Vietnam Postpones Chinese Concert on Sensitive Anniversary

2018-01-19
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Protesters in the Vietnamese capital Hanoi commemorate China's seizure of Paracel islets from Vietnam in 1974, Jan. 19, 2018.
Protesters in the Vietnamese capital Hanoi commemorate China's seizure of Paracel islets from Vietnam in 1974, Jan. 19, 2018.
AFP

Vietnam postponed a concert by a Chinese artistic group on Friday, the 68th anniversary of Chinese and Vietnamese diplomatic relations, citing an electrical issue. But some in Vietnam say the show was delayed for another delicate historic anniversary.

Vietnam and China established diplomatic relations on Jan. 18, 1950, but Jan. 19, 1974, was the date of a brief naval war afte which China seized the Paracel Islands from South Vietnam, killing more than 70 sailors from the South Vietnamese navy.

The Associated Press quoted Nguyen Thai Binh, a spokesman at the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, as saying said Friday’s performance by a group from China’s Inner Mongolia region was postponed because of an unexpected electrical problem at the Opera House in Hanoi.

"I think they postponed it because of the public pressure,” said scholar Dinh Kim Phuc, referring to a public campaign on Facebook and other social media against the concert on the sensitive date.

“Whether they like it or not, they have to accept that patriotism is still the number one priority. It is unacceptable to have that event organized on the date of a big loss for Vietnam,” said Phuc, who is based in Ho Chi Minh City and studies the South China Sea dispute.

Vietnam and China, along with the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia and Taiwan, are locked in overlapping territorial disputes over some or all of the Spratly and Paracel Islands in the South China Sea.

Phuc said a small rally was held to commemorate the loss of the Paracel islands to China in 1974, one year before South Vietnam was taken over by North Vietnam’s victorious communist forces.

"It was raining this morning, and some people who were placed under guard at home could not go, so there were only a few of us going to offer incense at the statue of Tran Hung Dao,” he said referring to a Vietnamese military strategist famed for fighting off Mongol invasion in the 13th century.

“We couldn’t have a big commemoration, like every year. However, there was no repression from the security forces, like what happened several times before,” he said.

Reported by RFA’s Vietnamese Service. Translated by Emily Peyman. Written in English by Paul Eckert.

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Hate Communist

from ghet bac Ho

It’s a sad day for VN indeed!
With any country (especially in a communist countries), the date to remembrance its fallen heroes is usually a nationwide celebration. This will consist of a parade, marching bands, and various pray vigils. But, it isn’t in VN.
The VNmese government ‘leaders’ are burying their heads deeply in between the legs of their adopted fathers – China and Russia. They have turned their backs on VN and her people. They have betrayed VN and her people. They have allowed foreign soldiers to kill their own soldiers and taken VN land without protesting or demanding justice. This is a cowardly act. This is treason by every legal and national law.
And, who is out there dedicating their times and paying tributes to VNmes heroes? It’s the poors, the patriots, the loving parents, and the concerning citizens.
How could this be? How can anyone claim to be a ‘leader’ or The Party of a country when they can’t stand up for a cause? Even my little dog has feelings. He misses me whenever I go to work in the morning and rejoices whenever I come home in the afternoon!
Stupid goons, tell us where is your loyalty? Freaking shame that will not wash away in a million years!
VNCH forever!!!

Jan 23, 2018 02:42 PM

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