Sun, Oct 13, 2013 - Page 4 News List

Vietnam sees rare public mourning for war hero

GOVERNMENT CRITIC:The communist regime held a state funeral for Vo Nguyen Giap, but the feeling from Vietnamese suggests the government faces challenges

AP, HANOI, Vietnam

At age 97, Giap opposed the proposed expansion of a bauxite mine, in part because it was to be operated by a Chinese company. This angered the party because it helped legitimize charges by its critics that it is too close to its fellow Communists in China, the subject of popular nationalist anger in Vietnam.

“Giap was a critical figure in contemporary Vietnam history, however one part of his life will always be associated with his question of authority,” said Jonathan London, a Vietnam expert at the City University of Hong Kong. “His legacy will be used as badge of legitimacy for the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, but this is occurring at a time when Vietnamese are questioning the direction of their country.”

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