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Trial opens for supporters of terrorist group attempting to overthrow Government



Defendants stand trial at HCM City People’s Court on Monday. — VNA/ Photo Thành Chung

HCM CITY — HCM City People’s Court on Monday opened the trial of 12 defendants charged with ‘carrying out activities against the people’s Government,’ according to Article 109 of the 2015 Penal Code.

The defendants are Trần Thị Ngọc Xuân (born in 1969), Nguyễn Thanh Xoan (1972), Nguyễn Thị Kim Phượng (1967), Lương Thị Thu Hiền (1968), Y Hon Ênuôl (1988), Y Phương Ding Riêh (1978), Nguyễn Minh Quang (1960), Hồ Thị Xuân Hương (1968), Lê Ngọc Thành (1972), Y Tũp Knul (1970), Phạm Hổ (1949), and Trần Văn Long (1955).

They were members and supporters of the terrorist organisation “Provisional National Government of Việt Nam,” which was founded and led by Đào Minh Quân from overseas. 

Born in 1952 in then South Việt Nam and currently residing in the US, Quân is the self-proclaimed “Prime Minister” of the so-called government.

Key figures of the group have been actively recruiting members from the Central Highlands, South Central and Southern regions of the country.

Following instruction, the 12 defendants in Việt Nam have been persuading others to join the organisation, and conducted a “referendum” to make Đào Minh Quân the “President of the Third Republic of Việt Nam.”

In HCM City, defendant Trần Thị Ngọc Xuân was instructed by “Lieutenant General, Deputy Minister of Finance” Lâm Ái Huệ to become a member of the group. 

Xuân often used Facebook’s live-streaming feature to call for registration and participation in the “referendum.” 

From March to June 2018, Xuân coerced her husband, two children and three family acquaintances to join the organisation.

During this time, Xuân disseminated multiple documents containing distorted information from the group, also via Facebook.

On February 19, 2019, on a visit to poor households in Tam Bình Ward, Thủ Đức City, Xuân brought five printed sets of documents, which she distributed to three families.

For the duration of her membership, Xuân was gifted a mobile phone, plus sums of US$300, CAD$400, and VNĐ3 million.

Defendant Nguyễn Thanh Xoan was also talked into joining the organisation by “Senior Colonel” La Ngọc Duyên. In addition to spreading false information provided by the group, Xoan persuaded four people to vote in the “referendum”.

In the southern province of Đồng Nai, many of Lương Thị Thu Hiền’s acquaintances were led to believe that she was participating in a foreign charity organisation that provides land and houses for poor people and therefore needed to collect their information for registration.

In the same province, Trần Văn Long also collected the personal details of over 20 people.

All the information was used for Đào Minh Quân’s “referendum.”

Similar activities were conducted in An Giang, Đắk Lắk, Đắk Nông, Lâm Đồng Kon Tum and Phú Yên provinces.

The defendants have also been producing the group’s flag, whose design consists of three horizontal red stripes on a yellow background, representing the now-defunct Republic of Vietnam.

The documents they printed and distributed include a “Provisional constitution,” a “Constitution of the Third Republic of Việt Nam” and a “Biography brief of Prime Minister Đào Minh Quân.”

The trial is expected to be over by Tuesday. —



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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