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Health minister, Hà Nội chairman bear responsibilities over COVID test kit scandal: party inspection commission



Participants at the 13th meeting of the Inspection Commission of the Party Central Committee in Hà Nội. — VNA/ Photo Phương Hoa

HÀ NỘI — The health minister, Hà Nội chairman, and other senior officials at the ministries of health and science and technology, must bear responsibilities related to the fraud COVID-19 test kit case at Việt Á company, according to the Inspection Commission of the Party Central Committee.

The commission held a meeting from March 28-31 to look into wrongdoings related to the case and other violations involving party officials.

It concluded that the Party Committees and some leaders of the Ministry of Science and Technology and Ministry of Health showed a lack of responsibility and lax management, resulting in violations of Party regulations and State laws. 

“Such violations have caused severe consequences, losses to State capital and property, caused social discontent and affected the reputation of the Party, the health ministry and the science and technology ministry, to the point where disciplinary actions must be considered,” the commission said.

The commission said several officials must bear shared responsibility for the violations and individual responsibility for their mistakes. They included Chu Ngọc Anh, Party Central Committee member, Vice Secretary of Hà Nội Party Committee, Chairman of Hà Nội People’s Committee, former Secretary of the Party Committee and former Minister of the MoST; Nguyễn Thanh Long, Party Central Committee member, Secretary of the Party Committee and Minister of Health; Phạm Công Tạc, member of the Party Committee and Deputy Minister of the MoST; Nguyễn Trường Sơn, member of the Party Committee and Deputy Minister of the MoH.

Several units and individuals in the Finance Ministry are still under investigation.

The commission also decided on disciplinary measures for several officials of the Vietnam Military Medical University in connection with the case.

Lieutenant General Nguyễn Viết Lượng, Secretary of the Party Committee and political commissar of the university, and three other officers, were given a warning. Four were given a reprimand, while two were dispelled from the Party.

The commission asked the Party Central Committee’s Secretariat to consider disciplinary measures on the standing board of the university’s Party Committee in the 2015-2020 and 2020-2025 tenures, along with the university’s Director Lieutenant General Đỗ Quyết, who is also vice secretary of the university’s Party Committee, and Deputy Director Major General Hoàng Văn Lương, member of the standing board of the university’s Party Committee.

The commission also considered the outcome of an inspection into the Party Committee State Securities Commission (SSC) from 2015 to 2020.

It concluded that the committee had violated the principle of centralised democracy and working regulations, shown lax management and a lack of responsibility resulting in wrongdoings in State management of the stock market and securities transactions.

The commission named several officials who must bear shared responsibility. They included Vũ Bằng, former Secretary of the Party Committee and former Chairman of the SSC; Trần Văn Dũng, incumbent  Secretary of the Party Committee and Chairman of the SSC; Nguyễn Thành Long, Secretary of the Party Committee of the Hanoi Stock Exchange, former Vice Secretary of the Party Committee and former Vice Chairman of the SSC; Lê Hải Trà, Secretary of the Party Committee and Director General of the HCM Stock Exchange; and Nguyễn Sơn, Secretary of the Party Committee and Chairman of the Vietnam Securities Depository.

The commission said their actions caused serious consequences, negatively affecting the stock market, reducing investor trust and the prestige of the Party and the SSC, calling for disciplinary measures.

The commission also considered and issued disciplinary measures to several units and officials, including the Party Committee and officials of the anti-smuggling investigation agency, the standing board of the Party Committee of Hà Tĩnh province, the standing board of the Party Committee of An Giang province, and some Ninh Bình Province officials. —



Ho Chi Minh City eager to boost multifaceted ties with Italy: vice mayor



Leaders of Vietnam’s southern economic hub Ho Chi Minh City are slated to visit Italy in October this year to further beef up the cooperation between the city and Italy, deputy chairman of the municipal administration Vo Van Hoan has said in welcoming Italy’s National Day. 

Hoan was speaking at a ceremony held by the Consulate General of Italy in the city on Friday to mark the 72nd anniversary of Italy’s National Day and also the 50th anniversary of Vietnam – Italy diplomatic relations.

The city’s vice mayor sent National Day greetings to the Italian Consul General Enrico Padula and his wife, and the entire Italian community living and working in Ho Chi Minh City.

Hoan highly appreciated the fruitful relationship between Ho Chi Minh City and its Italian twin city of Torino, toward the goal of laying a foundation and framework to further promote the bilateral cooperation in hi-tech, education, cultural heritage conservation and tourism.

Addressing the ceremony, Italian Consul General Padula recalled the long-lasting friendship relations between Italy and Vietnam, with Italy being the first Western European country to establish diplomatic ties with Vietnam right after the Paris Agreement was signed in 1973.

The diplomat expressed his pleasure that the two nations’ ties have strongly developed over the past 50 years, not only in diplomacy and politics but also in the economic, cultural and social fields.

He emphasized the significance of the cooperation for mutual development between the two countries, as well as between Italy and Ho Chi Minh City, the southern business and financial hub of Vietnam.

The past 50-year ties have given both nations an inspiration and a belief in the development of their relationship in the future, Padula said.

Last year, the trade value between Italy and Ho Chi Minh City reached US$780 million, while that of the two countries amounted to $6.2 billion, up 11 percent from 2021.

Vietnam is currently Italy’s largest trading partner in ASEAN while Italy is Vietnam’s fourth largest EU partner. 

On the sideline of the ceremony were two impressive photo exhibitions, one of which depicted significant milestones in the Vietnam – Italy relations over the past 50 years, and the other featuring images representing the diversity of the Italian capital city of Rome.

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Australian prime minister to visit Vietnam this weekend



Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese will pay an official visit to Vietnam on Saturday at the invitation of Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

This will be his first visit to Vietnam since he took office in 2022.

The Australian prime minister’s visit will be made two months after Australian Governor-General David Hurley’s state visit to Vietnam.

His two-day visit is aimed at marking the 50th anniversary of diplomatic ties between Vietnam and Australia.

Australian Prime Minister Albanese will meet several top Vietnamese officials during his trip, said the Australian Embassy in Vietnam.

“The leaders will come to the table about measures to deepen the partnership in trade, investment, education, energy, and environmental protection,” the embassy said. “Vietnam is one of Australia’s key strategic economic partners in Southeast Asia, which is a focus of Australian Prime Minister Albanese.”

“My first official visit to Vietnam is meant to celebrate 50 years of the two nations’ diplomatic ties and strengthen two-way cooperation in various fields,” Prime Minister Albanese said in an announcement released by the Australian Embassy on Tuesday.

Vietnam and Australia established their diplomatic relationship in February 1973. Over the past 50 years, bilateral ties have thrived and made great strides in numerous fields.

Many major works in Vietnam have been backed by Australia. Among them are My Thuan 1 Bridge, which connects Tien Giang Province with Vinh Long Province in the Mekong Delta region, and Cao Lanh Bridge in Dong Thap Province in the same region.

Vietnam is the Australian prime minister’s second destination during his trip to Southeast Asia. He will travel to Singapore to sit in on the 20th Shangri-La Dialogue before arriving in Vietnam.

He was sworn into office on May 23, 2022. He previously served as deputy prime minister.

He is well known for his ability to connect stakeholders, enterprises, and people to advance the economic growth and improve people’s standard of living in Australia.

When serving as Minister of Infrastructure and Transport, he launched multiple big-ticket projects. Many parts of Australia were connected by roads and rail links.

During his official Vietnam visit in April, Australian Governor-General Hurley and Vietnamese State President Vo Van Thuong reached a consensus on upgrading the two-way relations to a comprehensive strategic partnership at the right time.

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Vietnam demands China withdraw vessels from the former’s waters



Vietnam has required that China pull its survey vessel Xiang Yang Hong 10, Coast Guard vessels, and fishing ships from Vietnamese waters, Pham Thu Hang, deputy spokeswoman of the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Thursday.

Hang affirmed that survey vessel Xiang Yang Hong 10, Coast Guard vessels, and fishing ships flying Chinese flags had entered Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone in the East Vietnam Sea.

The Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and relevant agencies have dialogued with the Chinese side many times and conducted measures in line with international and Vietnamese law to ensure the legitimate rights and interests of Vietnam.

Vietnam requests that relevant agencies on the Chinese side comply with the common perceptions of the two countries’ leaders, immediately stop all violations, and respect Vietnamese sovereign rights and jurisdiction.

The Southeast Asian country also urged the northern neighbor to strictly implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Vietnam Sea (DOC), maintain peace, cooperation, and development in the maritime area, and contribute to the development of relations between the two countries, the foreign ministry representative added.

The deputy spokeswoman on Thursday also voiced Vietnam’s objection to the China Maritime Safety Administration’s placement of three light buoys in the Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelago of Vietnam.

She emphasized that “the installation of the light buoys on some features in Truong Sa without Vietnam’s permission is an infringement of the Vietnamese sovereignty over the archipelago, so the move has no legal value.”

Vietnam has sufficient legal grounds and historical evidence to affirm its sovereignty over Truong Sa as well as Hoang Sa (Paracel) archipelagos in line with international law, Hang underscored.

Therefore, Vietnam demands that relevant parties not take any action that may complicate the situation but respect Vietnam’s sovereignty, international law, the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and the DOC, and maintain peace, stability, and cooperation in the East Vietnam Sea.

The China Maritime Safety Administration under the Chinese Ministry of Transport on Wednesday announced the placement of three light buoys in Vietnam’s Truong Sa archipelago.

The Chinese side claimed the installation of the light buoys is to “ensure safety” for vessels in the area.

Gaven Reefs in Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelago is under Vietnam’s sovereignty but has been illegally occupied and reformed by China. Photo: CSIS/AMTI

Gaven Reefs in the Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelago is under Vietnam’s sovereignty but it has been illegally occupied and modified by China. Photo: CSIS/AMTI

China’s act was similar to the move of the Philippines in mid-May.

The Manila administration placed buoys attached with Philippine flags in Vietnam’s Truong Sa.

In response, the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, at its press conference last Thursday, said Vietnam protests actions that violate Vietnamese sovereignty over the group of islands.

Vietnam always keeps a close watch and has solutions appropriate to international and national law to ensure its legitimate rights and benefits.

Ambassador Vu Ho, acting head of the ASEAN Senior Officials’ delegation of Vietnam, called on countries to ‘walk the talk’ at the 20th ASEAN-China Senior Officials’ Meeting on the Implementation of the DOC in the East Vietnam Sea held in northern Quang Ninh Province last Wednesday.

Countries should translate political commitments on issues in the East Vietnam Sea into specific and appropriate acts, Ho noted, stressing the need to handle issues in the waterway on the basis of international law and the UNCLOS.

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