Vietnamese continue to slam China’s aggression 43 years later!


Hanoi [Vietnam]: Due to the recent escalation of tensions between Vietnam and China in the South China Sea, the Sino-Vietnamese war has begun receiving renewed media attention after almost 43 years where Vietnamese people use social media for expressing anger and condemning Beijing for inflicting war on Vietnam.

Notably, February 17 marked the 43 years of the 1979 Sino-Vietnam war and the Vietnamese people with the help of social media platforms expressed anti-China sentiments as well as a veiled criticism of the Vietnamese government, reported Geo Politica.
The fight left many civilians and soldiers killed in Vietnam’s border provinces. This outburst shows that the Vietnamese people may forget the physical wounds but not the deception and emotional hurt inflicted by the Chinese.

Besides the contemporary maritime territorial disputes, security concerns and geopolitical competition, the unpleasant reality of the history between these two countries continues to linger on.

In Vietnam, low-profile anniversaries of the fierce fight against the Chinese invasion are organised each year in local cemeteries in the Northern border provinces while small-scale demonstrations take place in other parts of the country including Hanoi.

Vietnam has focused on modernization of Army

However, many Vietnamese veterans, military enthusiasts, historians and diplomats have urged the government to become vocal about the past atrocities of China on Vietnam.

In 2013, Major-General Le Van Cuong, former director of the Strategy Institute under the Ministry of Public Security, and other retired politicians told state media that it was time to review the official commemorations of the war and that government must include it in textbooks.

Young academicians were also concerned over the ignorance of most of the students about the 1979 war, even as information about Vietnam’s just and defensive stand against the Chinese 1979 aggression remains vague.

Vietnamese youth have also been shown movies projecting Chinese culture and history. The wounds left by the 1979 war still haunt the Vietnamese people, reported Geo Politica. (ANI)


Vietnam To Welcome Tourists Again With Unclear Quarantine & Testing Rules

Vietnam is poised to welcome international travellers on Tuesday but a lack of clarity on the rules of a wider reopening, while the coronavirus is still rampaging, is causing confusion.

It remains unclear what kind of quarantine and testing rules the Southeast Asian nation will impose on foreign visitors when it reopens after a two-year closure. It doesn’t help that Vietnam has been seeing a surge, with daily cases averaging about 165,000 in the past week through March 14.

The tourism resumption was announced on February 17 with the government saying it would lift most curbs starting March 15 yet until now, the government hasn’t issued specific guidelines.

It said a month ago that tourists must present proof of being vaccinated or having recovered from Covid-19 with a negative test result; and once landed in Vietnam, must undergo 24 hours of self-quarantine. In November, the country started allowing international travellers on group tours and only to select destinations provided they were vaccinated or have recovered from the virus, and can show a negative test taken in the past 72 hours or less.

While the tourism ministry favoured a quarantine-free broad reopening, the health ministry on March 1 proposed ordering tourists to undergo a three-day self-isolation.

A day before the reopening, Deputy Premier Vu Duc Dam directed the health ministry to “promptly revise regulations and requirements” for foreign tourists and send the proposal to the tourism ministry by the end of March 14. Still, there isn’t a guidance available on government websites.

The confusion doesn’t help Vietnam’s travel industry, Pham Ha, chief executive of Hanoi-based tour operator Lux Group, wrote in a March 9 opinion piece in VnExpress International.

Officials showed some movement on rules Tuesday by announcing a resumption of 15-day visa exemptions for citizens of 13 countries, including France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia and South Korea, according to a post on the government’s website.

Tourism accounted for 9.2% of GDP in 2019, rising from a 6.3% contribution in 2015, according to government data. Vietnam aims to host 18 million foreign travellers by 2026, matching the number of guests pre-pandemic, according to a report by Tuoi Tre.

First community cases of Omicron coronavirus strain detected in Vietnam

Hanoi [Vietnam] (ANI/Sputnik): Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City has identified the country’s first cases of the Omicron coronavirus strain in people who have not traveled abroad, media reported.
According to the Vietnamese VnExpress news outlet, three COVID-19 patients in Ho Chi Minh City were confirmed on Tuesday to be infected with the Omicron variant. Local authorities are currently testing people who have had close contacts with those infected, the media said.
According to VnExpress, a total of 73 cases of the Omicron strain were reported in the country, 70 of those infected people arrived from abroad.
The first case of the Omicron infection was detected in Vietnam in late December last year.
The Omicron strain was first detected in South Africa in late November. The strain contains more mutations in the spike protein — 32 — than all previous variants, meaning that it could hamper the body’s immune response and spread more easily. (Image source: Instagram)

Exporters could lose upto USD 175 mln due to stranded trucks at Vietnam-China border

Hanoi [Vietnam]: Exporters could lose USD 131 to 175 million as thousands of container trucks remain stuck at the Vietnam and China border.
A truck typically carries goods worth Vietnamese dong (VND) 500-900 million, and the costs of renting the truck and hiring a driver could increase by VND100 million-plus other expenses, chairman of Vietnam Fruit Association Dang Phuc Nguyen told VnExpress. This means losses could hit VND3-4 trillion if fruit including dragon fruit, jackfruit, watermelons and mangoes grow rotten due to delays, he said.
As of December 21, there are 6,200 container trucks stuck at the border with China, among which 4,400 are in Lang Son Province, according to Vietnam Customs.
Exporters are stuck between a rock and a hard place: they cannot cross the border to sell in China, but returning to sell domestically would likely result in a major loss.
“Dragon fruit prices in Hanoi are around VND4,000 per kilogram or a quarter of export prices. This will make us suffer heavy losses, not to mention other expenses,” said Tran Ngoc Hiep, CEO of dragon fruit exporter Thanh Long Hoang Hau.
The delay in clearance is due to Chinese authorities having tightened COVID-19 safety measures.
They also reported technical difficulties in their network system, said Hoang Khanh Duy, deputy head of Dong Dang Economic Zone in Lang Son.
Delays in clearance in other localities, including Quang Ninh and Cao Bang, and stoppage in Lao Cai, force most trucks to pour into Lang Son, he said.
Driver Nguyen Van Toi, with ten years of experience driving long distances, said the clearance delay happens every year but that this year it is especially long.
Many stranded drivers have been forced to cook their own meals on the spot.
Taking advantage of the situation, the local food vendors have increased the price, some drivers had to order food from locals priced at VND 50,000 (USD 2.18) a portion, reported VNExpress.Moreover, the drivers have to go through many difficulties. Some of them had to rest on a hammock.
Lang Son authorities on December 14 had a phone discussion with Chinese authorities to propose solutions to clear the goods, especially for agricultural produce.
Meanwhile, the Chinese customs authorities earlier told officials of Vietnam’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development that COVID-19 checks on goods are necessary procedures.

From Indian perspective, Vietnam is key partner for ASEAN, Indo-Pacific: Jaishankar

New Delhi (India): Asserting that India’s Act East policy is a guiding partner and helped in the larger Indo-Pacific approach, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Friday said that from the Indian perspective, Vietnam is a key partner in both ASEAN and Indo-Pacific.
Speaking at the celebrations of the 5th anniversary of the India-Vietnam comprehensive strategic partnership, Jaishakar highlighted that both countries have a substantial agenda in process, whether it is commerce, connectivity or culture. “India’s Act East policy has been the guiding principle of our engagement with ASEAN partners and Vietnam is no exception. From the Indian perspective, Vietnam is a key partner both in ASEAN and Indo-Pacific. We already have a substantial agenda on the way whether it is commerce, connectivity or culture,” Jaishankar said.
Noting that the political and defence cooperation between India and Vietnam has been growing steadily, the Foreign Minister said: “The visit of Vietnam delegation today led by his President Vuong Dinh Hue only underscore that how much we can do with greater ambition and higher commitment.”
Jaishakar also said that as a political and security partners India and Vietnam have converging interests in a multipolar and rebalancing world.
“We have been supporting each other’s objectives whether in ASEAN led forums or global platforms. Our cooperation in the UN security council this year has been exemplary, our shared respect for the international laws including clause 1982 and a rule-based order, there is a strong commonality,” he said.
On Thursday, a Parliamentary delegation led by the Chairman of the National Assembly (Parliament) of Vietnam, Vuong Dinh Hue, called on Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla.
Noting that the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Vietnam in 2016 and the virtual summit between the Prime Ministers of the two countries in December 2020 has given a new direction to India-Vietnam relations, Birla expressed satisfaction that from political exchanges to the fields of defence, trade, commerce and culture bilateral relations have been further strengthened.

Vietnam reports 13,840 new cases of COVID-19

Hanoi [Vietnam]: Vietnam recorded 13,840 cases of COVID-19 in 59 localities on Tuesday, according to the Ministry of Health.
Ho Chi Minh city continued to report the highest number of infections with 965, followed by Can Tho city with 898 and Tay Ninh province with 869. The national caseload now stands at 1,337,523.
1,011,656 patients have recovered and 26,700 have died.
By Monday, nearly 130 million doses of vaccines had been administered.

Vietnam reports 9,531 new COVID-19 cases, 1,084,625 in total

Hanoi [Vitenam]: Vietnam reported 9,531 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday, including 9,518 locally transmitted and 13 imported, according to its Ministry of Health.
Most of the community cases were detected in southern localities, including 1,046 in Ho Chi Minh City, 669 in Binh Duong province, and 621 in Dong Nai province. The infections brought the total tally to 1,084,625, with 23,685 deaths, said the ministry. Nationwide, as many as 900,337 COVID-19 patients have so far recovered, up 16,773 from Friday.
Over 106.5 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines, including more than 40 million second doses, have been administered, according to the ministry.
Vietnam has by far gone through four coronavirus waves of increasing scale, complication, and infectivity. As of Saturday, the country has registered nearly 1,080,000 locally transmitted COVID-19 cases since the start of the current wave in late April, the ministry said.

Vietnamese PM to attend China-ASEAN special summit

Hanoi [Vietnam]: Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh will attend the special summit commemorating the 30th anniversary of the dialogue relations between China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on Monday via video conference, a Vietnamese spokesperson said Thursday.
Le Thi Thu Hang, spokesperson of the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, made the remarks at a regular press briefing in the Vietnamese capital Hanoi. This is an opportunity for the leaders from both sides to assess China-ASEAN cooperation in the past 30 years and set out important directions in the time to come, Hang said.

Vietnam re-elected to UN International Law Commission

Hanoi [Vietnam]: Vietnamese Ambassador to the UN Nguyen Hong Thao has become a member of the UN International Law Commission (ILC) for the 2023-2027 term.
Ambassador Thao was re-elected on Friday at the 76th UN General Assembly in New York with 145 votes for out of 191 votes, ranking 4th among 11 candidates in Asia – Pacific. At the UN headquarters shortly after being elected, Ambassador Thao told reporters that he is proud to continue to contribute to Vietnam’s rising position, living up to international friends’ expectations for Vietnam’s role of formulating international law to settle all disputes and promote cooperation among peoples. He pledged to make more efforts in his second term to glorify Vietnam in the international arena.
Thao was the first Vietnamese elected to the ILC from 2017 to 2022. He graduated with a Doctor of Law degree from Paris I School, Sorbonne University of France, and held important positions such as Vice Chairman of the National Border Commission and Head of the delegation to negotiate border agreements with neighboring countries of Vietnam.

South Africa, Vietnam, UAE to participate in Bengaluru Tech Summit 2021 for the first time

Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India]: For the first time South Africa, Vietnam and UAE will be participating in the Bengaluru Tech Summit – 2021 (BTS-2021) which will be held from November 17-19.
Dr. CN Ashwatha Narayana, the Karnataka Minister for IT/BT and S&T addressing a press conference regarding ‘Growing GIA Partnerships @ BTS 2021’ on Friday told, new countries are keen on joining GIA to explore areas of collaboration. The Global Innovation Alliance (GIA) was launched in 2017 by the Government of Karnataka as a platform to setup up technological multi-lateral relations with foreign countries.
As per the IT/BT Minister the focus is on setting up sister-city collaborations with emerging cities of Karnataka and GIA partner countries.
“For the first time, mutual participation of Karnataka and Australia through BTS and Sydney Dialogue is being arranged. As part of this, The Sydney Dialogue sessions which also will be on the same days (Nov 17-19) will be streamed on the BTS platform and likewise streaming of BTS on The Sydney Dialogue will provide an opportunity to show content from our participants. These will cover Quad space collaboration and Foreign Ministers of both countries will address on the impact of tech on democracy”, Narayana explained.
‘Beyond Bengaluru’ will be focused to encourage setting up sister city collaborations with emerging cities of Karnataka and GIA partner countries in the event which is likely to see large participation also from the European Union and Commonwealth countries.
Minister level delegation from key GIA partner countries participating in the summit includes Stuart Ayers, New South Wales Minister, Prof. Andreas Pinkwart, North Rhine-Westphalia, Timo Harakka, Government of Finland, Nguyen Quan, Former Minister of Vietnam among others.
International technology experts who will address as keynote speakers include Martin Schroeter, CEO, Kyndryl, Prof. Klaus Schwab, Founder and Chairman, World Economic Forum, Dr. Siddhartha Mukherjee, Indian- American Physician, Priya Balasubramaniam, Vice President, Operations Apple Inc., Anant Maheshwari, President, Microsoft India, GavenStandon, Executive Partner Ecosystem, Telstra, Gil Shwed, Founder and CEO, Checkpoint among others.
Australian Consul-General for South India, Sarah Kirlew who attend virtually announced that Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison will lead Australia’s delegation to the BTS-2021.
Highlighting sessions include “Deepening India – Australia ties in ‘tech & innovation” by Australia, “Healthcare & Medical Technology” by Germany, “Digital Health in Finland: Developing AI and VR tools to support the growth of health technology businesses” by Finland among others, Narayana added.
GIA sessions will throw light on key issues of Cyber Security and Related Research Applications, Digital trust in a post-pandemic world, Driving Next with Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, Developing Artificial Intelligence and Visual Reality Tools for developing health care technology.
He further told that virtual booths set up by Australia, Pennsylvania, the UK, Toronto Business Development Centre, NRW, and the USA will be part of the event.

Korean government to import 200 tons of urea from Vietnam next week at 0 pc quota tariff

eoul [South Korea] : In order to ease a supply shortage of urea water solution, the Korean government will increase urea water solution imported from Australia from 20,000 liters to 27,000 liters and import 200 tons of vehicle urea from Vietnam within next week.
For smooth import process, the government will cut quota tariffs from current 5-6 per cent to 0 per cent and support quick customs clearance. It also will hold daily meeting until the situation backs to normal. On the morning of the 8th, the government held a joint response meeting with ministries over the supply shortage of urea water solution presided over by Lee Eog-weon, the 1st Vice Minister of Economy and Finance.
At this meeting, 1st Vice Minister of Economy and Finance Lee Eog-weon, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of the Interior and Safety, Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, National Tax Service, Korea Customs Service, Public Procurement Service, National Police Agency, and National Fire Agency attended.
The meeting was held to more effectively implement and systematically support the plans decided at the 2nd Foreign Economic Security Strategy Meeting over the supply shortage of urea water solution organized by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy and Finance Hong Nam-ki on the previous day.
In order to diversify urea water solution exporting countries, where Korea is currently highly dependent on China, the government will actively importing from third countries and securing supplies quickly from countries with high import potential.
In addition, it will increase imported urea water solution from Australia from initial 20,000 liters to 27,000 liters.
It will also import 200 tons of vehicle urea from Vietnam within next week. 200 tons of urea is about 200,000 liters. The government said it is negotiating to import additional urea from Vietnam and import about 10,000 tons from various countries.

Vietnam named as Asia’s leading country for girls’ rights

Hanoi [Vietnam]: Vietnam is ranked 4th on the list of top Asian countries for girls’ rights.
Vietnam is one of the leading Asian countries in promoting girls’ political participation rights, according to a report released November 5 by Plan International. The report also identifies opportunities for girls and women in 19 countries in Asia and 14 countries in the Pacific. Vietnam ranks 4th in the above list. In particular, Vietnam leads the way in law and politics, along with the Philippines and Thailand; ranks second in political voice after Singapore. Vietnam’s health and education indicators also rose from those released in 2020.

COP26: 40 countries including Vietnam agree to phase out coal-fired power

Glasgow [UK]: The 26th UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) is witnessing strong commitments to protect the planet.
After declaring an end to deforestation by 2030, the leaders of more than 40 countries around the world agreed on Thursday to phase out coal-fired power generation, raising hopes for an agreement to hold the increase in global average temperature below 1.5°-2°C over pre-industrial levels. Countries that use much coal-fired power like Canada, Poland, South Korea, Ukraine, Indonesia and Vietnam have pledged to phase out coal and stop construction of more coal-fired power plants by the 2040s at the latest, according to the Declaration on the transition from coal-fired power to clean power globally.
In addition, about 20 countries and organizations have pledged not to finance fossil energy projects abroad from the end of next year.

Vietnam, France deepen strategic partnership

Hanoi [Vietnam]: Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh met with French President Emmanuel Macron and attended a banquet hosted by the French President on Thursday.
During the meeting, President Macron welcomed the official visit to France by PM Chinh during his first trip to Europe as Prime Minister of Vietnam. He spoke highly of Vietnam’s role and position in the region, and expressed his wish to further deepen the Vietnam-France strategic partnership. The French President thanked Vietnam for giving medical masks to France when the COVID-19 pandemic broke out in 2020, and announced that France will provide Vietnam with an additional 400,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine through the bilateral channel and 970,000 other doses through the COVAX mechanism, raising the total number of vaccines donated to Vietnam so far to more than 2 million doses.
PM Chinh thanked France for the support in vaccine and medical supplies and said he hoped the European country will continue to help Vietnam in medical supplies and the production technology of medicine for COVID-19 treatment.
As 2023 will mark the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the Vietnam-France diplomatic relations and the 10th anniversary of their Strategic Partnership, both leaders agreed to jointly develop annual plans with specific tasks to deepen bilateral ties. President Macron said France is ready to coordinate with Vietnam to prepare for the 12th Vietnam-France decentralized cooperation conference in Hanoi in 2022.
Discussing global and regional issues of mutual concern, the French President said that in its Indo-Pacific strategy France highly appreciated ASEAN’s centrality, as well as attaches importance to ensuring security, safety and freedom of navigation and overflight. He voiced his support for the settlement of disputes by peaceful means in line with international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, particularly concerning the East Sea issue.
PM Chinh hailed France’s role in the European Union and the international arena, and welcomed countries, including France, to bring into full play their role and responsibility to contribute to common peace, stability and prosperity in the region.
The two leaders agreed to issue a joint statement on the occasion of PM Chinh’s visit to France.
PM Chinh conveyed invitations to visit Vietnam from Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong and President Nguyen Xuan Phuc to President Macron, and the invitations were accepted with pleasure.

Toshiba to shift 30-year old production unit out of China amid ‘reducing profits’

Amid Japan’s ongoing tussle with Beijing, tech giant Toshiba will shift its 30-year old production unit from the Dalian city of China to Vietnam or Japan.

Beijing [China] September 12 : The plant is Toshiba’s first-ever production unit in China that employs roughly 650 people, makes industrial motors and broadcast transmitters. But the production unit found itself on the chopping block due to a steep drop in production and decided to shutter it down by the end of this month, Nikkei Asia reported. The operators informed that they will initiate the liquidation process of this production unit as soon as October and the capacity will be shifted to Vietnam and Japan.
The move came amid the ongoing tussle between Beijing and Tokyo over China’s growing clout in both the South China Sea and the East China Sea over the past few months, partly in response to Beijing’s concerns over the increasing US military presence in the region because of escalating Sino-US tensions.
Meanwhile, Beijing also claims sovereignty over almost the entire South China Sea and has overlapping territorial claims with Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Taiwan.
Earlier, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) had also aired a video in which it threatened Tokyo with a nuclear response and “full-scale war” if it interfered in China’s handling of Taiwan.

Vietnamese envoy thanks India for delivering oxygen concentrators

New Delhi [India]: Vietnam’s envoy to India Pham Sanh Chau on Wednesday thanked New Delhi for delivering oxygen and oxygen concentrators in time to save thousands of lives in Vietnam during the pandemic.
While speaking to ANI in New Delhi, he said, “We are grateful that the Indian government delivered oxygen and oxygen concentrators just in time to save thousands of lives. It was delivered by an Indian Navy ship. We will never forget this. A friend in need is a friend indeed.” Pham Sanh Chau and India’s Minister of State for External Affairs and Culture Meenakashi Lekhi attended the installation ceremony of Vietnam’s founding father and former President Ho Chi Minh’s bust at New Delhi’s Chanakyapuri today.
“I am proud of the fact that this bust has been unveiled today. The way Mahatma Gandhi lives and India lives in the hearts of Vietnamese, Ho Chi Minh is our hero too and he lives in our hearts, ” Lekhi said.
“I’m happy that on the occasion of Amrit Mahotsav, we are celebrating the spirit of India, which goes beyond our jurisdictional borders and that spirit lives through so many other leaders who have inspired generations,” Lekhi added.
Vietnam is in touch with New Delhi on Made-in-India vaccines.
“We are having a discussion on vaccines. We understand India has restrictions on the export of vaccines. We hope when India vaccinates all its population, Vietnam will be one of the countries that will be able to access vaccines produced in India,” Pham Sanh added.
Earlier in August, social media has been abuzz with a photograph of a helicopter perched precariously upon the rooftop of a building in the Vietnamese city of Saigon in 1975 rescuing desperate people and similar scenes of desperation was witnessed after the Taliban overtook Kabul.
In August, the US evacuated its embassy staff from Kabul via helicopter similarly as in 1975 Washington had evacuated its embassy staff via chopper as the People’s Army of Vietnam (PAVN) and National Liberation Front of South Vietnam captured Saigon.

When asked about this comparison to the Vietnamese envoy he said, “Vietnam is saying let the past be the past.”

INS Airavat arrives at Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam with Covid relief supplies

Ho Chi Minh City [Vietnam]: As part of the ongoing Mission SAGAR, INS Airavat arrived at Ho Chi Minh City Port in Vietnam with COVID Relief Material on 30 August, the Ministry of Defence informed on Monday.
The ship is carrying 100 Metric Tons of Liquid Medical Oxygen in 05 ISO Containers and 300 Oxygen Concentrators of 10 LPM capacity each based on the requirement projected by the Government of Vietnam in its fight against the ongoing COVID19 pandemic. “INS Airavat reaches Vietnam with oxygen supplies. Indo-Pacific approach in practice,” External Affairs Minister (EAM) S Jaishankar tweeted.
INS Airavat, an indigenously built Landing Ship Tank (Large) under the Eastern Naval Command based at Visakhapatnam, is on a deployment to South East Asia for trans-shipment of COVID Relief aid.

A defence ministry release stated the ship had earlier entered Tanjung Priok Port in Jakarta, Indonesia on 24 August, 2021 and disembarked 10 Liquid Medical Oxygen Containers requested by the Government of Indonesia.
As part of the Government of India’s vision of SAGAR (Security and Growth for All in the Region), the Indian Navy has been proactively engaging with countries in the region and has been at the forefront of numerous humanitarian missions spanning the entire extent of the Indian Ocean including South/ South East Asia and East Africa.
India and Vietnam enjoy a strong traditional bond of friendship and have been working together towards a safer maritime domain. The two navies cooperate in various areas including a composite training programme in the fields of the submarine, aviation and technical training, and regularly carry out joint naval exercises in the form of bilateral exercises.
The current deployment of the ship aims to further strengthen the strategic relationship. The ship will depart Ho Chi Minh City post disembarkation of the medical supplies and as part of the ongoing Mission SAGAR continue onwards to deliver medical supplies to other friendly nations in the region.

Why Afghanistan’s fall is compared with Vietnam?

After the fall of Afghanistan to Taliban, many drew parallels with the situation in Vietnam from half a century ago in which the US war collapsed into ultimate ruin.

Washington [US], August 18 : Social media was abuzz with a photograph of a single helicopter perched precariously upon the rooftop of a building in Saigon rescuing desperate people and similar scenes of desperation was witnessed after Taliban overtook Kabul. An investigative journalist Stefan Simanowitz tweeted pictures that showed resemblences between images of the US evacuation in Saigon in 1975 and those in Kabul in 2021.
“PHOTO 1: US diplomat evacuates the US from embassy via helicopter as the Taliban enter Kabul from all sides. Afghanistan (2021). PHOTO 2: US diplomat evacuate the US from embassy via helicopter as the PAVN & Viet Cong capture of Saigon, Vietnam (1975),” tweeted Stefan Simanowitz, an investigative journalist.
Andrew Wiest, writing in The Washington Post said that This conjures up a dramatic scene from a half-century ago — one that told a sobering story of a wartime failure that once seemed unimaginable. A single helicopter sat precariously on a Saigon rooftop in 1975, rescuing desperate stragglers as the war in Vietnam collapsed into ultimate ruin.
Most Americans were shocked at the rapidity of South Vietnam’s demise, those who had followed the unfolding of the war closely knew that the end was coming.
They also knew its cause: The United States hadn’t helped build a sustainable South Vietnamese government and military, something that seems to have happened again in Afghanistan.
The same fallacy was repeated in Afghanistan. US capacity-building efforts were always deeply inadequate. The United States consistently sought shortcuts, such as opting to train “Afghan local police,” which Afghans more accurately called militias. Unlike training Afghan police, which was more resource-intensive and provided by contractors, training these militias was still dependent on contractors but less so, Foreign Policy reported.
Moreover, for the fiscal year 2021, the US Congress appropriated around USD 3 billion for Afghanistan’s fighting forces, the lowest amount since the fiscal year 2008.
The US made the same mistake in Vietnam when it turned its eye to the creation of a South Vietnamese military that was a smaller carbon copy of its own — a military based on lavish use of firepower and endless supplies. In short, it would be a rich nation’s military.
The result was a military, dubbed the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN), which won battles on the strength of massive US-supplied firepower. But the ARVN was never linked closely enough to its people or nation, and it wasn’t sustainable, says Wiest.
Everyone from the CIA in 1968 to Gen Creighton Abrams, commander of US forces in South Vietnam, in 1969 to President Richard M Nixon in 1972 acknowledged that South Vietnam was too fragile to survive without US military support, reported The Washington Post.
As Nixon and national security adviser Henry Kissinger plotted America’s exit from the war, Kissinger agreed with his boss’s assessment that it would doom South Vietnam but added that the country was a backwater and “no one will give a d–n.”
So it was that in 1973, after over a decade of battlefield victories but with no end to the war in sight, the United States ended its war in Southeast Asia, said Wiest.
Ironically, this was again repeated in 2021, when present US President Joe Biden made it clear that America’s “forever war” would be completed by August 31 in Afghanistan even after US intelligence predicted Afghan military collapse.
After the helicopters left Saigon in 1975, America did its level best to forget the lessons of our misbegotten adventure in Southeast Asia. The military pivoted to technology and manoeuvre to win short sharp wars, hoping never to face a war like Vietnam again, reported The Washington Post.
But in Afghanistan, a war that began quickly after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the United States again confronted a long war without front lines.
In another eerie parallel to Vietnam, the conflict occurred in a place few Americans understood in service of a nation that had a little hold over its own people and alongside an Afghan military of dubious ability and motivation, says Wiest.
Many battles were won, and an Afghan army was created that mirrored our own. But those victories and that military sat atop a rickety national structure, one full of corruption. Afghan politicians commanded little loyalty from the public, and the government collapsed in a matter of days without US support.
The lesson of Vietnam — and Afghanistan — is that the United States can’t win wars for nations with weak governments battling against internal turmoil and external threats, says Wiest.

Indian Navy to deploy 4 warships in South China sea for 2 months

New Delhi [India], August 3 : A task force of four warships from the Indian Navy’s Eastern Fleet is scheduled to proceed on an over two-month overseas deployment to South East Asia, the South China Sea and Western Pacific, which will include exercises with Quad partners the United States, Japan and Australia, the Defence Ministry announced.
The deployment of the Indian Naval task force will begin early this month and includes guided-missile destroyer Ranvijay, guided-missile frigate Shivalik, anti-submarine corvette Kadmatt and guided-missile corvette Kora. The latter three ships are indigenously designed and are equipped with a versatile array of weapons and sensors, and are Made in India by Defence Shipyards, a Defence Ministry press release said.
The warships will participate in a series of exercises during the two-month deployment, including the Malabar 2021 naval exercises with US, Japanese and Australian forces.
In other bilateral exercises during the deployment, the Indian warships will work with naval units from South China Sea littoral states, including Singapore, Vietnam, Indonesia and the Philippines, the Defence Ministry said.
During the deployment in the Indo Pacific, the ships are scheduled to participate in bilateral exercises with the Vietnamese Peoples’ Navy, the Republic of Philippines Navy, Republic of Singapore Navy (SIMBEX), Indonesian Navy (Samudra Shakti) and Royal Australian Navy (AUS-INDEX).
Further, they would also participate in multilateral exercise MALABAR-21 alongside the Japanese Maritime Self Defence Force, Royal Australian Navy and the United States Navy in Western Pacific.
“These maritime initiatives enhance synergy and coordination between the Indian Navy and friendly countries, based on common maritime interests and commitment towards Freedom of Navigation at sea,” the release said.
“The deployment of the Indian Navy ships seeks to underscore the operational reach, peaceful presence and solidarity with friendly countries towards ensuring good order in the maritime domain and to strengthen existing bonds between India and countries of the Indo Pacific,” the defence ministry said.
The Indian Navy undertakes regular deployments to friendly foreign countries and Indian and the Pacific Ocean regions in furtherance of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s initiative of ‘Security and Growth for All in the Region – SAGAR’. Further, such engagements build ‘Bridges of Friendship’ and strengthen international cooperation.
Moreover, it will enhance military cooperation with friendly countries which is India’s pursuit as per ‘Act East’ policy.
The South China Sea has become a hotbed of naval activity in recent weeks. Last week, a British aircraft carrier strike group transited the 1.3 million square mile waterway, while an American surface action group and forces from China’s People’s Liberation Army staged exercises in it.
Beijing claims almost all of the South China Sea as its sovereign territory, turning numerous obscure reefs and sandbars throughout the waterway into man-made artificial islands heavily fortified with missiles, runways and weapons systems.

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