News / Asia

Vietnam Muted Ahead of Border War Anniversary

FILE - Chinese business women walk near old border marker 53 between China's Guangxi and Vietnam's Cao Bang province.FILE - Chinese business women walk near old border marker 53 between China's Guangxi and Vietnam's Cao Bang province.
x
FILE - Chinese business women walk near old border marker 53 between China's Guangxi and Vietnam's Cao Bang province.
FILE - Chinese business women walk near old border marker 53 between China's Guangxi and Vietnam's Cao Bang province.
Vietnamese media have gone silent prior to the 35th anniversary of the Sino-Vietnamese border war that once strained relations between the two neighboring countries.
 
A senior editor in Vietnam, who wishes to remain anonymous, told VOA’s Vietnamese service that his newspaper received ‘confidential’ instructions from a propaganda watchdog, tightly restricting coverage of the anniversary of the bloody conflict. 
 
“Many dailies have prepared materials for the commemoration of the event, which happened over three decades ago, but they are now in a dilemma,” the unnamed source said.
 
China’s invasion of Vietnam’s northernmost provinces on February 17, 1979 claimed tens of thousands of lives on both sides. 
 
Then-Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping ordered the invasion on China's smaller neighbor after Hanoi brought troops into Cambodia to topple the reign of the China-backed Khmer Rouge.
 
In a recent speech in Washington, Vietnam's ambassador to the United States, Nguyen Quoc Cuong, said Hanoi wants to maintain a good relationship with Beijing, like all of the other countries in the region.
 
“We have a comprehensive strategic partnership with China," he said. "China is [the] No. 1 trading partner with Vietnam, but having said that, I must say that we still have very different views on the claims [over the] South China Sea, [which] we call the East Sea issue.”
 
Emeritus Professor Carlyle Thayer of Australia's University of New South Wales told VOA's Vietnamese service that Hanoi does not want "to draw attention to the fact of China as an aggressor."
 
“Nationalism is a double-edged sword," he said. "It can promote national unity, but on other hand, it can be directed against China as an enemy from 1979 that invaded and attacked Vietnam, and it suits both countries to keep a big gaping hole in their history by skipping over this period, and not trying to explain what occurred.”
 
Nationalist sentiment fueled by simmering tensions over territorial claims in the South China Sea is running high in Vietnam.
 
Dozens of anti-China activists were quickly dispersed last month when they gathered in Hanoi to mark the 40th anniversary of a bloody naval battle between then-South Vietnam and China over the Paracel Islands in the disputed sea.
 
This report was produced in collaboration with the VOA Vietnamese service.

You May Like

Video Indiana Controversy Points to Divergent Notions of Religious Freedom

Gay-marriage opponents are looking for ways to maintain their beliefs in face of changing culture, one writer says More

UNICEF Denies North Korean Measles Outbreak

Agency dismisses Russian media report after government, WHO assurances More

Turkey Seen Taking Harder Stance Against Militant Kurds

Stance comes as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is being seen as moving closer to generals More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Wagdog from: US
February 13, 2014 11:12 AM
If not now then when ?
The current regime freely allows entire Vietnamese and the rest of the World officially read about the war 1979 between China and Vietnam on legal document. Life Magazine posted the biggest lost of the war lean on China and VietNam lost so many kilometer of land to China. Not only that Vietnam also designate the cemetery to honor Chinese death soldier on Vietnam territory in Northern Vietnam.

The history repeat itself that Vietnam lost the territory as Quang Dong and and Quang Tay to China in the past and now again. Tiny country like Israel can survive among angry Middle Eastern why can Viet Nam. All it takes just a good leader and the current regime don't have one.
In Response

by: mary hong from: usa
February 14, 2014 9:04 AM
As of this morning, I have read several on-line papers in Vietnamese, by government sponsored media outlets and found short mentions as well as in-depth series on the 1979 war against China. They all used words such as aggressor China, evil China, betrayal China, ugly friend from the north, traditional invader...We can criticize Vietnam with obvious flaws and opportunities for improvement, but making up stories and/or day-dreaming won't help

by: Taichi Robinhood
February 12, 2014 7:03 PM
There is no reason for the neighbors not to be friendly.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedomi
X
Jerome Socolovsky
April 01, 2015 1:41 AM
Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedom

Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Nigerians Welcome Buhari's Return to Power

Crowds of jubilant Nigerians nationwide have celebrated the return to power of former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari. The retired army general won this year's presidential election with more than 2 million votes more than incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan. Buhari's supporters hope he can strengthen the country's economy and security once he takes office in late May. Zlatica Hoke has this story.
Video

Video Report: State of Black America a 'Tale of Two Nations'

The National Urban League has described this year's "State of Black America" report as a "tale of two nations." The group's annual report, released earlier this month (March), found that under an equality index African Americans had only 72% parity compared to whites in areas such as education, economics, health, social justice and civic engagement. It’s a gap that educators and students at Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers College are looking to close. VOA's Daniela Schrier reports from the school.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Gamma Ray Observatory to Open Soon in Mexico

American and Mexican scientists have completed construction of the world's largest gamma ray observatory, situated high in central Mexico’s Sierra Negra Mountain. The observatory's huge array of water-based detectors will soon start discovering secrets about black holes and supernovas. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials Underway in West Africa

Ebola has claimed the lives of more than 10,000 people in West Africa. Since last summer, researchers have rushed to get anti-Ebola vaccines into clinical trials. While it's too early to say that any of the potential vaccines work, some scientists say they are seeing strong results from some of the studies. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More