Overseas Vietnamese pose for a group photo in Truong Sa. 

Recalling the milestone of the first trip that brought Vietnamese expats to Truong Sa in 2012, Son said this was an unprecedented initiative.

Resolution No.36-NQ/TW issued by the Politburo on overseas Vietnamese affairs in March 2004 states that the Party and State always consider the Vietnamese communities abroad as an inseparable part of the Vietnamese nation.

Son said this means that along with the people in the homeland, OVs also have the sacred and noble responsibility and obligation to protect the Fatherland, the territory and the national sea and island sovereignty.

Soldiers in Truong Sa 

Many OVs expressed their aspiration to visit Truong Sa and see with their own eyes the sovereignty landmarks on the sea, which are being steadfastly protected by the soldiers of the Vietnamese People's Navy, Son said.

In response to this rightful aspiration, the State Committee for Overseas Vietnamese Affairs under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs raised recommendations to the Government and relevant agencies on the plan to organise visits to Truong Sa for OVs.

Those who joined the 2012 trip were amazed by the greenery of the islands, and deeply moved by the bravery and sacrifices by officials and soldiers on duty in Truong Sa, Son stressed.

Some people, upon setting foot on the islands and holding a handful of homeland sand, burst into tears. They cried because they never imagined they would have the opportunity to come to this place and because the Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelagos have always been an inseparable part of the homeland, Son went on.

The 10th delegation's visit to Truong Sa in 2023 marked a significant milestone, spotlighting the determination of the Party and the State in the foreign policy in general and in the cause of safeguarding the national sea and island sovereignty.

Former Deputy Foreign Minister and former head of the State Committee for Overseas Vietnamese Affairs, Ambassador Nguyen Thanh Son (right) and a soldier in Truong Sa

According to Son, over the recent years, OVs living, working, and studying across the globe have always been ambassadors of Truong Sa. They have proactively disseminated information and images of Truong Sa to the world through various channels, enabling international friends to know about Truong Sa and understand more about Vietnam's efforts in safeguarding its sovereignty over the sea and islands.

Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs Nguyen Minh Vu, who was head of the 10th delegation to Truong Sa and DK1 platforms, said there were 530 delegates from nearly 40 countries joining the trip. They represented various religions, including Buddhism, Catholicism, Caodaism, Hoa Hao, Protestantism, Islam, and the Vietnam Pure Land Buddhist Association.

In the 10 visits, representatives of the overseas Vietnamese communities presented gifts, artifacts, and essentials worth 26.8 billion VND (over 1.14 million USD) to people and soldiers on duty in there.

In addition to material contribution, they also established Truong Sa - Hoang Sa forums and clubs in various countries; conduct research to find new ways to improve the lives of people, officials and soldiers on the islands; and regularly organise seminars and exhibitions to affirm their love for the homeland, contributing to popularising Vietnam's sea and island sovereignty among the Vietnamese communities abroad and international friends.

The 10 visits involving 530 OVs from all over the world are a great effort by many individuals and collectives, helping participants, including those who previously held extreme and suspicious ideologies, understand the endeavor of the Party and State in protecting the national sovereignty over sea and islands and developing the homeland.

The island district of Truong Sa is part of the Central province of Khanh Hoa. Meanwhile, DK1 platforms are offshore economic, scientific, and technical service stations on Vietnam’s Southern continental shelf.

The visits to Truong Sa and DK1 platforms help strengthening the OV communities’ solidarity and connections with the soldiers and people who are safeguarding Vietnam's sovereignty, thus strengthening the great national solidarity.

Source: VNA