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.
TEXT SIZE - +
Trung Nguyen
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.

Trung Nguyen

You May Like

Algerians Vote in Presidential Election

There were few media reports of protests and clashes around the country, but so far no significant violence More

Sharks More Evolved than Previously Thought

The discovery could “profoundly affect our understanding of evolutionary history” More

Pakistan Military Asked to Protect Polio Workers

Request comes as authorities say a Taliban ban on vaccinations in 2012 and deadly attacks on anti-polio teams have prevented thousands of children from getting inoculated 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.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid