70 OVs Visit Truong Sa, DK-I rig on the 49th Anniversary of National Reunification

The State Committee for Overseas Vietnamese under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs recently coordinated with the Navy Command to send a delegation of overseas Vietnamese to Truong Sa Island District and the DK-I Rig House.

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Within the framework of Working Group No. 11 and to mark the 49th anniversary of Vietnam’s reunification (April 30, 1975 – April 30, 2024), the liberation of the Truong Sa archipelago (April 29, 1975), and the 69th anniversary of the establishment of the Vietnam People’s Navy (May 7, 1955), a trip was organized.

The program, held from April 24 – 30, 2024, drew nearly 70 overseas Vietnamese delegates from 22 countries, showcasing their love for the Fatherland, the country’s sacred territory, and support for the hardships faced by the soldiers who safeguard the sovereignty of the homeland’s islands and seas day and night.

During the trip, overseas Vietnamese delegates visited five destinations, including Sinh Ton Dong, Len Dao, Da Dong, Da Tay, Truong Sa town, and DK-I/14 Phuc Tan Rig House. Throughout their visits and exchanges with officers, soldiers, and civilians on the islands and the rig house, the delegation expressed their honor and pride in visiting the country’s sacred territory. They admired the fortitude of the soldiers and civilians who overcame challenges on the islands and the rig house to accomplish their assigned tasks.

Witnessing firsthand the living conditions on the islands and rig houses, and participating in cultural exchanges and visits to schools, households, and pagodas on the island, the delegates expressed their joy at seeing the improved living conditions on the island and the rig houses, thanks to the support of the Party, the State, and people across the country, including overseas Vietnamese.

Overseas Vietnamese present gifts to officers and soldiers of DK-I/14 Rig House.

Overseas Vietnamese delegates attended the commemoration ceremony for soldiers who sacrificed their lives to protect the islands and seas. They also attended the parade marking the 49th anniversary of the liberation of the Truong Sa Islands in Truong Sa town, the flag-raising ceremony, the incense offering ceremony, and the flower offering ceremony at the Memorial of Martyrs and Heroes and the President Ho Chi Minh Memorial House on the island.

Speaking at the meeting in Truong Sa town, Cao Hong Vinh, Member of the Executive Committee of the Vietnamese Association, Vice President of the Vietnamese Women’s Association in Poland, and member of the Liaison Committee for Vietnamese in Europe for the sea and islands of Vietnam, expressed her joy at visiting Truong Sa and the DK-I Rig for the second time. Vinh remarked on the evident development in all aspects of life on the islands.

“The transformation reflects the unwavering determination of the Party, the State, the people, and the entire army force in defending the sovereignty of the Fatherland’s sacred waters,” Vinh said.

Since her last trip to Truong Sa in 2012, overseas Vietnamese worldwide have engaged in practical activities such as establishing Hoang Sa – Truong Sa Clubs, Vietnamese Sea and Island Lovers Clubs, and the Fund for Truong Sa. They have organized conferences and exhibitions on Vietnam’s islands to promote awareness and support for the islands and seas within the global Vietnamese community and international friends. Cao Hong Vinh affirmed that after the trip, each overseas Vietnamese will continue to play an active role in supporting their beloved Truong Sa.

Delegates gather for a group photo.

Tran Thang, a Vietnamese residing in the USA, shared that from 2013 to 2014, he collected 150 ancient maps of Hoang Sa – Truong Sa and China, which were showcased in an inaugural exhibition in Da Nang in January 2014. This event led the Ministry of Information and Communications to collaborate with him and the Han Nom Institute to develop the Vietnam Sea and Island Program and organize 100 exhibitions nationwide in 2014 and 2015, fostering national pride and appreciation for the homeland and islands among the Vietnamese people.

Participating in this year’s visit to Truong Sa, Thang expressed his gratitude for the opportunity to “Travel to experience the sacred value of the country, witness the beauty of Vietnam’s seas and islands, and, most importantly, see firsthand the dedication and resilience of the Vietnamese navy in safeguarding our sea and islands.”

On the final day aboard ship 561, overseas Vietnamese delegates from Asia met to discuss the establishment of a Liaison Committee for Vietnamese in the Asia-Pacific region for Vietnam’s sea and islands.

In response to the call from the State Committee on Overseas Vietnamese, the Vietnamese community in various countries actively supported the “The Whole Country Looks toward Truong Sa” program and contributed artifacts and gifts. Essential items were donated to support the daily life and work of the military and civilians in Truong Sa island district and the DK-I Rig House.

The total value of the donations in this round amounts to nearly VND 1.6 billion, of which nearly VND 850 million was allocated to the “The Whole Country Looks toward Truong Sa” program, and necessities worth nearly VND 750 million were directly donated to the islands and the DK-I/14 Rig House.

Nguyen Thi Dung, an expatriate residing in the Czech Republic, interacts with children in Truong Sa.

Nguyen Manh Dong, Deputy Chairman of the State Committee for Overseas Vietnamese and Head of the Overseas Vietnamese Delegation, emphasized that in recent years, organizing working delegations to visit Truong Sa and the DK-I Rig House has played a significant role in fostering patriotism and love for the homeland, sea, and islands among the Vietnamese diaspora. These trips provide an opportunity for overseas Vietnamese to witness firsthand the determination and achievements of the Party and State in preserving the sacred sovereignty of the country’s sea and islands, thereby affirming Vietnam’s sovereignty over the Truong Sa and Hoang Sa archipelagos.

Additionally, these visits serve as a platform for overseas Vietnamese from various parts of the world to connect with each other, as well as with the people, officers, and soldiers on the islands, strengthening national unity and reaffirming their commitment to the homeland. They join hands with local residents in the cause of building, protecting, and developing Vietnam.

These visits demonstrate the Party and State’s unwavering policy of considering the Vietnamese community an integral part of the nation, contributing to strengthening national solidarity and harmony. They inspire a sense of responsibility among both local residents and overseas Vietnamese to work together to protect the sovereignty of the homeland’s seas and islands.

On April 20, 2024, many members of the Overseas Vietnamese Delegation participated in a pilgrimage to Hung Temple to offer incense on the occasion of the Hung King’s Death Anniversary (March 10 of the lunar calendar). This series of events culminated in a meaningful journey to the homeland, fostering a sense of attachment to their roots and contributing to enhancing the national pride and self-esteem of overseas Vietnamese living far from their homeland.

Since 2012, 11 voyages have been organized to bring overseas Vietnamese to Truong Sa, involving nearly 600 delegates from over 40 countries and territories visiting Truong Sa and the DKI Rig house. They have made significant contributions during these trips, providing both material and spiritual support to the homeland’s islands and seas.

In terms of financial contributions, from 2012-2024, the overseas Vietnamese community has supported the construction of sovereign boats, contributed to various projects on the islands, and donated essential items