U.S. Endorses Vietnam’s Goal of Strength, Growth, and Resilience

At a virtual meeting on September 3, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo supporting Vietnam to be a strong, prosperous, independent and resilient state, shared his appreciation for the late President Ho Chi Minh's vision as outlined in the Declaration of Independence in 1945. Other international friends also conveyed their sincere wishes of wanting to further strengthening cooperation with Vietnam, something that the Vietnamese government has been continuously striving for. In addition, Vietnam has been praised for its great efforts in preserving the global geoparks within its borders.

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Vietnam News Today (Sep. 3) notable headlines

US supports strong, prosperous, independent, resilient Vietnam: Secretary of State

President Ho Chi Minh’s far-sighted vision in Declaration of Independence

International friends want to strengthen cooperation with Vietnam

Vietnam preserving global geoparks

Visa procedures now more open, but still cause difficulties for travel firms

All four Vietnamese students win medals at Int’l Olympiad in Informatics

Vietnam an increasingly important partner of int’l community: diplomats

14 Vietnamese scientists named in world rankings by research.com

Vietnam, Egypt share fruitful six-decade ties: Ambassador

US Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken (Photo: AFP/VNA)
US Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken (Photo: AFP/VNA)

US supports strong, prosperous, independent, resilient Vietnam: Secretary of State

US Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken on September 1 (Hanoi time) offered his best wishes to the Vietnamese Government and people on the occasion of the country’s 78th National Day (September 2).

The US supports a strong, prosperous, independent, and resilient Vietnam, Blinken affirmed, adding that his country cherishes the partnership that the two countries’ governments and people have built together and look forward to working together on priorities that further their shared goal of a prosperous, open, resilient, and peaceful Indo-Pacific Region, cited VNA.

He also said in a media statement by the Department of State that he looks forward to President Biden’s historic visit to Hanoi on September 10 to celebrate all the two countries have achieved together and to plan for their shared future.

President Ho Chi Minh’s far-sighted vision in Declaration of Independence

In the Declaration of Independence proclaimed on September 2, 1945, at the Ba Dinh Square in Hanoi, President Ho Chi Minh raised extremely basic and correct issues relating to human rights in the nation in accordance with the common values of humanity, according to Professor, Dr. Mach Quang Thang, a Party history researcher.

78 years ago amid the August Revolution, President Ho Chi Minh hastily drafted the Declaration of Independence, a document of the utmost importance as it affirmed the position of a new Vietnam, the basic values of human rights in the nation, along with self-determination of the Vietnamese people.

In the Declaration of Independence read by President Ho Chi Minh on behalf of the Provisional Government at Ba Dinh Square, he did not quote every sentence, every word, every period, every comma, but pointed out two important ideas in the US Declaration of Independence and the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen of the French Revolution. He stated, “All men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” However, he generalized this spirit to a higher level, noting, “All the peoples on the earth are equal from birth, all the peoples have a right to live, to be happy and free.” Accordingly, special importance was placed on the phrase, “All men…” which was duly upgraded to “all the peoples…”. This is a sensible change given the fact that once a country loses its independence, its citizens cannot have freedom and happiness; once a country is occupied by foreign aggressors, there is no guarantee that human rights can be enjoyed.

President Ho Chi Minh reads the Declaration of Independence at the Ba Dinh Square in Hanoi on September 2, 1945. (Image source: Ho Chi Minh Museum)
President Ho Chi Minh reads the Declaration of Independence at the Ba Dinh Square in Hanoi on September 2, 1945. (Image source: Ho Chi Minh Museum)

Therefore, independence served as the prerequisite for both ensuring and promoting human rights in any stages of our revolution. The cause of liberating the nation, constructing and safeguarding the country of Vietnamese people under the leadership of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) was the dialectical combination of elements making unity, specifically liberating the nation, liberating society, class, and liberating human beings.

Under the glorious flag of the CPV, Vietnamese people stood up and fought against the colonialists, going on to gain independence, freedom, and human rights. As such, human rights in the nation were not endowed by somebody or came by chance but were the achievement of a long-lasting and arduous struggle by the Vietnamese people, according to VOV.

Concluding the Declaration, Ho Chi Minh solemnly declared to the world that, “Vietnam has the right to be a free and independent country-and in fact is so already. And thus, the entire Vietnamese people are determined to mobilize all their physical and mental strength, to sacrifice their lives and property to safeguard their independence and liberty.”

People living in an independent country must enjoy freedom, prosperity, and happiness. This is the living standard of the new regime mentioned by Ho Chi Minh, “If the country is independent but its people don’t have happiness and freedom, then the independence is meaningless.” Those values about human rights are immortal and since then the Vietnamese people have ceaselessly strived for human rights and have recorded numerous positive and significant achievements.

However, there are still some people who always misrepresent the human rights situation in Vietnam. According to the Professor, there are people who are hostile to the nation’s political regime, while there are also people who betray the country because they are dissatisfied with the regime. Therefore, they choose to write and speak with a vicious attitude, changing white for black, denying the Party’s leadership role or the merits of President Ho Chi Minh, as well as looking down on the revolutionary achievements of the country.

“In my opinion, the fact that these people have an out-of-touch tone distorting human rights issues in Vietnam is because of the following things. Firstly, they have impure minds, so they cannot see the bright side in solving human rights issues in Vietnam. They only see a dark picture of Vietnamese human rights.

Second, they don’t want the current political system we’re building. They want to change the political regime in our country, directing our country to a regime that is beneficial to them. And there have been many forces causing instability and riots. All with the goal of distorting and defaming the regime, wanting to steer our country away from the socialist path. Such is the nature of these voices,” Dr. Thang explained.

78 years have gone by, with the Declaration of Independence always enlightening the hearts and minds of Vietnamese patriots in every region of the country and abroad. The Declaration therefore extends a message of resolutely safeguarding independence, freedom, sovereignty, unity, and territorial integrity of the country. Only by doing this, along with reinforcing national unity under the leadership of the CPV, can human rights be ensured and be consistent with national independence associated with socialism is viewed as the foundation for the continuous progress of human rights.

International friends want to strengthen cooperation with Vietnam

According to a reporter of Nhan Dan newspaper, residing outside Vietnam, on the occasion of the 78th anniversary of the August Revolution (August 19) and National Day (September 2), Vietnamese embassies in many countries held ceremonies, with the participation of leaders and representatives of countries, ambassadors, heads of diplomatic missions, and representatives of the Vietnamese community and businesses in host countries.

On this occasion, international friends sent their warmest congratulations to the Government and people of Vietnam and expressed their wish to continue strengthening cooperation with Vietnam.

On August 31, a delegation of the Lao Embassy in Russia led by Ambassador Vilavanh Yiapoher, arrived at the Vietnamese Embassy in Russia, to congratulate on the 78th anniversary of National Day (September 2).

Lao Ambassador to Russia Vilavanh Yiapoher expressed his delight at the success that Vietnam achieved over the past time.

Photo: NDO
Photo: NDO

Speaking at a ceremony organised by the Vietnamese Embassy in Cambodia in Phnom Penh, Deputy Prime Minister cum Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Cambodia Sok Chenda Sophea, extended his best congratulations to the Vietnamese Government and people, while affirming the strengthened relationships between the two countries in all areas.

At the ceremony held in Bangkok, Thailand, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Permanent Secretary for Foreign Affairs of Thailand Sarun Charoensuwan, sent his best wishes to all Vietnamese people on this occasion, reported NDO.

Permanent Secretary for Foreign Affairs of Thailand Sarun Charoensuwan said “Over the past 40 years, the relationship between Thailand and Vietnam has grown strongly. Our relationship has never been stronger and the friendship between our peoples has never been closer. Vietnam is a good friend, close neighbor, and strategic partner of Thailand. Our bilateral relationship and cooperation are deep and comprehensive, covering all aspects and bringing common benefits to both countries.”

Vietnam preserving global geoparks

The conservation and promotion of values of geoheritage, especially geoparks, in Vietnam have advanced, contributing to socioeconomic development, enhancing international integration, and improving the position of localities in multilateral cooperation mechanisms, according to insiders.

Trinh Hai Son, Director of the Vietnam Institute of Geosciences and Mineral Resources under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, who is also head of the Specialized Subcommittee on Vietnam Global Geoparks, said that in the first six months of this year, the subcommittee coordinated with experts to conduct fact-finding tours to global geoparks in Vietnam to make assessments and put forward development orientations.

Accordingly, the subcommittee made plans and, together with member geoparks, attended activities and events organized by the UNESCO Global Geoparks and Asia-Pacific Global Geoparks Network such as Earth Day (April 22), International Museum Day (May 18), and World Environment Day (June 5). At the events, issues were discussed to strengthen support for localities in raising their awareness of the significance of UNESCO’s programs and activities.

Vietnam is currently home to three geoparks, namely Dong Van Karst Plateau in Ha Giang province and Non Nuoc Cao Bang Geopark in Cao Bang province, both in the north of Vietnam, and Dak Nong Geopark in the Central Highlands province of the same name, cited VNA.

Dak Nong Geopark (Photo: VNA)
Dak Nong Geopark (Photo: VNA)

They received official recognition by UNESCO in 2010, 2018, and 2020, respectively.

Hoang Xuan Don, head of the Management Board of Dong Van Karst Plateau UNESCO Global Geopark, said that over the past time, Dong Van has successfully implemented all recommendations by the UNESCO Global Geopark Evaluation Team.

Accordingly, Ha Giang has prioritized investment in building and upgrading water supply systems at the plateau and for Dong Van district.

Vi Tran Thuy, deputy head of the Management Board of the Non Nuoc Cao Bang UNESCO Global Geopark, said that the board recently held a conference on waste sorting, collection, and treatment at Khuoi Ky stone village heritage site in Dam Thuy commune of Trung Khanh district; and have finalized the draft outline for the display of the Non Nuoc Cao Bang UNESCO Global Geopark Information Centre in Cao Bang city and sent it to the Cao Bang Investment and Construction Project Management Board.

In the coming months, Son said that his subcommittee will continue to guide localities in the management and conservation of heritage sites in the Geopark area in accordance with UNESCO’s criteria; and submit to the Natural Science SubCommittee under the Ministry of Science and Technology a number of proposals to support localities in the development of geoparks.

Visa procedures now more open, but still cause difficulties for travel firms

In a dialogue with city leaders, travel firms in HCM City said the visa policy has become more open but problems still exist: it’s difficult to apply for visas on the website, and lending interest rates remain too high.

At the event on August 29, Vo Viet Hoa from Saigontourist wanted to know if the HCM City Tourism Department had asked the government and relevant ministries to set a visa waiver for all citizens of the EU, US, Australia, New Zealand, and India, the most important markets for Vietnam’s tourism.

He said this would help attract more travelers to Vietnam and help travel firms overcome difficulties.

Hoa noted that the number of countries subject to the visa waiver policy remains modest, which explains why some travelers still have to pay high fees and spend time on procedures.

A representative of the HCM City Tourism Association said many travelers have complained that when applying for visas online, they have found it difficult to conduct operations on the website, and there are still mistakes in English.

After submitting their applications, they could not receive the results as informed, and they were unable to contact the agencies for help, cited VNN.

Photo: VNN
Photo: VNN

Vo Chien Thang, deputy head of the Immigration Sub-department under the HCM City Police, said the complaints have been recognized by the agency and will be reported to higher authorities. The proposal on visa exemption for all citizens of the EU, India, and some countries will also be considered.

According to Thang, in August 2023, the National Assembly and the government adopted a series of policies to support tourism development, including regulations on entry and exit.

The validity time of the e-visa has been raised from 30 days to 90 days, and travelers can apply for visas online. They are also supposed to get answers after three working days.

For the 13 countries that enjoy unilateral visa waiver, their citizens’ maximum stay in Vietnam has been raised from 15 days to 45 days, with no limitation on the number of entries and exits.

Thang said the number of applications for visas has been very high. The immigration division of the HCM City Police at times receives up to 10,000-13,000 applications a day. This has led to a big workload for the officers of the division.

Regarding procedures for e-visas, Thang said this is within the jurisdiction of the Immigration Department of the Ministry of Public Security (MPS).

Travel firms have also complained about high lending interest rates, affirming that while the deposit interest rates have been lowered, the lending interest rates do not decrease proportionally. Some commercial banks are providing loans at the interest rates of 14-15 percent per annum, and the best loan cost is 9-10 percent.

Rosie Nguyen