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First-instance trial on former HCMC official opens

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The trial of Nguyen Thanh Tai, HCM City’s former vice chairman, for “violation of regulations on management and use of State assets, causing losses and wastefulness” opened on Wednesday at the HCM City People’s Court.

First-instance trial on former HCMC official opens
Nguyen Thanh Tai, former vice chairman of the HCM City People’s Committee, in court on Wednesday on the opening day of his trial for “violation of regulations on management and use of State assets, causing losses and wastefulness”. — VNA/VNS Photo Hoang Tuyet

Tai, 68, vice chairman from 2011 to 2015, and the others, three of them city officials, are charged with wrongdoing in the sale of public lands in a prime location resulting in a loss of VND1.927 trillion (US$83 million) to the treasury, which potentially carries a jail sentence of up to 20 years.

Tai’s fellows accused are Nguyen Hoai Nam, former secretary of the District 2 Party unit, Dao Anh Kiet, former director of the Department of Natural Resources and Environment, Truong Van Ut, former deputy head of the department’s land management division, and Le Thi Thanh Thuy, president of Mayflower Investment Company Ltd and Lavenue Investment JSC.

In 2018 government auditors concluded that he was mainly responsible for the city’s decision to lease out a land lot at 8-12 Le Duan Street in District 1 without competitive bidding, causing losses worth millions of dollars to the city.

But the 4,896sq.m plot, which fronts three major streets, had for long been earmarked for a five-star hotel and shopping mall.

In 2007 the Government had ordered its auctioning for the purpose, saying explicitly “the investor implementing the project must be capable and experienced in the hotel sector.”

However, Tai gave approval for the HCM City Housing Management Company to set up a joint venture with four companies owned by the Ministry of Industry and Trade to develop the project.

“The project was originally scheduled to begin in 2007, but this was extended to 2011,” according to Tai.

The HCM City Housing Management Company was supposed to contribute 50 per cent of the capital and the four ministry companies the rest, but the former, claiming it did not have enough money, only contributed 20 per cent while the remaining 30 per cent was brought in by the Mayflower Investment Company Ltd.

After that a company called Lavenue Investment JSC was established as a joint venture between all the companies to carry out the project, with the accused Le Thi Thanh Thuy as its chairwoman.

Tai admitted in court he knew he was flouting the law and the Government’s instruction to auction the land.

“In the context of the economic recession at that time, which caused the real estate market to slump, an auction was not feasible,” he claimed.

The trial will go on until September 21.  VNS  

Source: https://vietnamnet.vn/en/politics/first-instance-trial-on-former-city-official-opens-674451.html

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Prime Minister: ASEAN- China ties keep positive growth

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Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc is to deliver a welcome speech in the form of pre-recorded video at the online opening of the 17th China – ASEAN Expo (CAEXPO) on November 27, at the invitation of the Chinese Government.

Prime Minister: ASEAN- China ties keep positive growth hinh anh 1

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (Photo: VNA)

In the speech, the PM expresses his delight at the opening of the CAEXPO 17 and the China-ASEAN Business and Investment Summit on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the ASEAN – China Free Trade Area and the China – ASEAN Year of Digital Economy Cooperation, which contribute to trade and growth of both sides.

He congratulates Party General Secretary and President of China Xi Jinping, and the Government and people of China on overcoming difficulties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and reaping outstanding economic achievements. He also lauds China for sharing its experience in fighting the pandemic and supporting countries in need.

According to him, the ASEAN – China cooperation still maintains a positive growth, especially in economy and trade. China has been ASEAN’s largest trade partner for 10 consecutive years. In the first six months of this year, ASEAN became China’s largest trade partner for the first time with a bilateral turnover of 300 billion USD, 20 percent of which was contributed by Vietnam.

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, ASEAN and China have been one of a few pairs of partners worldwide to post positive growth since early this year.

PM Phuc stresses that in 2020 when Vietnam serves as ASEAN Chair, the bloc continues strengthening solidarity and unity, drastically responding to the pandemic, while effectively cooperating with partners and solidifying its central role in regional security issues in line with the theme “Cohesive and Responsive”. He recalls that during the 37th ASEAN Summit held in November, 10 ASEAN member states and five partner countries, including China, signed the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), creating a major market with a 2.2 billion population and a GDP of 26.2 trillion USD.

The PM says Vietnam is working for the dual goal of fighting the pandemic and restoring the economy via many measures, including participating in many free trade agreements such as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), the European Union – Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

He notes that Vietnam has always boasting the largest number of exhibitors and stalls at all CAEXPO editions so far. He adds that Vietnam will keep its online show until the end of the year, offering more opportunities for businesses.

On the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the Vietnam – China diplomatic ties this year, he says Vietnamese Party General Secretary and President Nguyen Phu Trong and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping have held two phone talks to outline major orientations to deepening the bilateral neighbourliness and comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership.

PM Phuc underlines that Vietnam and other ASEAN member states are working towards the ASEAN Community Vision 2025, expanding collaboration with China on the basis of the United Nations Charter and international law and mutual benefits, contributing to peace, stability and prosperity in the region and the world./.VNA

Source: https://vietnamnet.vn/en/politics/prime-minister-asean-china-ties-keep-positive-growth-692915.html

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AICHR convenes second Special Meeting this year

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The ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) convened its second Special Meeting via video conference from November 23 to 25. — VNA/ Photo

HÀ NỘI — The ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) convened its second Special Meeting via video conference from Monday to Wednesday, the last official meeting chaired by Việt Nam in its capacity as AICHR Chair 2020.

The meeting brought together representatives of the AICHR from ASEAN member states and the ASEAN Secretariat to review co-operation between stakeholders and results in 2020, while also discussing plans for 2021 and preparations for a meeting between the AICHIR and partners.

The meeting reviewed eight concept papers on activities being implemented in 2019-2021, 19 priority activities for 2014-20, and seven AICHR regional studies. Member states greatly appreciated the AICHR’s efforts during COVID-19 to maintain co-operation and implement priorities to further promote and protect human rights in the region and respond to the impacts of the pandemic.

Representatives discussed and agreed on the content of the Guidelines on the AICHR’s External Relations, which is fundamental to fostering consultation and co-operation between the commission and its partners and guarantees the principles of consensus and ASEAN’s centrality in such matters.

In her remarks as Chair of AICHR 2020, Vietnamese Ambassador Nguyễn Thái Yên Hương underscored the importance of the implementation of agendas and co-operation on the promotion and protection of human rights within ASEAN.

She welcomed active co-ordination between member states in drafting and adopting the AICHR Five Year Work Plan 2021-2025, AICHR Priority Programmes and Activities 2021, and Guidelines on the AICHR’s External Relations.

Việt Nam, as Chair of AICHR and ASEAN this year, has worked with other member states to strengthen the region’s cohesiveness and responsiveness to the impact of COVID-19 and accelerate the progress of the AICHR’s regional co-operation in human rights, Huong said.

Representatives from ASEAN member states also spoke highly of Việt Nam’s role as ASEAN Chair 2020 in leading the AICHR during a time of hardship. They pledged to step up the AICHR’s work with regional and international human rights mechanisms.

They highlighted the relevance of this year’s ASEAN Chairmanship theme ‘Cohesive and Responsive’, which was dedicated to maintaining the grouping’s solidarity, unity, and partnership and responding to the impacts of COVID-19 in the areas of the economy, and social welfare and human rights.

On the sidelines of the meeting, the AICHR held online meetings with representatives from the UN, the EU, Switzerland, and the International Committee of the Red Cross, to exchange experience in issues of mutual interest, such as humanitarian assistance, the promotion of gender equality, the protection of the rights of women, children, migrant workers and vulnerable groups, and the incorporation of human rights and the environment, particularly in disasters and pandemics.

The meeting saw Việt Nam hand over the AICHR Chairmanship to Brunei for 2021. —

Source: https://vietnamnews.vn/politics-laws/813741/aichr-convenes-second-special-meeting-this-year.html

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Prime Minister: ASEAN-China ties keep positive growth

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Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc gave a pre-recorded welcome message at the online opening of the 17th China – ASEAN Expo (CAEXPO) on Friday. — VNA/ Photo Thống Nhất

HÀ NỘI — Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc has delivered a welcome speech in the form of a pre-recorded video at the online opening of the 17th China – ASEAN Expo (CAEXPO) on Friday, at the invitation of the Chinese Government.  

In the speech, the PM expresses his delight at the opening of the CAEXPO 17 and the China-ASEAN Business and Investment Summit on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the ASEAN – China Free Trade Area and the China – ASEAN Year of Digital Economy Cooperation, which contribute to trade and growth of both sides.

He congratulates Party General Secretary and President of China Xi Jinping, and the Government and people of China on overcoming difficulties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and reaping outstanding economic achievements. He also lauds China for sharing its experience in fighting the pandemic and supporting countries in need.

According to him, ASEAN – China cooperation still maintains positive growth, especially in economy and trade. China has been ASEAN’s largest trade partner for 10 consecutive years. In the first six months of this year, ASEAN became China’s largest trade partner for the first time with a bilateral turnover of US$300 billion, 20 per cent of which was contributed by Việt Nam.

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, ASEAN and China have been one of a few pairs of partners worldwide to post positive growth since early this year.

PM Phúc stresses that in 2020 when Việt Nam serves as ASEAN Chair, the bloc continues strengthening solidarity and unity, drastically responding to the pandemic, while effectively cooperating with partners and solidifying its central role in regional security issues in line with the theme “Cohesive and Responsive”. He recalls that during the 37th ASEAN Summit held in November, 10 ASEAN member states and five partner countries, including China, signed the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), creating a major market with a 2.2 billion population and a GDP of $26.2 trillion.

The PM says Việt Nam is working for the dual goal of fighting the pandemic and restoring the economy via many measures, including participating in many free trade agreements such as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), the European Union – Việt Nam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

He notes that Việt Nam has always boasted the largest number of exhibitors and stalls at all CAEXPO editions so far. He adds that Việt Nam will keep its online show until the end of the year, offering more opportunities for businesses.

On the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the Việt Nam – China diplomatic ties this year, he says Vietnamese Party General Secretary and President Nguyễn Phú Trọng and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping held two phone talks to outline major orientations to deepen the bilateral neighbourliness and comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership.

PM Phúc underlines that Việt Nam and other ASEAN member states are working towards the ASEAN Community Vision 2025, expanding collaboration with China on the basis of the United Nations Charter and international law and mutual benefits, contributing to peace, stability and prosperity in the region and the world. —

Source: https://vietnamnews.vn/politics-laws/813740/prime-minister-asean-china-ties-keep-positive-growth.html

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