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Cambodian PM Hun Sen thanks Việt Nam for help in defeating genocidal Pol Pot regime in 45th annivesary




Vietnamese and Cambodian Prime Ministers Phạm Minh Chính and Hun Sen on Monday shook hands at the border area where the latter first crossed into Việt Nam to seek help in defeating Pol Pot’s regime 45 years ago (June 20, 1977 – 2022). — VNA/ Photo Dương Giang 

BÌNH PHƯỚC — Việt Nam and Cambodia on Monday jointly held an event in commemoration of the 45th anniversary of the historical journey by now Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen to seek Vietnamese help to overthrow Pol Pot’s genocidal regime (June 20, 1977- 2022).

The event took place at the “X16” point, a border area between Lộc Ninh District, the southern province of Bình Phước in Việt Nam, and Memot District of Cambodia’s Tbong Khmum, where the Cambodian leader first set foot in Việt Nam’s land 45 years ago.

Cambodian leader Hun Sen, received by Vietnamese counterpart Phạm Minh Chính in Bình Phước Province, expressed his gratitude to the Vietnamese Party, State, and people for supporting him from the early days of his journey to save Cambodia from Pol Pot.

The two PMs took part in a tree-planting ceremony and also met and spoke with local residents, where PM Hun Sen underscored the Vietnamese people’s pure, sincere, and righteous international spirit and the special solidarity and friendship between Việt Nam and Cambodia.

Hun Sen, then a 25-year-old lieutenant colonel of Region 21 in eastern Cambodia, along with his comrades who first went into Việt Nam, at 2am in the morning, and only got his first meal in Lộc Ninh on the evening of June 21, which he described as a life-saving meal.

Hun Sen said that without Việt Nam’s help, he couldn’t imagine how his life or the future of Cambodia would turn out. Together with Vietnamese volunteer soldiers, the force completely defeated the genocidal regime on January 7, 1979, bringing back peace to the nation and the people.

Over the past 45 years, the relationship between the two countries has been growing consistently, he noted.

“I want to convey my gratitude to the Vietnamese people who are present here, who are not present today, and to the souls of those who have sacrificed to save me and help the Cambodian people. We have come to know each other and help each other when it was difficult, that’s what true friends are,” Cambodian PM Hun Sen said at the meeting.

As part of the commemoration, PM Hun Sen welcomed PM Chính along with Việt Nam’s high-level delegation to Cambodia to attend further activities.

Speaking at the anniversary in Tbong Khmum, also attended by thousands of Cambodians, PM Chính stressed that June 20, 1977, is an important milestone in PM Hun Sen’s journey to defeat Pol Pot and bring peace and revival to his homeland.

The event is even more important as the two countries are celebrating the 55th anniversary of diplomatic relations (June 24, 1967 – June 24, 2022).

Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính (right) and his Cambodian counterpart Samdech Techo Hun Sen at the event. — VNA/ Photo Dương Giang

Decrying the abhorrent genocidal crimes that the Cambodian people suffered as well as the brutal aggression against Vietnamese people caused by the Pol Pot regime, PM Chính said Việt Nam had shared with Cambodia all it could to help build up Cambodian revolutionary forces in the fight against Pol Pot.

Responding to the call of the Kampuchean United Front for National Salvation, after exercising the right to self-defence and put an end to Pol Pot’s aggressions at the southwestern border of Việt Nam, Việt Nam helped Cambodia’s revolutionary armed forces liberate the nation from genocide, and then restore and rebuild the country, PM Chính said.

In 1989, according to the agreement between the two States, Việt Nam withdrew all its volunteer troops “with pride and glory” after fulfilling all their international missions, amidst the affection of the Cambodian people, the Vietnamese Government leader said.

PM Chính also took the occasion to remember the great sacrifices of the two countries’ people in the noble fight, especially those volunteer soldiers from Việt Nam who accompanied Cambodian comrades to defeat the Pol Pot regime, consolidating the traditional friendship and solidarity between Việt Nam and Cambodia.

Speaking at the ceremony, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen thanked his Vietnamese counterpart and the high-ranking Vietnamese delegation for joining the celebrations.

He said Vietnamese PM Chính’s speech has “clearly and transparently” summed up his journey to overthrow the genocidal regime of Pol Pot and revive the country, as well as the historic relations between the two countries.

He again stressed that he only had four options at the time. The first was to use the forces under his command to start an armed revolution but he knew it would have been overwhelmed quickly, the second was to seek help from Việt Nam, the third was to sit by watching Pol Pot perpetuating his crimes, and the fourth was to commit suicide.

He said going to Việt Nam to ask for support for his cause was an inevitable decision, given the domestic and international situation at the time.

Hun Sen stressed Việt Nam’s actions were totally justified and thanked the Vietnamese voluntary troops for accompanying Cambodian forces in national salvation efforts.

PM Hun Sen also expressed his pride in the many contributions he has made to the 45-year relationship between Việt Nam and Cambodia; including the step-by-step completion of border demarcation and marking, turning border areas ravaged by wars into areas of peace, stability and comprehensive cooperation.

The two Prime Ministers expressed their pleasure that along with the strong and unceasing growth of the two countries, the traditional solidarity, friendship and comprehensive cooperation between Việt Nam and Cambodia continue to be consolidated and elevated in many fields, bringing practical benefits to the people of the two countries, making an important contribution to peace, stability and development in the region and in the world. —



Vietnam resolutely opposes Taiwan’s live-fire exercise in Truong Sa



Vietnam resolutely opposes Taiwan’s live-fire exercise in the former’s waters, an act that seriously violates Hanoi’s territorial sovereignty.

Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Le Thi Thu Hang told the press on Friday that Taiwan’s live-fire drill in the waters around Ba Binh Island in the Vietnamese Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelago was a serious violation of Vietnam’s territorial sovereignty.

The fact that Taiwan holds a live-fire drill in the waters around Ba Binh in Truong Sa is a blatant violation of Hanoi’s territorial sovereignty over the archipelago, threatening maritime peace, stability, safety, and security, causing tension, and complicating the situation in the East Vietnam Sea.

Vietnam resolutely opposes and demands that Taiwan cancel the illegal activities and not repeat similar violations in the future, Hang stressed.

Ba Binh is the largest natural island in Truong Sa, which belongs to Vietnam but has been illegally occupied by Taiwan since 1956.

Vietnam has repeatedly affirmed that it has sufficient historical evidence and legal basis to affirm its sovereignty over the Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa archipelagoes in accordance with international law.

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Vietnamese State President Nguyen Xuan Phuc to visit S.Korea this weekend



Vietnamese State President Nguyen Xuan Phuc will start a three-day visit to South Korea on Sunday, during which he will attend the Vietnam-South Korea Business Forum, which will gather a large number of business delegates from both countries.

Phuc, his spouse, and an entourage will visit the Eastern Asian country from December 4 to 6, at the invitation of South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeo, the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced on Thursday.

The visit will mark Phuc’s first to South Korea as a state president and also the first by a Vietnamese state head to this nation after 11 years, according to the foreign ministry.

For South Korea, Phuc is the highest-ranking Vietnamese leader that the country will welcome after Yoon took office in May.

During his stay in South Korea, President Phuc will hold talks with his counterpart Yoon, and meet Prime Minister Han Duck Soo as well as National Assembly Speaker Kim Jin Pyo. 

The Vietnamese leader will also attend and address the Vietnam – South Korea Business Forum, organized by five major Korean economic organizations on December 6, with the participation of hundreds of business representatives from each side.

According to South Korean media, the country’s businesses are looking forward to the event, which will discuss steps to boost bilateral economic cooperation, including the investment expansion by South Korean investors in Vietnam.

Companies of both nations are expected to sign a lot of memoranda of understanding on business cooperation at the forum. 

Lee Jay Yong, chairman of South Korean giant Samsung Electronics, is also arranging a schedule to meet with President Phuc on this occasion, according to Korean Broadcasting System (KBS). 

This image shows Nguyen Xuan Phuc attending the The Vietnam-South Korean Business Forum held in South Korea in 2019, when he visited the country as Vietnam’s Prime Minister.  Photo: Communist Party of Vietnam

This image shows Nguyen Xuan Phuc attending the Vietnam-South Korean Business Forum held in South Korea in 2019, when he visited the country as Vietnam’s prime minister. Photo: Communist Party of Vietnam

Phuc’s visit comes as both countries are celebrating 30 years of diplomatic relations, and aiming to upgrade their ties to a comprehensive strategic partnership from the current strategic partnership that has developed smoothly, substantively, and effectively since 2009.

President Phuc was one of the first foreign leaders to call and congratulate Yoon on his winning the presidential election in March.

After President Yoon took power, Vietnam’s Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong and Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh had phone talks with him in June and July, respectively. 

Three months later, South Korean Foreign Minister Park Jin visited Vietnam at the invitation of his Vietnamese counterpart Bui Thanh Son.

On the sidelines of the 40th and 41st ASEAN Summits and related meetings in Cambodia in mid-November, PM Chinh met with President Yoon.

South Korea currently takes the number-one position in terms of foreign direct investment in Vietnam, with over US$80 billion as of September 2022, and ranks second out of the countries offering official development assistance (ODA) to Vietnam, with $2.7 billion in the 2012-20 period.

In terms of trade, South Korea ranks third among Vietnam’s partners, with bilateral trade increasing in recent years despite the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic, aiming for a target of $100 billion in 2023 and $150 billion by 2030.

Currently, about 216,000 Vietnamese are living in South Korea, according to the Korea Immigration Service.

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UNCLOS plays important role in regional peace: Vietnam workshop



The importance of settling disputes at sea by peaceful means based on international law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) in 1982, was highlighted at an ASEAN workshop in Hanoi, Vietnam on Wednesday.

The event, the fourth ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) Workshop, was co-organized by the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the EU, Australia, and New Zealand.

About 200 representatives from 27 ARF member countries, regional and international organizations, diplomatic offices, and research institutes were in attendance.

The two-day seminar focused on implementing the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and other international instruments meant to address emerging maritime issues.

Deputy head of the EU Delegation to Vietnam Thomas Wiersing is seen speaking at the ARF workshop in Hanoi, Vietnam on November 30, 2022. Photo: Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Deputy head of the EU Delegation to Vietnam Thomas Wiersing is seen speaking at the ARF workshop in Hanoi, Vietnam, November 30, 2022. Photo: Ministry of Foreign Affairs

In his opening speech, Nguyen Minh Vu, assistant to Vietnam’s foreign minister, reiterated the significance of UNCLOS in the settlement of maritime issues, especially in the context of emerging challenges that require intensive and extensive international cooperation to solve.

UNCLOS sets important standards for countries in the region to strengthen trust and promote cooperation for peace, security, and prosperity, Vu said, adding that all maritime disputes should be addressed by peaceful measures based on international law.

Deputy head of the EU Delegation to Vietnam Thomas Wiersing underlined the leading role of ASEAN in promoting regional peace and stability, affirming the EU’s support for the early completion of negotiations on a substantive and legally binding Code of Conduct (COC) for the East Vietnam Sea.

Mark Tattersall, chargé d’affaires of the Australian Embassy in Hanoi, spoke on the importance of the ARF’s role in security and cooperation dialogues in the Indo-Pacific region.

The fourth ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) workshop was held in Hanoi, Vietnam, on November 30, 2022 is seen in this image. Photo: Ministry of Foreign Affairs

The fourth ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) workshop was held in Hanoi, Vietnam, November 30, 2022. Photo: Ministry of Foreign Affairs

He spoke highly of the workshop’s agenda, which included marine biodiversity conservation in waters beyond national jurisdiction, offshore nuclear reactors, and the delimitation of maritime zones amid rising sea levels.

Georgina Roberths, head of New Zealand’s ASEAN Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM), shared her appreciation for the role that maritime areas play in establishing peace, security, and development in the region.

She also stressed the need to use international law, including UNCLOS, to peacefully resolve disputes. 

In general, most of the delegates agreed to consider UNCLOS as the most crucial legal tool in maintaining regional peace and stability, serving as a framework for settling both longstanding and emerging maritime issues in the region.

On Thursday – the workshop’s second working day – representatives were scheduled to discuss international cooperation efforts for sustainable use and conservation of seas and oceans. 

Established in 1994, the ASEAN Regional Forum is aimed at fostering constructive dialogue and consultation on political and security issues of common interest and concern, and at making significant contributions to efforts toward confidence-building and preventive diplomacy in the Asia-Pacific region.

Among the 27 AFR members are 10 ASEAN member states (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam) and ASEAN’s dialogue partners, including the U.S., EU, China, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, India, Russia, and South Korea, among others.

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