Vietnamese communist party leaders gathered in Hanoi on Friday to mark the 40th anniversary of the Paris Peace Accords, the culmination of painstaking talks which ended the US’ direct military involvement in Vietnam.
Thousands of people attended the ceremony in the country’s capital to celebrate the signing of the 1973 deal, which ended decades of war with the US and brought a temporary halt to fighting between North and South Vietnam.
Speaking to a packed hall of communist party delegates, Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang described the negotiations as “the longest, most difficult diplomatic struggle for Vietnam.”
The deal, signed on Jan. 27, 1973 — 40 years ago today — represents “Vietnam’s diplomatic victory in its struggle against the United States,” Sang added after watching a dance re-enactment of the communists’ wartime victories.
Talks to end the US-Vietnam war opened in Paris on May 10, 1968, with the US delegation hopeful of reaching a quick deal.
Instead, negotiations dragged on for five years, during which the war escalated as both sides adopted a strategy of “fighting while talking,” hoping to translate battlefield wins into bargaining power.
The communists, determined to reunify Vietnam, were ready to bide their time while US leaders were weakened by the domestic anti-war movement and cut troop numbers year-by-year, reducing their diplomatic clout.
Nguyen Thi Binh, a former vice state president who was a key negotiator, hailed the agreement as “a strategic victory which led to the 1975 victory, liberated south Vietnam and reunified the country.”
The deal saw all sides agree to a ceasefire and the US pledge to withdraw troops within 60 days while its prisoners were granted freedom.
North and South Vietnam also agreed to work peacefully towards national reunification.
Former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger and Hanoi politburo member Le Duc Tho were awarded the 1973 Nobel Peace Prize, but Tho refused to accept it, saying his country was not yet at peace.
With no political settlement, fighting again flared and Hanoi breached the agreement, sending its regular troops south.
In 1975, communist troops stormed the south and captured Saigon on April 30, ending a war that killed more than 58,000 Americans and an estimated 3 million Vietnamese.
FOX HUNT: To suppress dissent, Chinese living abroad that Xi Jinping sees as threats are told to either return to China or commit suicide, Christopher Wray said Chinese agents have been pursuing hundreds of Chinese nationals living in the US in an effort to force their return, as part of a global campaign against the country’s diaspora, known as Operation Fox Hunt, FBI Director Christopher Wray said on Tuesday. In a speech about the security threat posed by China, during which he said Beijing’s counterintelligence work was the “greatest long-term threat to our nation’s information and intellectual property, and to our economic vitality,” Wray gave the example of one Fox Hunt target who was given a choice of going back to China or killing themselves. Fox Hunt was launched
‘WOULD NOT COMPLY’: The company’s user data are kept in Singapore and it would not turn the data over to Beijing even if asked, TikTok chief executive Kevin Mayer said Social media app TikTok has distanced itself from Beijing after India banned 59 Chinese apps in the country, according to a correspondence seen by Reuters. In a letter to the Indian government dated on Sunday last week and seen by Reuters on Friday, TikTok chief executive Kevin Mayer said the Chinese government has never requested user data, nor would the company turn it over if asked. TikTok, which is not available in China, is owned by China’s ByteDance, but has sought to distance itself from its Chinese roots to appeal to a global audience. Along with 58 other Chinese apps, including Tencent
INTERNET CURBS: People are rushing to erase their digital footprints after police given powers over online activity, although it might take years for the full effect to be felt At midnight on Tuesday, the Great Firewall of China, the vast apparatus that limits the country’s Internet, appeared to descend on Hong Kong. Unveiling expanded police powers as part of contentious new national security legislation, the Hong Kong government enabled police to censor online speech, and force Internet service providers to hand over user information and shut down platforms. Many residents, already anxious since the legislation took effect last week, rushed to erase their digital footprint of any signs of dissent or support for the past year of protests. Hong Kong Legislator Charles Mok (莫乃光), a pro-democracy member of the Legislative
‘FIGHT FOR FREEDOM’: Hong Kongers will never bow to Beijing, the advocate said, while the US’ envoy to the territory called China’s new security law a ‘tragedy’ The world must stand in solidarity with Hong Kongers after Beijing imposed sweeping national security legislation on the semi-autonomous territory, advocate Joshua Wong (黃之鋒) said yesterday, vowing to continue campaigning for democracy. Wong, one of the territory’s most prominent young advocates and a figure loathed by Beijing, was speaking outside a court where he and fellow advocates are being prosecuted for involvement in last year’s pro-democracy protests. China last week enacted sweeping security legislation for the restless territory, banning acts of subversion, secession, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces. The legislation has sent a wave of fear through the territory, and criminalized dissenting