|President Truong Tan Sang (fourth, right) attends a ceremony celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Vietnamese Navy in the central coastal province of Khanh Hoa on Saturday. — VNA/VNS Photo Nguyen Khang
KHANH HOA (VNS) — President Truong Tan Sang on Saturday praised the central role played by the Viet Nam People's Navy in safeguarding the nation's sea and island sovereignty and ensuring long-term regional peace and co-operation.
Attending a ceremony celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Vietnamese Navy in the central province of Khanh Hoa, he called on the navy to build itself into a revolutionary, modern and capable force, strengthening relations with navies from all over the world.
The navy should show more initiative in overseeing developments at sea and advise the Party and State on strategic policies to promptly deal with any incident.
It should also continue raising public awareness of sea and island sovereignty, improve management of self-defence forces and natural resources at sea, and offer assistance to fishermen in their trade or in search-and-rescue operations, the President said.
On August 2 and 5, 1964, the Vietnamese Navy, in co-ordination with other forces, drove the US destroyer USS Maddox and aircraft out of the nation's territorial waters in the Tonkin Gulf, marking the first victory for the northern army in the resistance war against the US aggressors, Deputy Defence Minister Admiral Nguyen Van Hien said at the event.
During the 1975 Spring General Offensive, the Navy, together with other units, liberated several islands on Truong Sa (Spratly) Archipelago. It later freed Cambodians from the clutches of a genocidal regime, he added.
President Sang urged the navy to continue building a healthy and strong Party Committee as part of preparations for the 10th Party Congress of the Army and the 12th National Party Congress.
Later, he pinned the insignia of "Hero of the People's Armed Forces" onto the naval flag. — VNS