The event, connecting 30 places in Vietnam and foreign countries, was an opportunity for overseas Vietnamese to share their beautiful memories of visits to Truong Sa (Spratly) Islands and DK1 platforms and their love for the Fatherland.

According to Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Chairman of the State Committee for Overseas Vietnamese Affairs Pham Quang Hieu, from 2012 to 2019, the committee hosted eight visits to Truong Sa Islands and DK1 platforms for 600 overseas Vietnamese around the globe. Through the visits, Vietnamese expats know more about positive changes on the islands and understand the Vietnamese people’s and troops’ determination to safeguard the sacred national sovereignty over the national sea and islands.

He affirmed that the organization of visits to Truong Sa Islands and DK1 platforms for the Vietnamese people in general and overseas Vietnamese in particular has contributed to affirming Vietnam’s sovereignty over national sea and islands. Those trips also create opportunities for the Vietnamese living abroad to meet and exchange views with one another, thus consolidating national solidarity and harmonization, arousing national pride as well as heightening overseas Vietnamese’s responsibility for national construction and defense cause.

At the event

After returning from these trips, many overseas Vietnamese have conducted practical activities to support their homeland’s efforts in protecting the national sea and islands. In particular, Truong Sa clubs were established in Germany, Poland and Czech Republic, while foundations for national sea and islands were also set up in the Republic of Korea and Singapore. In addition, many seminars, forums on the East Sea (South China Sea) were held, and many books and photo books on the Truong Sa Islands were published. Vietnamese people around the globe have also contributed valuable exhibits to affirm Vietnam’s sovereignty over the Truong Sa and Hoang Sa (Paracel) Islands.

In the last two years, although such significant trips have not been held because of the impacts of the COVID-19, the committee has still received significant support from overseas Vietnamese. This has demonstrated the continuous sentiment of the Vietnamese expats to the national sea and islands, Hieu added.

At the event, overseas Vietnamese reporter from the U.S. Etcetera Nguyen who has visited Truong Sa Islands four times, shared that after his first trip to the archipelago in 2012, he completely changed his previous perception of Vietnam’s sea and islands and strongly believed in the Vietnamese Party’s guidelines and State’s policies on protecting national sovereignty over sea and islands.  

Fully aware that reporters’ responsibility is to report the truth, after trips to the islands, the reporter has posted hundreds of photos and articles about Truong Sa Islands, contributing to changing the views of overseas Vietnamese in the U.S. on the Vietnamese Party’s guidelines and State’s policies on sea and islands. His vivid photos and articles have also enriched overseas Vietnamese’s love for national sea and islands.

Truong Sa Islands and DK1 platforms serve as a bridge that helps Vietnamese people living abroad and at home better understand each other, U.S. Etcetera added.

At the event, participants also listened to touching stories about Truong Sa by President of the Italy-Vietnam Association Le Thi Bich Huong, member of Executive Board of Truong Sa Club in Germany Ta Kim Lien, and President of Hoang Sa - Truong Sa Club in Poland Cao Hong Vinh, among others.

More especially, from Paris (France), writer Hieu Constant, talked about his memoirs, titled “Truong Sa and DK1 Platforms,” which re-tells stories from troops and people on islands and overseas Vietnamese and naval troops during a visit to Truong Sa Islands in 2018.

She recalled that after being invited to join the trip to Truong Sa, she thought of writing an article about it. However, after completing the visit, she changed her mind and was determined to write a book to express her as well as other Vietnamese expats’ feeing about the beloved Truong Sa.

“Through the memoirs, I hope that that those who have or have not been to Truong Sa Islands have a complete and clear picture of the life of soldiers and people there who are day and night protecting the country's sovereignty over national sea and islands, said Hieu Constant.

David Nguyen, a Vietnamese living in the U.S., said that in the past he did not believe that Vietnam could still keep the sea and islands. However, after visiting Truong Sa Islands in 2014, he completely changed his views. “After returning to the U.S., I wrote many articles and had presentations on social media to affirm that Truong Sa still belongs to Vietnam,” David Nguyen said. 

Translated by Tran Hoai