VIETNAM NEWS HEADLINES DECEMBER 21

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VN martial artist wins gold medal at 2021 Asian Karate Championships

Hoang Thi My Tam on December 20 clinched a gold medal at the 2021 Asian Karate Championships held in Kazakhstan.

The 18-year-old martial artist defeated N. Penpisut of Thailand in the final of the women’s kumite 55kg in the U21 championship. Earlier, she won against rivals from the United Arab Emirates and Iran.

The 2021 Asian Karate Championships are the 17th edition of the Senior Asian Karate Championship and 19th edition of the Cadet, Junior & U21 Championships, with the participation of nearly 500 competitors from 23 countries and territories. Vietnam sent nine karate athletes to the event, which runs until December 22.

Vietnamese students win four golds, two silvers at Int’l Junior Science Olympiad

All the Vietnamese contestants at the 18th International Junior Science Olympiad (IJSO) in 2021 won prizes.

The students, who are all 10th graders from Hanoi-Amsterdam High School for the Gifted, brought home four gold and two silver medals.

The IJSO 2021 was hosted by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) from December 12 – 22 in both in-person and online forms, attracting the participation of nearly 400 candidates from 59 countries and territories around the world.

Candidates have gone through three exams including: multiple choice, theory and practice, with questions in the subjects of physics, chemistry and biology. This is the 10th year Vietnam has sent students to the competition.

Typhoon Rai weakens into tropical depression, unable to affect Vietnam

Typhoon Rai, the ninth storm to hit the East Sea this year, rapidly weakened into a tropical depression on December 20 evening and no longer threatened Vietnam’s waters and mainland.

According to the National Centre for Hydro-meteorological Forecasting, at 10pm on December 20, the centre of the tropical depression was about 180 km east of China’s Hainan Island with winds of 40-50km per hour.

On December 21 morning, it is forecast to move northeast at a speed of 20km per hour and then will weaken into a low pressure zone.

However, ships operating in the East Sea are still warned of strong winds as an impact of the depression.

Vietnam sees crucial need to prevent, combat hi-tech criminals hinh anh 1

Vietnam sees crucial need to prevent, combat hi-tech criminals

Along with benefits, the booming social networks have brought many challenges in term of cyber security to Vietnam.

Statistics from British organisation We Are Social showed that as of the beginning of 2021, 70 percent of Vietnamese population were using the Internet with average duration of six hours per day. Popular social networks in the country include Facebook, Zalo, Tiktok and Youtube.

The Cyber Security Authority under the Ministry of Public Security reported that in the past decade, hostile forces and bad elements have used 8,784 websites and blogs with foreign domain names, along with 381 websites and blogs with domestic domain names to popularise wrongful and toxic information.

Vietnam highlights importance of long-term political solution for Syria

Ambassador Dang Dinh Quy, Permanent Representative of Vietnam to the UN, has emphasised the need to find a long-term political solution for Syria despite the longest period of calm since the beginning of the conflict in 2011.

He made the statement at a United Nations Security Council’s meeting on Syria on December 20 with the attendance of Geir O. Pedersen, Special Envoy of the Secretary‑General for Syria and Martin Griffiths, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator.

The Vietnamese diplomat called on Syrian parties to engage in constructive negotiations and underlined the importance of international community support for the process. He called for increased humanitarian assistance and highlighted the need for developing comprehensive post-conflict recovery support to ensure the self-reliance of the Syrian people.

Vietnam Embassy in RoK assists rescued Vietnamese sailors

The Vietnamese Embassy and the labour management board in the Republic of Korea (RoK) on December 20 met and handed over new passports for 17 Vietnamese sailors, who were rescued in a ship accident off the RoK island of Ulleung on December 1.

The Houei Crystal ship, registered in Panama, with 18 Vietnamese crew members, sank in the border waters between the RoK, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, and Japan. Seventeen crewmembers were found after drifting into the RoK’s waters, rescued by the Korean Coast Guard, and brought to the Donghae port in Gangwon province on December 2. One of the sailors remains missing.

The 17 sailors are staying at a hotel near the Incheon airport while completing their procedures for returning home. Due to the accident, they lost all personal identification documents. The embassy has granted them with new passports and helped with the procedures so that they can leave for Vietnam on December 25.

NA Chairman meets diplomats, heads of Vietnamese diplomatic representative agencies

National Assembly Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue on December 20 met with ambassadors and heads of Vietnamese representative agencies abroad who returned to attend the 31st Diplomatic Conference in Hanoi.

Hue asked ambassadors and heads of overseas representative agencies to closely follow the Party and State leaders’ guiding viewpoints presented at the National Conference on Foreign Affairs.

The NA and NA Standing Committee will continue giving the top priority to the diplomatic sector when considering and deciding issues within its competence, he said, adding that the NA’s external activities will continue to be strengthened in combination with the Party, State and people-to-people diplomacy, contributing to stepping up global integration and improving the NA and country’s position on international arena.

50th anniversary of Vietnam – Chile diplomatic ties marked

The Vietnam Union of Friendship Organisations (VUFO) and the Foreign Ministry held a ceremony in Hanoi on December 20 marking the 50th anniversary of Vietnam – Chile diplomatic ties (March 25).

Chile was the first South American country to establish diplomatic ties with Vietnam on March 25, 1971. Later in 2007, the two countries officially became comprehensive partners.

Since the Vietnam – Chile Free Trade Agreement took effect in 2014, bilateral economic-trade ties have expanded remarkably.

Ambulances presented to five localities in COVID-19 fight

As part of the campaign “Breath Again” launched by the European Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam, five ambulances were presented to medical stations in Ho Chi Minh City and the southern provinces of Binh Duong, Dong Nai, Long An and Hau Giang on December 20.

The vehicles were funded by the German sportswear maker Adidas at a cost of 245,100 EUR, in support of frontline medical staff in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic.

The campaign was launched in August when Vietnam was facing the fourth pandemic wave. It has so far raised over 1.5 million EUR together with ambulances and medical supplies such as ventilators to present to over 30 hospitals across Vietnam.

Slight reduction in new COVID-19 cases on December 20

During 24 hours from 4pm December 19 to 4pm December 20, Vietnam recorded 14,977 COVID-19 infections, with 14,966 domestic cases across 61 provinces and cities – down 1,127 cases from the previous day, according to the Ministry of Health.

The capital city of Hanoi posted the highest number of infections at 1,612, followed by Ben Tre at 985, and Ca Mau at 967. The nation has so far documented 1,555,455 coronavirus infections.

On December 20, the country saw 225 deaths from the disease, including 56 in HCM City. As a result, the death toll hit 29,791.

A further 1,937 patients were given the all-clear on the same day, taking the total number of recoveries to 1,109,899. There were 7,615 patients nationwide in serious conditions, with 906 requiring invasive ventilation and 22 on life support (ECMO).

HCM City receives financial, medical assistance for COVID-19 prevention

The Chinese Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City has donated 210 oxygen generators and 200 million VND (8,722 USD) to the city and its neighbouring southern provinces of Dong Nai, Binh Duong and Tien Giang serving the combat of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The city has so far received medical equipment and supplies and COVID-19 treatment drugs worth more than 2.74 trillion VND from other localities, businesses, individuals, organisations, international friends, and overseas Vietnamese.

Christmas cheer in HCM City despite pandemic

Though COVID-19 makes the Christmas atmosphere quieter than in previous years, local people in Ho Chi Minh City are still keen to welcome in the season of joy, which is now just a few days away.

Many people have chosen to celebrate the season with family and friends early to avoid large gatherings on Christmas Eve.

With Christmas coming as COVID-19 lingers, local people in Ho Chi Minh City are experiencing more subdued celebrations this year to prevent the spread of the pandemic.

NA Standing Committee to continue 6th session on Dec 21-22

Members of the National Assembly (NA) Standing Committee will continue to sit for the 6th session on December 21-22.

In this meeting, the NA Standing Committee will consider amending its Resolution 524/2012/UBTVQH13 dated September 20, 2012 on a number of spending regimes to ensure the operation of the NA, the NA’s report on ombudsman work in November, the committee’s work programme in 2022.

Members of the committee will continue to give opinons on a draft resolution on the pilot application of special mechanisms and policies for the development of Can Tho city, and a draft Resolution on fiscal and monetary mechanisms and policies to support the implementation of the socio-economic recovery and development programme.

HCM City raises over 2.44 million USD for the poor

The Vietnam Fatherland Front Committee of Ho Chi Minh City on December 20 received nearly 56 billion VND (2.44 million USD) presented to the city’s ‘For the Poor’ fund. The fund aims to ease difficulties facing the disadvantaged in the city ahead of the 2022 Lunar New Year (Tet) holiday.

Donations to the fund reflect national solidarity and joint efforts in improving local people’s lives amid the complexities brought by COVID-19, thereby contributing to the national target programme on sustainable poverty reduction, she added.

This year, the fund has raised more than 156 billion VND. Local authorities have built and repaired houses for the beneficiaries, presented gift packages to 156 Heroic Mothers, wounded soldiers and the poor.

Quiz on Vietnam’s history, culture returns

A quiz on Vietnam’s history and culture for high school students was launched by the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union (HCYU)’s Central Committee and the Ministry of Education and Training on December 20.

The “Proud of Vietnam” quiz, the fourth of its kind, aims to drum up students’ interest in exploring and studying national history and culture, inspire patriotism and national pride, and raise sense of responsibility among the young Vietnamese in constructing and safeguarding the nation.

It will be available on tuhaovietnam.doanthanhnien.vn and mobile app “Thanh nien Viet Nam” (Vietnamese youth), with the national finale and award ceremony slated for March 26, 2022.

Health Ministry proposes suspending large gatherings during Tet

The Ministry of Health has proposed that all non-essential activities, entertainment and festive activities in localities with a high risk of COVID-19 resurgence be suspended during the upcoming Tet (Lunar New Year) holidays.

The ministry sent an official document to the Government regarding strengthening anti-pandemic measures during the country’s Lunar New Year period.

In the document, the ministry said many localities are still recording a large number of COVID-19 cases in the community, especially in localities with high population density, high rates of trade and travel activities.

In addition, the Omicron variant is spreading rapidly, with complicated and unpredictable developments in many countries around the world.

To ensure the effective prevention and control of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ministry of Health proposed the Government consider stopping unnecessary gatherings of crowds, entertainment activities, festivals and religious activities in localities at risk of an outbreak during the Lunar New Year holiday.

Measures sought to improve efficiency of prevention, treatment of AO related diseases

Vietnamese and foreign scientists, experts and doctors gathered at a conference on December 20 to seek measures to improve the efficiency of preventive measures against and treatment to diseases related to Agent Orange/dioxin exposure.

From 1961 to 1971, the US army conducted 19,905 missions, spraying about 80 million litres of toxic chemicals – 61 percent of which, containing 366kg of dioxin, was AO – on 3.06 million ha of land in southern Vietnam, equivalent to nearly 25 percent of the south’s total area. Up to 86 percent of the affected area was sprayed more than twice, and 11 percent more than 10 times.

About 4.8 million Vietnamese people have been exposed to AO, and more than 3 million others who are their second, third, and even fourth generations have still suffered from pains and losses.

Germany supports VGU students amid COVID-19

The World University Service (WUS) and authorities of Hessen state of Germany will provide scholarships worth 205,000 EUR (230,625 USD) to students of the Vietnamese-German University (VGU) who are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The VGU is a scientific bridge between Vietnam and Germany, and a lighthouse of the bilateral strategic partnership, he stressed. It is the first public university in Vietnam formed under an agreement between the two governments.

Since its inception in the southern province of Binh Duong in 2008, the VGU has been regarded as a key project between the two governments as well as the most successful tertiary educational cooperation project of the German government and the Hessen authorities.

Surveillance vessel transfers patient to Truong Sa island

The KN472 fisheries resources surveillance vessel timely transferred a patient from Da Tay island to a health facility on Truong Sa island of the south central province of Khanh Hoa on December 20, according to Fisheries Resources Surveillance Division No.4. The male patient, 33, was diagnosed with appendicitis.

This year, the Division 4 under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development handled 12 incidents occurring on the coastal areas from Binh Dinh to Binh Thuan provinces and Truong Sa archipelago.

Football tournament of Vietnamese community in Japan held

FC Real Robama has become the champion at the football tournament of the Vietnamese people residing in Japan’s Kanto region in 2021 (FAVIJA Kanto up).

The tournament, which wrapped up on December 19, attracted the participation of 80 teams divided into 16 groups. The runner-up belonged to FC AE38 while FC Tokai and Sao Vang JP FC grabbed third place.

The annual tournament is organised by the football association of Vietnamese people in Japan (FAVIJA) under the auspices of the Embassy of Vietnam in Japan. It is the largest culture-sport event of the Vietnamese community in Japan at large and Kanto, in particular, this year, as the COVID-19 situations in the region improved within the past month.

National conference seeks health professionals education and standards

The fifth Medical Education Conference was held in both online and in-person formats at the Thai Binh University of Medicine and Pharmacy in the northern province of Thai Binh on December 18-19, with the theme “Health Professionals Education and Standards at the Time of Change”.

The conference was jointly held by the People’s Committee of Thai Binh province, Thai Binh University of Medicine and Pharmacy, the World Health Organization (WHO), the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Health Advancement in Vietnam (HAIVN), the British Embassy in Vietnam, medical and pharmaceutical universities, domestic and foreign agencies and organisations.

Remains of martyrs reburied in Dien Bien

A memorial and reburial service was held in the northern province of Dien Bien on December 19 to rebury the remains of two Vietnamese soldiers who laid down their lives during the Dien Bien Phu campaign in 1954.

One of the martyrs was To Kim Chuy, born in 1924 in Thai Binh province. He was posthumously presented the Victory Order, third class. The remains were discovered in Dien Bien Phu city’s Na Tau commune.

Hai Van Gate under restoration

Work has stated on the restoration of Hai Van Gate, a national relic site, to preserve and promote the historic values of the relic, according to the Hue Monuments Conservation Centre.

The ground-breaking ceremony was held by the centre in partnership with the Da Nang Department of Culture and Sports on December 19. The project has total funding of over 42 billion VND (1.83 million USD).

Located 490m above sea level, Hai Van Gate sits atop its namesake mountain pass and connects Da Nang’s Lien Chieu district with Thua Thien-Hue’s Lang Co township, Phu Loc district. The relic complex was built in 1826 under the rule of the Nguyen dynasty’s King Minh Mang (1791-1841). The gate was recognised as a national relic site in April 2017.

Vietnam, Cambodia foster economic, science and technology partnership

Vietnamese Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son and Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Prak Sokhonn co-chaired the 19th meeting of the Vietnam-Cambodia Joint Committee on economic, science and technology cooperation via videoconference on December 19.

A minute of the meeting is expected to be signed in Phnom Penh on December 21 during the State visit to Cambodia by President Nguyen Xuan Phuc.

The next meeting of the committee is scheduled to be held in Vietnam in 2022.

ASEAN sets up labour inspection committee

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has cemented its network of regional labour inspectors by establishing the ASEAN Labour Inspection Committee (ALICOM). The first meeting of the committee was held online on December 15.

ALICOM aims to enhance regional cooperation to improve labour inspection efficiency in hard-to-reach sectors, and strengthen referral systems. The committee will also facilitate knowledge sharing on strategies and innovations to support labour law compliance.

The 2nd meeting of this kind will be chaired and hosted by Cambodia in 2022.

Ceremony pays tribute to former Russian military experts serving in Vietnam

A ceremony was held in St. Petersburg to pay tribute to former military experts of the Soviet Union (Russia now) who supported Vietnam during the anti-US war.

The event, held on the occasion of the 77th founding anniversary of the Vietnam People’s Army and Vietnam’s 32nd People’s Defence Festival Day (December 22), was attended by Vyacheslav Kalganov, Vice-Chairman of the Committee for External Relations of St. Petersburg; Colonel Alexei Skreblyukov, President of the St. Petersburg chapter of the Inter-regional Public Organisation of Veterans of the Vietnam War (MOOVVV), and a large number of Russian war veterans who served in Vietnam.

US to donate more COVID-19 vaccines to Vietnam

The United States will continue to deliver additional COVID-19 vaccines to Vietnam in the coming years, revealed Marie Damour, Charge D’affaires at the US Embassy in Vietnam.

Both countries have cooperated in health care for nearly 30 years and such cooperation will be continued in the coming years, the US diplomat told media workers in Hanoi on December 20. She earlier the same day attended an inauguration ceremony of the Department of Tropical Disease and Harm Reduction at Hanoi medical University Hospital. The department was established with support from the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.

50 years of Vietnam-Chile diplomatic ties marked in Hanoi

The 50th anniversary of Vietnam – Chile diplomatic ties was celebrated by the Vietnam Union of Friendship Organisations (VUFO) and the Foreign Ministry in Hanoi on December 20.

Chile was the first South American country to set up diplomatic ties with Vietnam on March 25, 1971 and the two countries officially became comprehensive partners in 2007.

Bilateral economic-trade ties have greatly expanded since the Vietnam – Chile Free Trade Agreement came into force in 2014.

Expiry dates extended on Pfizer vaccine batches

The Ministry of Health has announced the extension of an additional three months to the shelf-life of six more batches of Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine.

The extension will be applied for the batches of Pfizer vaccines with imprinted expiry dates in October, November and December 2021, and January, February and March 2022.

The expiry extension of the Pfizer vaccine is based on international norms and will not affect the quality and efficiency of the vaccine, according to the ministry.

One dead as Typhoon Rai batters coastal provinces

Typhoon Rai, the ninth typhoon of this year, hit Bình Thuận Province on Sunday, killing at least one person, according to the National Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control.

The 38-year-old fisherman from Chí Công Commune, Tuy Phong District, was confirmed dead after his boat capsized on Sunday morning.

Rough seas also sank five fishing vessels and damaged three in the waters off Tuy Phong District.

The typhoon also damaged trees, solar panels and blew away some roofs on Song Tử Tây and Đá Nam islands as it hit Khánh Hòa Province.

Cultural space opens in Van Phuc Silk Village

Images and objects telling stories about the traditional craft of silk weaving are on display at the relic site of President Hồ Chí Minh at Vạn Phúc Village, Hà Nội’s Hà Đông District.

The inauguration of the cultural space, or “Silk Weaving Space”, was launched by Hà Nội’s Department of Culture and Sports as a part of the activities to celebrate the 75th anniversary of National Resistance Day (December 19, 1946-2021).

Silk Weaving Space introduces to the public nearly 150 documents, artefacts, and images through its modern display, original art designs, and emotional highlights, divided into two main parts.

The first part takes visitors back to the history of Vạn Phúc Craft Village, enabling them to witness the stages of silk weaving and traditional tools of the craft like silkworms, silk cocoons, silk reels, bobbins, shuttles and looms.

Viet A boss detained for alleged bidding irregularities, price gouging of test kits

The Ministry of Public Security investigators on December 19 arrested Phan Quoc Viet, founder and general director of Viet A Technology Corporation, and several accomplices for allegedly violating bidding regulations and gouging prices of Covid test kits.

The Viet A boss paid a high commission to leaders of hospitals and provincial centers for disease control after they signed contracts to buy test kits from his company, according to the results of the investigation.

Pham Duy Tuyen, director of the Hai Duong Province Center for Disease Control, and some executives and employees at Viet A are under arrest for allegedly violating bidding regulations, causing serious consequences.

The price of each Covid test kit gouged by Viet A was VND470,000, much higher than its value, the local media reported.

Tuyen allegedly got VND30 billion in kickbacks for five contracts to purchase test kits worth VND151 billion from Viet A.

Viet A provided the centers for disease control and healthcare centers of 62 cities and provinces with Covid test kits, with a total value of some VND4 trillion, according to the investigators.

Bac Ninh Province approved to buy 10,000 PCR test kits from Viet A for the province’s Center for Disease Control at VND470,000 per kit, while Nam Dinh Province bought 13,536 test kits priced at VND509,250 per unit.

Most of the provinces and cities and hospitals nationwide purchased test kits from Viet A at VND470,000 or higher per kit.

The ministry’s investigators are expanding the probe into the price gouging related to Viet A and suspected collusion between many provincial and municipal centers for disease control and Viet A to get kickbacks.

Source: VNA/VOV/VNS/SGGP/SGT

HCM City proposes changes to planned urban area in its north-west

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