National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyễn Thị Kim Ngân (fourth from left) visits the Hanoi Archdiocese on Friday ahead of Christmas. — VNA/VNS Photo Trọng Đức
HÀ NỘI — National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyễn Thị Kim Ngân on Friday visited the Hanoi Archdiocese where she wished local Catholic dignitaries and followers a merry Christmas and a happy new year.
The top legislator conveyed greetings and handed over flowers from Party General Secretary and President Nguyễn Phú Trọng to Archbishop Joseph Vũ Văn Thiên of the Hanoi Archdiocese and Deputy Secretary General of the Vietnam Episcopal Council.
She lauded the contributions of Vietnamese Catholics and those in the Hanoi Archdiocese to the country’s achievements in socio-economic development, national defence and security, international integration and external affairs, including relations with the Vatican.
The Vietnamese State respected and ensured freedom of belief and religion of all people through the Constitution and relevant laws, Ngân said.
The NA leader urged the Hanoi Archdiocese and other archdioceses to launch practical and meaningful efforts in order to bring a peaceful and happy life to Catholics and people nationwide.
Activities conducted by the Catholic church in Việt Nam and the Hanoi Archdiocese would help strengthen national unity in line with the guidelines and policies of the Party and the State, Ngân said.
For his part, Thiên pledged that the Hanoi Archdiocese would work harder to build a society of peace and development as desired by all Vietnamese Catholics.
Expressing his delight at the fruitful relationship between Việt Nam and the Vatican, Thiên said he looked forward to the visit to Việt Nam by Cardinal Pietro Parolin and hoped that his trip would open up a new period for diplomatic ties between the two sides.
The Hanoi Archdiocese encompasses Hà Nội, Hoà Bình, Hà Nam and Nam Định with about 35,000 Catholic followers.
Visiting armed forces
NA Chairwoman Ngân visited the High Command of Military Region 3 and the Việt Nam People’s Navy in the northern city of Hải Phòng yesterday.
At the meeting with the Military Region 3 High Command, the top legislator congratulated its officers and soldiers on the 75th anniversary of the Việt Nam People’s Army.
She stressed that Military Region 3 was a strategic defence area in the northeast of Việt Nam, covering nine provincial-level localities, including five coastal ones, and pointed out that although peace and co-operation were strong among countries in the region and the world, they needed to push ahead with national industrialisation and modernisation in all fields.
Chairwoman Ngân asked the forces to enhance their defence capacity to thwart sabotage plots of hostile forces and defend the country, while training and working with local authorities to promote a people's defence, and remain ready to deal with any circumstances in line with Party guidelines and State laws.
She expressed her belief that by upholding their traditions, Military Region 3 would enjoy even greater successes in national development and defence.
Visiting the navy the same day, the NA leader congratulated its officers, soldiers and staff on the 75th anniversary of the Việt Nam People’s Army.
She said the navy was an important part of the people’s armed forces and noted that it had faced opportunities and challenges in 2019, especially the complex and unpredictable situation in the East Sea. The officers and soldiers had accomplished their military and defence tasks, affirming the country’s resolve to safeguard sovereignty at sea, and protect fishermen working near other country's waters.
The NA chairwoman praised the navy’s achievements, and asked for it to play its role in developing economic and defence zones at sea, supporting fishermen at sea, and engaging in disaster prevention, search and rescue work.
Ngân also asked the navy to increase cooperation with counterparts in neighbouring countries to peacefully settle issues, and seek comprehensive and long-term solutions to help sustain peace, stability, security and safety of navigation.
On this occasion, she made a video call to cadres, soldiers and people living on Trường Sa Island. — VNS