Special Trip to Truong Sa (Spratly) by Overseas Vietnamese

The Covid-19 pandemic has temporarily halted visits to Truong Sa (Spratly) islands by overseas Vietnamese. However, the memories of trips there are still alive in the hearts of all who have visited.
December 19, 2021 | 11:09
Special Trip to Truong Sa (Spratly) by Overseas Vietnamese
Overseas Vietnamese in Korea on a trip to Truong Sa. Photo: WVR

Trip to the truth

Do Minh Thai, former deputy chief of the General Staff of the Vietnam People's Navy, said that Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelago and K1 rigs are the glue that binds the solidarity of the Vietnamese community at home and abroad, with one heart towards the sea and islands.

Having been taken overseas Vietnamese seven times to visit the sea and islands of the country, he said: "Before stepping on the ship, people still had many doubts. However, for many days living together, experiencing the same experience with officers, soldiers, they felt the warmth, and peace of mind."

"They saw that the lives of soldiers and people on the island gradually improved, and were reassured by the improvement of the defensive posture on the islands, rigs and sea, and a solid policy.

Etcetera Nguyen, a journalist, said that visits to Truong Sa (Spratly) are of great significance to national unity and harmony, because there is no more effective promotion method than direct experience.

In the community where he lives in the US, there are many conflicting, and negative opinions about Vietnam, so he wants to return to his homeland to find out the truth.

Nguyen was fortunate to visit Truong Sa in four trips full of memories. After returning, he and his colleagues made a series of articles and photo exhibitions about Truong Sa, contributing to helping the overseas Vietnamese community change their view of the situation of the country's seas and islands.

David Nguyen, an overseas Vietnamese in the US, also remembers a trip in 2014 when he experienced going to Truong Sa, storing many precious documents and images.

From a person with opposing thoughts, he has completely changed his view, participating in many debates, refuting distorted arguments related to sovereignty over the sea and islands.

He said: “I have set foot in Truong Sa and this trip marks a big change in my political life, helping me better understand Vietnam's seas and islands and passing that truth on to many people."

Sacred gifts and memento

Colonel Vu Huu Kiem is one of the officers who has brought overseas Vietnamese to visit Truong Sa and the DK1 rigs in 2012.

Recalling his feelings about that first trip, he noticed that people's eyes showed their joy and strong belief in the sovereignty of the sea and islands, the navy soldiers.

Through the trips, overseas Vietnamese clearly understood the growth and development of the navy, especially agreeing with the determination of the Party and State in protecting the sovereignty of the sea and islands, as well as refuting incorrect and incomplete claims about sea and islands of Vietnam.

Lieutenant Colonel Nguyen Van Tu, 147 Brigade, Region 1 of the Navy expressed his respect for the gifts of overseas Vietnamese to officers and soldiers, especially people's affection for Truong Sa through practical action.

Through this the soldiers affirmed their determination to protect the sovereignty of the sea and islands, and look forward to the visits of overseas Vietnamese to Truong Sa (Spratly) island district and the DK1 rigs.

He said: “We were all teary-eyed when we witnessed the overseas Vietnamese singing the National Anthem on the anniversary of the Hung Kings' death in the sacred atmosphere in Truong Sa.

"We are very proud to receive gifts brought back by overseas Vietnamese from the host country, or extremely touched when Czech students bring home flags sewn by them for soldiers. We accepted the gifts as if we accepted the sacred responsibility of firmly protecting the sea and islands of our homeland."

Special Trip to Truong Sa (Spratly) by Overseas Vietnamese
An overseas Vietnamese takes a photo with a navy soldier. Photo: Hung Ly

Journey of heart

Truong Sa trips have become a link to connect and spread the love of people abroad for the sea and islands.

Cao Hong Vinh, president of the Hoang Sa Truong Sa Club in Poland, said that the trip helped her feel warmth when she set foot on the sea and islands of the country.

Coming from Africa and joining the trip to Truong Sa in 2017, Le Hong Quan, an Angolan overseas Vietnamese, is also the vice president of the project "Truong Sa - DK1 rigs, journey of the heart."

This project has conducted specific activities such as printing the Truong Sa calendar, gathering resources, calling for the support of people abroad to send gifts to officers, soldiers and people on the island, while taking care of the families and children of the soldiers.

Hieu Constant, an overseas Vietnamese in France, also published a book after her trip to Truong Sa in 2018.

At first, she only had the idea to write an article, but when she returned, she thought she needed to write a book to convey the feelings of her and other people.

Through the book, Hieu Constant said she hopes that those who have never been to Truong Sa (Spratly) can also imagine the life of the army and people on the island, affirming that overseas Vietnamese, wherever they are, always look to their homeland and country.

In Russia, Germany, and the Czech Republic, many clubs about the sea and islands were also born, movements in the community were also launched with practical activities towards the sea and islands after the trip to Truong Sa and the DK1 rigs.

Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelago consists of 21 islands and islets and is home to 33 navy units. Recognizing the importance of the archipelago and the DK1 rigs on the southern continental shelf, over the years the Party, State, and people have joined hands to make them stronger. In addition to military units, Truong Sa now boasts schools, medical stations, cultural houses, memorials, pagodas, and green spaces.

The archipelago is about 350 nautical miles from the Hoang Sa (Paracel) archipelago to the nearest island, about 500 nautical miles from the farthest island, 305 nautical miles from Vung Tau and 250 nautical miles from Cam Ranh, and 240 nautical miles from Phu Quoc island.

Amid an ocean of difficulties and despite being far from the mainland, navy sailors continue to safeguard Vietnam’s sacred national sovereignty over seas and islands so that Truong Sa (Spratly) is forever a place for Vietnamese fishermen, helping to maintain peace for all, reported VNA.

Vietnam's Islands in Heart of Citizens Abroad

Vietnam's Islands in Heart of Citizens Abroad

Learning more about Vietnam's islands allows overseas Vietnamese to better appreciate and support the Truong Sa Islands.

Foreign Sailors Rescued by Vietnamese Forces

Foreign Sailors Rescued by Vietnamese Forces

"If it weren't for you, we would already be on the ocean floor!" says one grateful survivor.

Vietnam Resolutely Protects Sovereignty over Archipelagoes

Vietnam Resolutely Protects Sovereignty over Archipelagoes

Vietnam resolutely and persistently takes measures in line with international law to exercise and protect its sovereignty over Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) ...

Rosie Nguyen
Phiên bản di động