Author Nguyễn Thanh Tòng, deputy chairman of the Vietnamese Association in France, poses for a photo with a soldier on the Sinh Tồn Island. Photo vov.gov.vn
HÀ NỘI - A photo book about Vietnamese islands and seas has been published to help younger generations better understand the Trường Sa (Spratly) Archipelago.
The 200-page book entitled Biển Đảo Quê Hương (Homeland's Seas and Islands) was compiled by overseas Vietnamese Nguyễn Thanh Tòng, deputy chairman of Vietnamese Association in France.
"Việt Nam does not only have many rivers, mountains and beautiful seas but we also have islets and islands in the middle of the blue sea which belong to Vietnamese sovereignty," said Tòng.
"This includes Trường Sa. The book aims to introduce to people who have not yet had a chance to visit the archipelago about the life of soldiers and their families on the distant islands."
"The soldiers guard the sacred sea and sky of the country day and night and their children everyday go to school. There are also pagodas on the islands."
Tòng took the photos when he visited the islands and DK1 platform in 2016. He was impressed with the officials and soldiers who live there.
Despite hardships and difficulties, they grow vegetables and raise chickens, ducks and pigs to eat, alongside the seafood they catch.
The book has two parts. The first includes photos with the experiences of the author to the first destination of the journey – Đá Lớn (Discovery Great) Reef. The ship anchored far from the reef and he used lifeboats to land on the islet.
The photos in this part also feature the islets of Sơn Ca, Nam Yết, Sinh Tồn, Trường Sa Đông and Trường Sa proper. The author took a photo of the statue of Supreme Commander Trần Hưng Đạo (1228-1300) on Nam Yết Islet.
The last destination in his journey was DK1 platform -- a group of off-shore steel rigs for providing maritime services and research -- where he took photos of the daily lives of the soldiers who live and work at the platform.
The second part features historical documents and photos of the Trường Sa and Hoàng Sa (Paracel) archipelagoes which reinforces Việt Nam sovereignty over Hoàng Sa. It also has international opinions and comments about the East Sea. VNS