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Draft amendment to cinema law receives controversial comments




Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Nguyễn Văn Hùng speaks at a meeting of full-time NA deputies about a draft amendment to the law on cinema on Tuesday. — VNA/ Photo

HÀ NỘI — The first meeting of full-time deputies of the 15th National Assembly (NA) wrapped up on Tuesday after a discussion on a draft amendment to the Law on Cinema and Law on Insurance Business.

In the morning, when discussing the Law on Cinema, deputies discussed proposed amendments to film production, particularly film production by foreign individuals and organisations in Việt Nam, and post-inspection.

Referring to regulations on film production in Việt Nam by foreign organisations and individuals, some suggestions stipulated that the application for a licence should only require a script for a movie summary in Việt Nam instead of the screenplay. 

Delegate Trần Văn Lâm from Bắc Giang Province said that it was necessary to further simplify administrative procedures, especially those on appraisal and licensing to foreign organisations and individuals who wanted to make films in Việt Nam

“The current regulations are too strict,” Lâm said, adding that more flexible regulations are needed to better attract foreign filmmakers to promote Việt Nam’s country and people to the world. 

“Strengthening state management is necessary, but it is also not necessary to do things that are too specific and meticulous, causing difficulties and constraints for film activities,” he said.

Other deputies suggested clarifying the film production cooperation process and responsibilities of domestic cinema establishments when providing film services to foreign organisations and individuals.

Deputy Trần Thị Hoa Ry from Bạc Liêu Province said that incentives to attract foreign filmmakers to Việt Nam to make films was very important, contributing to promoting the images of the country and Vietnamese people, speeding up the development of cinema and tourism and related services.

For cinematographic films that serve political tasks, the State should have a mechanism to encourage, sponsor and invest, Ry said.

It was also necessary to minimise the phenomenon in which there are too many weak scripts, she said, calling for further investment in scripting and tightening post-inspection to prevent poor-quality cinematographic works.

Deputy Nguyễn Thị Phú Hà from Hòa Bình Province said that the draft should further clarify the issue of investment in film projects using the State budget.

Moreover, administrative reform and other solutions should be deployed to attract social resources to film production activities, encouraging more and more organisations and individuals to participate in film-making activities, she said.

“No free lunch”

Responding to deputies’ concern about the fund for cinema development which has been part of cinema law for the last 16 years but has yet to be established, Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Nguyễn Văn Hùng said that the regulation on the fund should be kept in the revised law.

Hùng said that it was partly the fault of the ministry as an advisor to the Government in establishing the fund.

But, keeping the provisions in the draft meant that if the country had a fund to support the development of the cinema industry, we would not depend on some foreign funds that wanted to sponsor with conditions.

“We know well that there is no free lunch, “ the minister said.

Regarding the plan to provide film production services to foreign organisations and individuals, the new draft says that only a movie summary script and script details of the content filmed in Việt Nam is required, when applying for a film production licence, instead of the full movie script as stated in the draft submitted to the National Assembly at the 2nd session.

However, Hùng still insisted that the full script should be provided.

“We study the cinema laws of China and Thailand, they all require a full script,” Hùng said.

He cited a US film that included shots about a soldier who joined the Vietnamese war. Nothing was wrong with the script that was filmed in Việt Nam at that time, however, other shots that were filmed in the US presented different things which call the Vietnamese fight against invaders ill-gotten war.

“If we don’t understand the overall script and accept the segment in Việt Nam, it will affect political security, national defence and security in the future. Who will be responsible for it?” Hùng said. —



Vietnam proposes measures to foster Mekong-Lancang cooperation in post-pandemic recovery



Vietnam’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son has recommended four measures for beefing up the Mekong-Lancang Cooperation (MLC) to promote growth and sustainable development from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Minister Son was speaking at the seventh MLC Foreign Ministers’ Meeting held in Bagan, Myanmar on Monday, centered around ‘Solidarity for Peace and Prosperity.’ 

The event was attended by foreign ministers from the six member countries of the MLC mechanism, including China, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam. 

Participants highly appreciated the MLC’s recent contributions to regional cooperation and development, especially amid the complicated developments of COVID-19, and discussed coordination in organizing the second MLC Ministerial Meeting on Water Resources in Vietnam this year.

In this context, the Vietnamese diplomat delivered a speech proposing four major measures to make the MLC more effective.

He firstly mentioned the need for cooperation in boosting economic recovery and resilience from the pandemic, and strengthening customs cooperation and trade facilitation in order to solve goods congestion and ensure the free flow of goods and services in the region.

Second, it is necessary for mutual support among member countries in climate change adaptation and the transition to a green economic model, including clean energy development and climate-smart agriculture.

He also called for stronger cooperation in managing and using water resources in a sustainable manner, strengthening consultation and dialogue on water resource development plans, increasing the sharing of hydrological and meteorological data and hydroelectric dam operations, and expanding coordination between the MLC and the Mekong River Commission.

Vietnam’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son (L) bumps elbows with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi at the seventh Mekong-Lancang Cooperation Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Myanmar, July 4, 2022. Photo: Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Vietnam’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son (L) bumps elbows with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi at the seventh Mekong-Lancang Cooperation Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Myanmar, July 4, 2022. Photo: Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Lastly, it is advisable to promote people-to-people connections through tourism activities and cultural exchange programs, Son said.

His speech was highly appreciated by the other member countries and was reflected in the conference’s documents, the foreign ministry said in a statement on Monday.

The event came as two-way trade between the lower Mekong River countries and China reached nearly US$400 billion last year, up 23 percent from 2020, while many large infrastructure works have been completed and hundreds of technical assistance projects are being built by the MLC member nations, according to the Vietnam News Agency.

The meeting emphasized the principles of equal cooperation, mutual consultation, benefit-sharing and respect for the United Nations Charter and international law, as well as the legislation of each country. 

It came to an end with the issuance of four joint statements on strengthening agricultural cooperation, disaster prevention, customs and trade facilitation, and exchanges between MLC civilizations. 

Founded in 2016, the MLC is a multilateral cooperation mechanism between the riparian states of the Lancang River and Mekong River. 

The Lancang River originates from Qinghai-Tibet Plateau in southwestern China.

It is called the Mekong River as it flows through the other five countries – Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, and Vietnam – before entering the sea.

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Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov to visit Vietnam



Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov is scheduled to visit Vietnam on Tuesday and Wednesday, the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Monday night.

The visit is made at the invitation of Vietnamese Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son.

In September 2021, Minister Son conducted a business trip to Moscow, where he met with many Russian officials, including his counterpart Lavrov.

In late 2021, State President Nguyen Xuan Phuc visited Russia at the invitation of President Vladimir Putin.

Last year marked the 20th anniversary of the strategic partnership between Vietnam and Russia, while this year is the 10th anniversary of the two nations’ comprehensive strategic partnership.

Lavrov’s visit takes place in the context of new developments in the international and regional situations.

In March, Minister Son joined separate phone talks with Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov and Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba about the military conflict between the two countries.

In both dialogues, Son affirmed Vietnam’s consistent stance that international disputes and disagreements should be resolved by peaceful measures and in compliance with the basic principles of the United Nations Charter and international law, especially the principle of respecting the independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity of countries.

The official asked relevant parties to exercise restraint, reduce tensions, and conduct more dialogues to find a long-term solution that is in line with international law and takes into consideration the legitimate interests of all sides.

During the talks, Minister Lavrov praised Vietnam’s contribution to peace, stability, cooperation, and development in the region and the world.

The official shared recent developments in the situation in Ukraine and affirmed that he would try his best to support the safe evacuation of Vietnamese citizens from conflict zones.

The two sides also discussed bilateral relations, with Minister Son suggesting that Russia continue to pay attention to and create favorable conditions for the Vietnamese community there to stabilize their life, production, and business operation.

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Vietnam leaders congratulate US on 246th Independence Day



Vietnamese leaders have sent congratulatory messages to leaders of the U.S. government and Congress on the occasion of the country’s 246th Independence Day.

State President Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh sent their congratulations to U.S. President Joe Biden on Monday, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Chairman of the National Assembly Vuong Dinh Hue also extended greetings to President of the Senate Kamala Harris and Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi.

On the same day, Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son sent a congratulatory message to U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

Vietnam and the U.S. established bilateral relations in 1995, paving the way for a partnership of trust, friendship, and mutual respect.

The bilateral relationship is guided by the comprehensive partnership signed in 2013 and joint statements issued by the leaders of the two countries in 2015, 2016, and May and November 2017, according to the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi.

After lifting the ban on the sale of lethal weapons to Vietnam in May 2016, the U.S. continued to support the Southeast Asian country in maritime security, including handing over Hamilton-class coast guard ships to Vietnam in 2017 and 2020.

The people-to-people relations between the two countries have also developed rapidly, with tens of thousands of Vietnamese students having come to the U.S. to study, contributing nearly US$1 billion to the local economy.

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