Vietnam's Islands in Heart of Citizens Abroad
|Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Pham Quang Hieu, chairman of the State Committee for Overseas Vietnamese.|
The State Committee for Overseas Vietnamese under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs held a seminar named "Overseas Vietnamese with homeland's sea and islands" on Nov. 20. The event took place on both online platforms and in more than 30 cities worldwide.
Through the event, overseas Vietnamese from all over the world can interact with marine officers and soldiers, recall their memories of visits to Truong Sa islands and DK1 rig. The event also aimed to implement Conclusion No. 12-KL/TW of the politburo on overseas citizens.
The seminar was also attended by marine officers and soldiers, who performed their duties in Truong Sa and accompanied the overseas Vietnamese on their voyage to the islands.
|At the event.|
VND 10 billion donated to Truong Sa by the overseas
In his opening remark, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Pham Quang Hieu, chairman of the committee, said that this meaningful activity continued the series to celebrate the 60th anniversary of establishing the Ho Chi Minh road on the sea - the legendary road marked glorious feats of the navy force.
“Independence, sovereignty, unity, and territorial integrity are sacred for every country. Therefore, residents and overseas always pay attention to and show their deep affection for the soldiers who are guarding the sea, sky, and the land of the islands all day and night”, said Deputy Minister Pham Quang Hieu.
Therefore, to meet the aspirations of the overseas, the committee coordinated with the commander of the naval forces to hold eight trips to Truong Sa island district and DK1 rig house. The trips have brought nearly 600 expats to the islands.
The deputy minister said each visit left a deep impression in the heart of every Vietnamese child. They often call the trip "a journey to the heart." Over the years, the activity has contributed to affirming Vietnam's sovereignty over the Truong Sa archipelago.
Visiting the islands, the overseas witness the changes in Truong Sa and DK1 rig. They see with their own eyes the determination to protect the nation's sovereignty over the sea and islands. Those experiences strongly raise the national pride, affection, and responsibility to contribute to the nation.
From 2012, overseas have contributed more than VND 10 billion (nearly US$ 435.000) to the Truong Sa archipelago, including a sovereign boat worth more than VND 3 billion (US$ 130.400) and more than 3 billion VND to the fund for the sea and islands. In the past two years, due to the pandemic, the committee could not hold trips for the overseas citizens. However, it regularly receives contributions both materially and spiritually from citizens abroad.
Emphasizing that "our people always looking towards the homeland, the sea and islands," the deputy foreign minister expressed his hope that as soon as the pandemic is under control, trips to Truong Sa will be held.
Lieutenant Colonel Nguyen Huy Kiem said that through the trips, overseas Vietnamese better understand the sovereignty of the sea and islands, the growth and development of the navy, and stand with the determination to defend the sea and islands of the party and state, refute the incorrect and incomplete claims about Vietnam's sea and islands.
He said: "The officers and soldiers promise to stay absolutely loyal to the party, the state, and the people in any condition, ready to fight and sacrifice to protect the sovereignty."
|Lieutenant Colonel Nguyen Huy Kiem.|
Patriotic journeys to Truong Sa
Two panel talks were held in the event's framework, namely the "Spratly Story" and "Spreading Effect." During the talks, overseas citizens, officers, and soldiers reviewed the deep memories of the past trips to Truong Sa and DK1 rig.
Rear Admiral Do Minh Thai, who has brought overseas to Truong Sa seven times, recalled his visit in 2014 when some people who opposed the Vietnamese government were invited, including Nguyen Ngoc Lap, former staff of the Republic of Vietnam.
“At first Nguyen Ngoc Lap did not show any intention of cooperation. When the group reached the island, he was sick and had to be brought back to the mainland by seaplane. When the group got back to the mainland, Lap went to Cat Lai wharf to welcome them with a different attitude. When we gather with sincerity, frankness and openness, we can find a common voice and agree to achieve a greater goal. Truong Sa and the DK1 rig are the cement for solidarity between Vietnamese locals and overseas", Thai said.
|David Nguyen, Vietnamese in the USA.|
Ambassador Luong Thanh Nghi, Deputy Chairman of the State Committee for Overseas Vietnamese, said: "Communication toward overseas Vietnamese about the protection of the sovereignty over seas and islands has recently been promoted through methodical and effective channels, such as high-level visits, forums, and seminars. In particular, holding trips for expats to visit Truong Sa and the DK1 rig is of great significance, offering them a chance to witness the development of the homeland and the marine force that is protecting the sacred sea and islands ."
"Due to such trips, each participant has become an envoy to spread affection for the national sea and islands to the overseas community. These trips contribute to affirming Vietnam's sovereignty over the Truong Sa archipelago."
David Nguyen, Vietnamese in the USA said that he used protest Vietnamese government and did not believe that Vietnam could protect the sea and islands. However, after visiting Truong Sa in 2014, he changed his perception. "Returning to the USA, I wrote many statuses on social networks to affirm that Truong Sa still belongs to Vietnam's sovereignty, dispelling misinformation about the country's seas and islands," said David Nguyen.
The overseas expressed their confidence in the party and state's policy, expressed respect for the soldiers in Truong Sa. Prior to the event, a photo exhibition of Truong Sa and the DK1 rig was held.
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