador-at-large for religious freedom of the US Department of State said, “Vietnam has made significant improvements toward advancing religious freedom.” This is a recognition of the stark reality in Vietnam which has deliberately been denied for a long time by some hostile forces in the US. Re-visiting Vietnam recently, former US Ambassador to Vietnam Pete Peterson affirmed that all religions are recognised in Vietnam and that religious people are free to go to churches and pagodas to do religious activities. During a recent visit to the Central Highlands provinces, Prof. Bobby Gene Jv, member of the Institute for Global Engagement (IGE)said religious activities in the Central Highlands region in general and in Gia Lai in particular are conducted in a democratic manner. All local people are equally treated and are entitled to decide whether or not to follow a certain religion. They really enjoy living a free and happy life in great unity and seeing churches re-built or refurbished beautifully. US Ambassador to Vietnam Michael W.Marine noted that the US Government has highly praised religious freedom in Vietnam. There is no denying that apart from making great strides in socio-economic development, the Vietnamese Party and State has spared no effort to create favourable conditions for people to exercise freedom of belief and religion. Regrettably, in recent times,…... [read more]

In a recent interview granted to Vietnam News Agency, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Gia Khiem said the EWEC is one of the five economic corridors in the Greater Sub-Mekong Region (GMS), which was approved at the eighth GMS Ministerial Meeting in October 1998. With funding from the Asian Development Bank and the Japanese Government, major transport infrastructure facilities lying along the corridor have been upgraded, including Tien Sa and Da Nang ports, Hai Van tunnel and National Highway No 9 inside Vietnam. Notably, the second international bridge spanning the Mekong River was open to traffic in late 2006, linking Thailand's seven northeastern provinces, Laos' Savannakhet province and Vietnam's three central provinces. In addition to developing transport infrastructure facilities, relevant countries have coordinated closely in simplifying procedures, facilitating cross-border travel, enhancing cooperation in tourism and human resource development, and attracting investment for the sake of steady economic development and sustainable poverty reduction. The western part of the corridor, which runs from Thailand to Myanmar, will be under construction soon to turn the EWEC into an inland corridor connecting the Pacific and Indian Oceans. Once completed, the EWEC project will help millions of people living in the four countries escape poverty, narrow the development gap and strengthen linkages between the EWEC and other regions in Southeast Asia and the world. The project will enable the four countries to better tap their natural resources and potential, and expand their markets. It will also help them expand external economic ties, promote…... [read more]

Mr Trong told the Vietnam News Agency prior to his departure that various meetings, exchanges and trade and investment promotion activities will be held between a number of Vietnamese and European businesses during the visits. He said that Vietnam and the four European countries have specific potential and strengths that can complement and support each other. The European nations have strengths in the high-technology industries, such as shipbuilding, oil and gas, mechanical engineering, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, agriculture, biotechnology, education and health care. Meanwhile, with a population of more than 80 million and a dynamic economy, Vietnam is a big market and an attractive destination for European investors.During the tour, the Vietnamese legislative body and those of the four European countries will discuss measures to increase exchanges and cooperation and also share experiences in devising and applying legislation. Many agreements to expand cooperation in legislative affairs will be signed between the concerned nations. According to Mr Trong, his European tour is to further implement the Party and the State’s foreign policy of independence, self-reliance and openness as well as diversification and multilateralisation of international relations for the sake of peace, cooperation and development in the region and the rest of the world. The tour is a good chance for all parties to discuss measures to boost ties, particularly in legislation, at a time when Vietnam National Assembly was recently elected to the management board of the Inter-Parliamentary Union that boasts more than 150 members, including Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and France.Vietnam established diplomatic…... [read more]

Senior Buddhist monk Thich Huyen Quang was admitted to Binh Dinh General Hospital on May 27 due to his breathing difficulties and heart failure. He had received medical treatment and good care from the doctors, his assistants and followers until he passed away on July 5 at the age of 90. While he was in hospital, representatives from the Government Committee for Religious Affairs, the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha, the Executive Councils of the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha chapters in Binh Dinh, Thua Thien-Hue and Khanh Hoa provinces and other localities visited to inquire into his health and they all wished him a quick recovery. However, several elements who claimed to represent the Paris-based International Buddhist Information Bureau made slanderous charges against the local authorities and the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha, saying that the administration is to blame for no religious freedom in Vietnam. In fact, they have recently worked in cahoots with other reactionaries wearing monk’s robes to besmirch and sabotage the Vietnamese State. This time, on the pretext of Thich Huyen Quang’s death, they tried to revitalise an outlawed organisation called the Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam. The Vietnam News Agency (VNA) on July 5 quoted the Most Venerable Thich Thien Tanh, deputy head of the Executive Board of the Ho Chi Minh City Buddhist Sangha as saying “while the local authorities, Buddhist dignitaries, monks and nuns were worried about Thich Huyen Quang’s health and wished for his quick recovery, Thich Quang Do and some elements from the International Buddhist Information…... [read more]

Mr Khiem, who is also Minister of Foreign Affairs, made the remark in a recent interview granted to the Vietnam News Agency. He said that through meetings and high-level contacts, APEC has become an important channel for Vietnam to boost its ties with other regional economies and that cooperation within the 21-member forum has also helped enhance the nation’s image and position in the region. “Vietnam’s admission to APEC marked an important milestone during the course of implementation of the Party’s and the State’s foreign policy of openness, multilateralisation, diversification and integration into the world economy,” Mr Khiem said. According to the Deputy PM, since Vietnam became APEC’s official member in November 1998, the nation has made marked contributions to the forum. Vietnam has fully and responsibly participated in APEC cooperation programmes and actively joined other member economies in new areas of cooperation, such as human security, health care, education and tourism alongside traditional trade activities, he added. By sharing experiences and information, particularly with developing member economies, Vietnam has efficiently contributed to a number of areas of cooperation between APEC members, including fisheries, agriculture and the prevention of bird flu and other epidemics, the deputy PM said. The Southeast Asian nation has also participated in APEC committees for trade, investment and economics as well as its working groups regarding business travel, small- and medium-sized enterprises, health care, fight against terrorism, emergency preparedness and response. “One of Vietnam’s prominent and practical contributions to the forum was its successful organisation of…... [read more]

VOV in the front line of emulation A week after its establishment, two VOV news bulletins in English and French appeared in the first transmission of the Vietnam News Agency. In the following years VOV joined efforts with the Vietnamese people in the protracted resistance wars against French colonialists and US imperialists, as well as with its affiliates such as the Vocie of Southern Resistance, Saigon-Cho Lon, Interregion Five, Liberation CP90, Northwest-Northern Vietnam-Cao Bac Lang and Tram Cave broadcasting stations, Bach Mai, Me Tri and CK2 transmitting stations and others in the formation of a united voice of Vietnam. In the resistance war against French colonialists, VOV had to relocate its station for 14 times to ensure its broadcasts uninterrupted. After the US air blitz over Hanoi on the nights of Dec. 21 and 22, 1972, the technical facilities of VOV were badly damaged, but the Voice of Vietnam continued echoing over the country and some parts of the world. Hundreds of VOV’s reporters, singers and artists engaged in the two protracted resistance war. Dozens of them laid down their lives on the battlefield. The current archives of VOV still keeps 30,000 broadcasting hours or 50,000 programmes on tapes and discs which are of historical value. They have been digitalized for long-term maintenance and use such as real sound from the old battles, plants, construction sites, immortal songs, particularly Ho Chi Minh’s voice reading the Declaration of Independence and appealing for national resistance, and Saigon puppet generals’ statement of surrender.…... [read more]

Tran Duy Hai, Deputy Director of the National Boundary Commission (NBC) made the affirmation in an interview granted to the Vietnam News Agency after China illegally brought its oil rig into Vietnam’s waters, brazenly violating Vietnam’s sovereign right and jurisdiction in the East Sea. He affirmed that Vietnam has sufficient historical evidence to prove its sovereignty over the Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelagoes as well as its sovereign rights and jurisdiction over its waters in line with the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS 1982). “In any circumstance and from any angle, China’s move of bringing the oil rig and dozens of vessels of all kinds into Vietnam’s waters is unlawful and runs counter to provisions of international law, and Vietnam strongly protests these acts,” Hai said. Asked about China’s statement at a press conference on May 8 that it would only sit down for negotiations when Vietnam withdraws ships from the area where China is attempting to position the oil rig, the official made clear that as the area is entirely in Vietnam’s sovereign right and jurisdiction, the presence of Vietnam’s law enforcement forces, which are the coast guard and the fisheries surveillance agency, at the site to exercise management measures is totally in line with international law. He stressed that the most important thing now is China must withdraw all its vessels and the oil rig from that area. In response to China’s allegation that Vietnamese ships intentionally crashed into…... [read more]

The one-day exhibition, which was organised by the Coalition for Asian-American Children and Families, is part of the Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month, introduced almost 100 photos taken by young photographers on the life, people and landscapes of countries in the Asia-Pacific. Although he was born in the US and travelled to many countries, he is impressed by Sa Pa’s beauty and people and the photos that were showcased at the exhibition were taken during his second visit to Sa Pa last April, Nguyen Bao told a New York-based Vietnam News Agency correspondent. Bao said that he would return to Vietnam to make a documentary on Sa Pa and a film on Vietnam. He hoped that the films will be completed early next year to be screened in the US and Vietnam. All photos displayed at the exhibition were auctioned to raise money for helping disadvantaged Asian American children and families in New York City.... [read more]

In a recent interview granted to a Vietnam News Agency correspondent, Chan Chong Beng, chairman of Singapore’s Association of Small & Medium Enterprises, said the successful operation of the four Vietnam-Singapore Industrial Parks (VSIP) shows Vietnam is an ideal destination for Singapore’s small and medium businesses. Chan said Prime Minister Lee will attend a ground-breaking ceremony of the fifth VSIP in Vietnam during the visit. He said Singaporean companies have plenty of opportunities to tap the Vietnamese market, especially in the areas of tourism, food processing, or garment making. He quoted a recent survey, saying HCM City is an optimal choice for Singaporean small and medium businesses to carry out their investment strategies. The executive also suggested Vietnamese businesses use Singapore as a gateway to penetrate other countries in the world.... [read more]

Enterprises from Vietnam and Cuba also gathered in a workshop on the sidelines of the event to discuss their cooperation prospects. On the occasion, Deputy Head of the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Trade Promotion Agency Bui Thi Thanh An and Director of the Cuban Foreign Trade and Investment Promotion Centre (ProCuba) Roberto Verrier inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to boost collaboration between the two organisations. Trade between the two countries will be facilitated by their strong political relations, the two governments’ support as well as mutual understanding between their people, An told the Vietnam News Agency (VNA)’s reporter. She said it is a good time for Vietnamese firms to do business in not only Cuba but also the Latin America. The FIHAV 2015 attracted more than 1,000 enterprises from 70 countries and territories worldwide, including 24 from Vietnam.... [read more]

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