Vietnam-Cambodia Friendship Monument: Symbols of Solidarity

The 23 monuments are reminders of the days in Cambodia's history, the bloody war between the two armies, and the victory that changed the history of a nation on January 7, 1979.
January 07, 2022 | 16:46
Vietnam-Cambodia Friendship Monument: Symbols of Solidarity
President Nguyen Xuan Phuc and the high-ranking Vietnamese delegation pay tribute at the Vietnam-Cambodia Friendship Monument. Photo: Thanh Nien

Vietnam-Cambodia Friendship Monument

During his visit to Cambodia on December 21, 2021, President Nguyen Xuan Phuc offered incense and flowers at the Vietnam-Cambodia Friendship Monument in the Phnom Penh.

The Vietnam-Cambodia Friendship Monument was built in the late 1970s in Phnom Penh, near the Cambodian Royal Palace to commemorate the Vietnam-Cambodia alliance, after the Vietnam People's Army help the Cambodian people topple the Khmer Rouge. This monument is also located near the residence of Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen.

As the most famous architectural work showing the friendship between Vietnam and Cambodia, the Vietnam-Cambodia Friendship Monument is a symbol of solidarity and friendship between the two countries. It is also a tribute to Vietnamese soldiers who performed noble international tasks, helping the Cambodian people escape the genocide caused by the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia.

23 Vietnam-Cambodia friendship monuments have been built in 25 provinces and cities in Cambodia to commemorate heroic martyrs, Vietnamese volunteers and Cambodian Front for National Salvation soldiers, who sacrificed for the cause of liberation.

In 2022, five more Vietnam-Cambodia friendship monuments will be inaugurated on the 55th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries in Cambodia's localities, including: Siem Riep, Odor Meanchey, Tbong Khmum, Kampong Speu and Pailin province.

Vietnam-Cambodia Friendship Monument: Symbols of Solidarity
The monument in the capital Phnom Penh is 1 meter high, with the focus being on a figure of a Cambodian soldier and a Vietnamese soldier protecting a young woman holding a small child in her arms. Photo: VOV

The Vietnam-Cambodia Friendship Monument is a symbol of the solidarity and cohesion between the two peoples. It is a historical proof of the sacrifices of previous generations, in exchange for peace and happiness for the Cambodian people.

Chairman and General Secretary of the National Council of the Solidarity Front for the Development of Cambodian Motherland Nhem Valysaid: “We preserve the friendship between the two peoples like our own pupils. If we don't have pupils, we won't see the light, so we have to keep our friendship and solidarity. We built the Friendship Monument to remember the merits of the Vietnamese army and Cambodian forces, who sacrificed their blood to liberate the Cambodian people from the Pol Pot genocide.

The 23 monuments are reminders of the harshest days in Cambodia's history, of the special war between the two armies, the victory that changed the history of a nation on January 7, 1979.

Victory on January 7, 1979: Victory of two peoples

On April 17, 1975, Cambodia fell into the hands of the Khmer Rouge regime led by Pol Pot. In just four years in power, Pol Pot's regime has carried out horrific massacres, killing an estimated 3 million Cambodians.

Pol Pot carried out a brutal policy of genocide in Cambodia, waging a bloody war, infringing upon Vietnam's southwestern territorial sovereignty. In response to the call of the United Front for National Salvation of Cambodia and of the Cambodian people, Vietnam has exercised its legitimate right to self-defense. Vietnam coordinated with the Cambodian armed forces, the people and the support of international friends to overthrow the genocidal regime on January 7, 1979.

The great victory on January 7, 1979 once again demonstrated the close traditional relationship between the two nations. This is a common victory that the people of the two countries have unitedly achieved: To firmly defend the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of not only Cambodia but also Vietnam; closes the darkest page of Cambodia's history; usher in an era of independence, freedom, peace, and development.

Vietnam-Cambodia Friendship Monument: Symbols of Solidarity
Cambodian people stood on both sides of the road waving and saying goodbye to Vietnamese volunteers returning home in 1989. Photo: VNA

With the historic victory on January 7, 1979, the relationship between Vietnam and Cambodia has turned to a new page: A period of friendship and comprehensive cooperation between the two countries, based on the principles of peace, respect for each other's independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, respect legitimate interests for the development and prosperity of each country.

Vietnam and Cambodia officially established diplomatic relations on June 24, 1967.

Overcoming many ups and downs of history, this relationship has become stronger. Over time, this relationship has become an invaluable asset of the two peoples.

When talking about the relationship between Vietnam and Cambodia, Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh said: “Looking back on the historical journey of more than half a century, we are pleased to see that, despite so many difficulties and challenges, ups and downs, the traditional friendship between Vietnam and Cambodia is constantly being cultivated."

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Rosie Nguyen

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