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Border war martyrs not given their due, says professor
Dtinews/Hanoitimes 14:32, 2014/02/14
Vu Minh Giang, a history professor from the Vietnam National University, Hanoi, stressed the importance of properly honouring the heroes who died during the 1979 border war with China.

The professor gave his views of the subject during a recent interview with Lao Dong (Labour) Newspaper, which quickly gained wide public support. In his opinion, the people who gave their blood and lives during this dispute have not been given their due in the annals of history.

"The event on February 17, 1979 can be called nothing less than a Chinese invasion into Vietnam," Giang noted.


It was 35 years ago, just after the American war and Vietnam was finally reunited that China sent 600,000 – 700,000 troops to invade several northern border provinces. After a long and crippling war, the Vietnamese people were yet again called upon to take arms to defend their country. Those who heeded the call were not only from the border regions under direct threat, but from cities, towns and villages across the nation. They went, fought and many died on those battlefields.

Yet this chapter of history, along with those who sacrificed for their nation, have yet to receive the due recognition that should be afforded to them, according to the professor. He pointed out that this war has had little mention in the recent past, and is somewhat of a footnote in history textbooks, which contain just a few details of the event.

In his opinion, 35 years after the battle, Vietnamese people should be able able to view it in in proper perspective to the long history of the nation.

“We need to give a special place for the heroic martyrs who died in this war," Giang said. "We have talked about this to many war veterans, all of whom expressed some annoyance and concern about the current view of the border war of 1979”.

“The conflicts, in relation to the two countries in the past, should be viewed as stains in history," Giang stressed. "We should not deny or conceal them because it is a sin to those patriotic martyrs. And what's more, it will give enemies a chance to distort our history."

"In the future, the events that played out in places such as Hoang Sa, Truong Sa Islands and the invasion of 1979 should be expanded in our history textbooks,” he said.

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