Please Update your browser

Your browser is out of date, and may not be compatible with our website. A list of the most popular web browsers can be found below.
Just click on the icons to get to the download page.

Jakarta Post
The Jakarta Post
Video Weather icon 30°C
DKI Jakarta, Indonesia
weather-icon
30°C Partly Cloudy

Dry and mostly cloudy throughout the day.

  • weather-icon

    Wed

    26℃ - 32℃

  • weather-icon

    Thu

    25℃ - 32℃

  • weather-icon

    Fri

    25℃ - 31℃

  • weather-icon

    Sat

    26℃ - 30℃

Vietnamese gather to commemorate border war with China

  •  

| Mon, March 21, 2016 | 09:36 pm
Vietnamese gather to commemorate border war with China A Vietnamese woman prays as more than 100 Vietnamese people gather in central Hanoi Wednesday to commemorate the anniversary of the start of Vietnam's brief but bloody border war with China. (AP/Tran Van Minh)

More than 100 people gathered in Hanoi on Wednesday to commemorate the anniversary of the start of Vietnam's brief but bloody border war with China.

Thirty seven years ago, 600,000 Chinese troops invaded northern Vietnam to "teach Vietnam a lesson" for ousting the Beijing-backed Khmer Rouge in Cambodia. China withdrew its troops after a month.

The residents lit incense Wednesday and laid flowers at the statue of King Ly Thai To, a Vietnamese hero, in a ceremony that lasted an hour. They chanted "down with the aggressors," and "Hoang Sa, Truong Sa," the Vietnamese terms for the Paracel and Spratly islands in the South China Sea.

The Paracels are claimed by Vietnam, China and Taiwan, while the Spratlys are claimed in all or parts by those three along with the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei.

The commemoration took place even though large gatherings without government approval are often stopped by the police.

There have been no official government commemorations of the war.

The Vietnamese Communist Party and government celebrated the victories over the French and then the Americans, but they "appear to forget about the border war with China and the days when China occupied Hoang Sa and Truong Sa," said one participant, Nguyen Huu Hop.

Hop said he volunteered to go to the border fight the Chinese, but that his unit was instead stationed in the capital Hanoi. He said many young men in his neighborhood were killed in the war.

After China withdrew its troops, periodical fighting continued along the border for another 10 years before the communist neighbors normalized diplomatic relations in 1991.

China is now Vietnam's largest trading partner, but relations have plunged following China' parking of an oil rig near the Paracels in May 2014.

The countries have since then tried to mend ties by exchanging high-level visits, but tensions remain over the islands.

NEWS PULSE

Comments