(Extracted from Doan Ket Magazine, Austin Texas)
Being a Vietnamese, one is always ready to shed blood to defend Vietnam
from invasion forces. Currently, China, under the communist regime, has
been pursuing its expansionism. They have occupied the Paracel Islands
since 1974 by defeating the Republic of Vietnam Navy (South Vietnam).
They have also occupied many islands from the Spratly Islands since
1978 after defeating the communist-ruled Vietnam Navy. This article,
even though might not reveal facts our readers would like to know, has
been published un-edited as a reminder from the editor: "a nation
destiny is in the hands of its own people."
I. At the
beginning of 1974, the Naval Headquarters of Riverine Mobile Operations
just moved from Binh-Thuy (Can-Tho) to Cat-Lai for few months. Before
that, Staff Sections used to have Sunday off only, after the move they
were given extra Saturday afternoon off. I did not recall the reason
why I stayed at the Headquarters on the previous Saturday before the
battle between the Republic of Vietnam and the People Republic of China
Around two o'clock that Saturday
afternoon, an on duty officer from Operation Center phoned me that a
general from the Joint General Staff wanted to talk to me on a "hot
line." Despite of being a low-ranking officer, I was holding a pretty
important position in the Naval Headquarters, therefore, once in a
while, I had phone chats with those generals. But it seemed unusual
that time. These generals only worked on the weekends in case of
extremely urgent situations. Besides, the Naval Headquarters of Mobile
Riverine Operations commanded the Naval Headquarters of the 3rd and 4th
Riverine Zones, the Naval Headquarters of the Capital Special Zone, the
Naval Headquarters of Patrol Forces, the Naval Headquarters of
Amphibious Forces, the Naval Headquarters of Central Forces, as well as
some infantry, artillery supported forces; therefore, the Naval
Headquarters of Riverine Mobile Operations was responsible for
operations covering the entire waterways of the 3rd, and 4th Military
Regions, it seldom got direct order from the Joint General Staff .
There ought to be something very important.
On the other end of the line, it was
General Tran-Dinh-Tho, the Joint General Staff /J-3. After a brief
conversation, I was ordered to report back to the Admiral (1) for
dispatching 60 seal men to Tan-Son-Nhat airport immediately that
afternoon. I called a "hotline" to the Admiral's house but he was out.
At that time, I had already planned to stroll downtown after work, and
did not want to stay late, I was trying to unload my assignment to
others. After telling the on duty officer to contact Commander Hiep,
Commander of VNN Naval Commando (LDNN- Lien Doan Nguoi Nhai), to
prepare men and weapons, I reported back to the Naval Headquarters,
carefully wrote down on the daily log and the operation log, had
Commander Anh, the on duty officer at the Headquarters, follow up the
operation. After that, I delightedly drove back to Saigon.
A week later, through reports from the
Operation Center, I learned that those 60 seal men had been flown to
Da-Nang to join military units who guarded some islands of the Paracel
Islands. Radio stations and newspapers started to comment about China
intention. At the Naval Headquarters, people were pretty calm, they
thought their navy was one of the top ten in the world with modern
cruisers received from the US. Furthermore, the Seventh Fleet was
nearby... nothing to worry about.
Around middle of that week, the
Operation Center submitted a telegram from the Seventh Fleet. The
telegram reported a China fleet of 42 battleships and 2 submarines were
heading towards the Paracel Islands... The situation looked serious
especially with those submarines. I myself learned combat technique
against submarines and torpedoes; however, it was just a lesson, at
that moment, I no longer recalled what I had learned. Probably, my
brothers on the ships would not also remember much due to little
exercise. I could imagine people from the Naval Headquarters on Sea
were in such a tough time.
Finally, the Paracel Islands battle
exploded. The frontier territory on the sea was seized upon by China.
The loss caused a deep agony to the South Vietnamese. Ironically, the
North communist Vietnam never said a single word of objection about the
invasion. Their reaction was just like nothing ever happened. On the
South Vietnam side, the American friend turned away. Even not helping
the South Vietnam to rescue many soldiers who were drifting about for
One or two months after the battle, the
Naval Headquarters formed a committee to investigate the Paracel
Islands battle. Commodore Dinh-Manh-Hung, who was my direct commander,
became chief of the investigation committee. I was appointed its
secretary. The committee worked for few months, interviewed each
soldier, examined each warship, and contacted involved departments, to
collect details about the battle. Especially, the effectiveness of on
board cannons, which were equipped with special electronic gears
(considered as the most advanced at that time) to automatically adjust
themselves while shooting; but it did not seem to fully utilize those
advantages, as well as other problems during firing.
Due to my duty in the committee, I
could have known a lot more details about the battle. But at that time,
I did not pay attention much about the work, I re-assigned most of the
tasks to an assistant, Lieutenant Junior Grade Lan. It is such a shame
on me. I was one of few persons who somewhat involved from the
beginning of the battle until the end of the investigation.
Unfortunately, I could only remember vaguely. However, in the course of
investigation, there are few facts which I still remember. Those facts
which have not been mentioned by an officer who directly commanded the
South Vietnam Navy in the battle whose report has been partially
covered in the second part of this article.
Few days before the battle, the
enemy kept irritating the South Vietnam forces by intentionally
steering their ships to hit the South Vietnam ships. We had to keep
ours moving to avoid collision. Few times, both sides made physical
contacts. The South Vietnam soldiers were eager to fight but had to
wait for an order to open fire. They were on a 24 hour alert with guns
trained to the enemy. Usually, during the stand off, both sides should
keep the ships far apart but within the cannon range; on those days,
both sides were very close within rifle range.
Finally, the South Vietnamese
fired first before the enemy could have time to reinforce their fleet.
It was 10:25 AM, Saturday morning, Jan 19, 1974. The first shell hit
and set fire on one of the enemy ships. This incident was contrary to
reports from the Saigon Radio and RVN Armed Forces Radio in which the
enemy fired first, and the South Vietnam ships acted in self defense
only. Because of military discipline, nobody dared to correct it. After
the battle, except the HQ10 was sunk, the remaining 3 ships were hit by
around a thousand bullets and shells. The least seriuos casualty
(probably HQ16) got about 820 wounds. During the battle, HQ16 got a 127
mm friendly fired shell right at the engine compartment, fortunately
the shell did not explode. Otherwise, HQ16 would have been sunk as well
because the engine compartment was the most critical area of the ship.
Obviously, there are more to
tell about the Paracels Battle. Those who participated in the battle
could offer more details which had been expected from many people.
During the recent New Year get together (1998) of Bach-Dang Club in San
Jose, many details of the brief battle were told by an authority, a
former Commander, also a scholar, Commanding Officer of Radar-Picket
Destroyer Tran-Khanh-Du, DER - HQ4; a famous South Vietnam warship,
which had sunk 14 North Vietnam ships, and was one of the South Vietnam
ships which was participating in the battle from the beginning to the
Before getting deeper into the
report from scholar Vu-Huu-San, it is worth while to mention about a
plan to get back Paracel. In an intermediate staff training session for
officers in Saigon, Navy Captain Do-Kiem, Deputy Chief of Staff for
Operation, the Navy Headquarters, while answering questions from
officers about the prospect of retaking the Paracel Islands and how,
said that Vietnam Navy had not been ordered to. If it was going to
happen, Vietnam Navy would rely on the advantage of outnumbering
soldiers (in the battle area) and high speed of Patrol Craft Fast (PCF)
boats to carry out the operation.
section has been extracted from the article "Twenty-Four Years after,
in Remembrance of the Paracel Battle, in Commemoration of Lost
Soldiers" of former Commander Vu-Huu-San. (2)
One foreign friend who had
knowledge about Vietnam, asked: "in January 1974, with an underdog navy
forces, why did the South Vietnam challenge the more powerful China
This seems like a logical question.
Twenty four years ago, US Navy
officers stationed in Vietnam also thought that the South Vietnam Navy
would have quietly withdrawn. To further isolate South Vietnam, the US
not only informed that they would stay out of the dispute, but also
blocked the use of torpedoes, withdrew the US fleet and firmly refused
to help rescue soldiers on the sea after the battle... They did never
expect the little South Vietnam again to pick a fight with the giant
The Vietnamese, even though not directly participated in the battle, many of them would give the same answer as following:
To defend the country, even
death, the South Vietnam Navy determined to fight. The Paracel Islands
is a part of Vietnam territory, the Vietnamese vow to defend it. The
South Vietnam Navy exchanged fire with the invaders, fought with all
his strength. Many worldwide observers, at first were wondering, later
were admiring the Vietnamese courage.
China was not beaten that time;
however, worldwide newspapers and magazines did report that event with
favorable commentaries toward South Vietnam.
On those days, we defended the
land on behalf of millions Vietnamese. It was nearly 200 years after
the Dong-Da victory of King Quang-Trung in 1789, the South Vietnam Navy
stood up to fight again the northern invaders. Unfortunately, the South
Vietnam Navy was an underdog in comparison to China Navy. So we could
not defeat the enemy as our ancestors had done before. As the result,
the Paracel Islands have been taken by the enemy.
Being the most senior Commodore
(3) at sea in those years of 1973-1975, Field-Commander of the
operation to defend the Paracel Islands at the earlier stage, and
Captain of the destroyer Tran-Khanh-Du, DER- HQ4, I myself recognized
the courage and fight-until-death determination of many soldiers.
Therefore, the South Vietnam small fleet had caused heavy casualty to
the enemy fleet: two ships sunk and two heavily destroyed.
Today, being here in front of you, on behalf of many soldiers, I would like to share with you several viewpoints:
- First, to have a silent moment dedicated to lost heroes while they were defending the Paracel Islands.
- Secondly, to affirm the determination of the South Vietnam Navy to carry out their duty in 1974.
- Lastly, to confirm that the South Vietnam Navy fleet HQ4, HQ5, HQ16, HQ10 did fire at the enemy first.
The moment of silence to
remember lost soldiers at the Paracel Islands battle was observed. We,
the survivals, would like to share our thought with those lost
Fallen friends! We were
together on the same fleet heading toward the Paracel Islands that
year. You did not come back to see your families as we did.
You sacrificed your lives to protect our fatherland. You fought
until death. You did fulfill your duty. Glory to the departed heroes
whose bodies lie resting forever in the Vietnamese waters.
To commemorate your sacrifice, we were praying for your souls:
To our lost soldiers, who sacrificed their lives in the Paracel Islands battle,
Eastward are hungry devils competing for oil and wishing to dismenber our bodies.
Don't go northward where filthy red fiends are showing their fangs and claws.
Westward is the world of craziness and materialism and money grubbing.
Southward used to be our promise land now lost, our people fled our land for every corner of the globe.
So please follow the wind, go to the farthest horizon.
Where cloud and water met to unite you with our ancestors.
We, the survivals, still determined to continue to walk our
unfinished path. When the time came we would reunite after death in the
next few decades.
On the second viewpoint, we
heartily agreed with former Commander Pham-Trong-Quynh, Commanding
Officer of the HQ5. Even though, everybody knew that the South Vietnam
Navy participated in the battle, however, Commander Quynh and I would
like to bring up few details which had not been mentioned before.
In the Paracel Islands battle, 1974, we fired until all the cannons became inoperable and we had no more ammunitions.
We faithfully obeyed the orders
from our commanders. We fought when we were ordered to. Even in a
desperate attempt, we were ordered to crash the ships into the islands
to claim our sovereignty with their wreckage . We did steer our ships
towards the suicide act.
Twenty four years after the
battle, we, the survivals, have searched numerous books in many
libraries, but could not find a loftier image where destroyer
Tran-Khanh-Du and cruiser Tran-Binh-Trong were preparing to carry out
the order to crash the ships without protest. Until late afternoon that
day, another order to withdraw from the Paracel Islands was issued, we
steered our wounded ships back to Da-Nang to bury the dead, send the
wounded to hospitals, and fix the ships, ...
On the third viewpoint, we would like to report the incident where our battleship fired first:
24 years ago, it was about the end of the Year of the Ox and beginning
of the Year of the Tiger, 01-17-1974, I, commander of HQ4, appointed by
the Admiral, Commander of the Navy Coastal Force of the 1st Military
Region, to be the commander of Operation Paracel Islands to protect the
islands. It was the only signed document about the operation. All the
subsequent orders had been transmitted by radio.
At that time, HQ16 who had been
at the Paracel Islands earlier, reported many Chinese warships,
landing-craft, disguised as fishing boats. The Chinese already occupied
Drummond, and Duncan. The Chinese fleet patrolled the surrounding area.
HQ16 also sent 15 persons to guard Money.
On 01-18-1974, HQ4 sent 13 persons to guard Robert.
On 01-19-1974, when HQ5 and HQ10
joined the South Vietnam fleet at the Paracel Islands, Navy Captain
Ha-Van-Ngac, who was the Commander of Sea Patrol Flottila, took over
the commanding post.
The South Vietnam fleet tried
unsuccessfully to use seal men to recapture Duncan from the Chinese.
After that, the South Vietnam ships were ordered to prepare for the
The Chinese side had 11
warships, with many more behind and 300,000 sailors, planes, and many
types of missiles. The South Vietnam side had only 4 ships: Destroyer
Tran-Khanh-Du (DER) HQ4, two cruisers (WHEC) Tran-Binh-Trong HQ5 and
Ly-Thuong-Kiet HQ16, Patrol craft escort (PCE) Nhat-Tao HQ10.
Those were only South Vietnam
warships thrown into the battle at that time. Other ships were too far
away. South Vietnam Air Forces with F-5 fighters could not fly that far
from their base. We realized that we had to fight alone.
The battle lasted from 10:25 AM
to 11:00 AM. When HQ10 fired on the island, HQ4, HQ5, and HQ16 together
fired at the enemy ships. HQ4, with two 6,000-horsepower engines, ran
at full speed and fired cannons, heavy machine guns non-stop.
Most of the cannons on board
were rapidly firing capable. HQ4 was about 1,600 yards from the nearest
enemy ship. Therefore, most of its shots hit the enemy ship.
The first 5 or 6 minutes of the
battle would decide the fate of engaging ships. Enemy ships sank, our
ship sank. Two enemy ships and our HQ10 were put out of action during
this short period.
Our ships, with speed of 20
knots, and enemy ships, with speed of 25 knots, moved away from each
other at 45 knots, about the automobile speed of 60 mph or 85 km/h on
highway. From the distance about 6 miles or 8-9 km, it was getting more
difficult to shoot at the target because enemy ships became smaller and
the ship's decks were only 2 meters above the water.
The Paracel Islands battle was a
pretty unique battle. Both South Vietnam and China fleets intertwined
while exchanging fire. An 127mm shell from HQ5 accidentally hit HQ16.
Section 2 with HQ4, and HQ5 was just luckier than Section 1 with HQ16,
and HQ10. My ship, HQ4, could inevitably get hits by others. "Friendly
fire" at the Paracel Islands battle was different from one in a similar
case of the US Navy in Operation Desert Storm, that meant the South
Vietnam fleet accepted the risk. It proved that the South Vietnam fleet
was not afraid of the enemy instead they wanted a good fight. That
attitude might scare off the Chinese. You all had heard other stories
which our troops requesting artillery fire right on their positions to
kill the enemy and also themselves when they were outnumbered by the
enemy and could no longer hold on to their positions. The Paracel
Islands battle was also similar.
The South Vietnam fleet planned
to have an upper hand by a "swift attack and swift victory" before the
enemy could be reinforced for counter-attack. After half an hour of
fire exchange, both fleets got further away. As predicted earlier,
there were 4 glaringly white waves moved towards the Paracel Islands
from the Northeast. They were 4 more missile ships coming to reinforce
the enemy fleet.
The next day, the Chinese occupied the entire Paracel Islands.
There is no fear now to deny the
fact that the South Vietnam fleet opened fire first. When enemy invades
our country, everybody has to fight against them. Being a soldier who
participated in the battle 24 years ago, I would like to recall that:
The destroyer Tran-Khanh-Du HQ4,
while trying to stop the enemy from occupying more islands on the
afternoon of 02-18-1974, rammed the side of a Chinese ship. No matter
how obstinate they could be, they had to step back when seeing a big
hole on the upper side of their ship.
After the failed landing attempt
to retake Duncan Island, our fleet had no choice but to fire first at
the enemy. Even though we knew that we could not protect the Paracel
Islands afterward, we still wanted to sink as many enemy ships as
It was sad to learn that in
1988, the communist Vietnam troops could not return any fire while the
Chinese troops defeated them at the Spratly Islands, but their lleaders
submissively came to the negotiation table with the Chinese instead.
Any devoted soldier all knows that one has to fight in order to have
III. Re-evaluating the Situation of South Vietnam:
After the Paracel Islands
battle, even though the South Vietnam Navy did not bring back victory
as their ancestors had done, people were still welcoming the returning
soldiers as heroes. As a tradition to honor country heroes and
heroines, a street in Saigon was named after Commander Nguy-Van-Tha,
commander of Patrol craft escort Nhat-Tao HQ10 who died in action at
After the North Vietnamese
Communists overran South Vietnam in 1975, the street named after that
hero no longer existed. Many others who participated in the Paracel
Islands battle were thrown in re-education camps. The betrayers who
exchanged our land for weapons to suppress his own people were referred
to by Frank Ching, a reporter of the Far East Economic Review, in the
article "Reassessing South Vietnam" on 02-10-1994.
"Very few governments are
prepared to admit their mistakes, no matter how obvious they are. Such
as that of the Vietnamese Communists.
Even though the Vietnam
Communist rulers no longer follow Marxist-Leninist socialism except for
the name, they are not willing to admit it. However, their market
economy policy is itself an admission.
The Vietnam Communist Party
(VCP) was fighting on behalf of socialism to conquer South Vietnam.
During the war, they had aids from all communist-ruled countries,
especially Moscow and Beijing. The bloody war killed many innocent
people, severely devastated the country. The toll is very high, until
now they are still paying for that, they have no choice but to switch
to a market economy as a late comer to stimulate the economy. However,
they still cling on the old ideology. Because of that ideology, in the
past, Hanoi had been carrying out many policies which now do not make
any sense at all.
Hanoi used to madly slander the
South Vietnam government as an "Americans' puppet", which was "cheaply
selling national interests." Those accusations are unfounded, and
gradually, people have realized that those accusations should have been
attributed to Hanoi. Looking back at the events 24 years later, it was
obviously the Saigon government that many times stood up for the sake
of the country, not Hanoi. The Paracel Islands dispute is an example.
In the recent years, the
Indonesian government has sponsored conferences to discuss the South
China Sea issues. In every such conference, the VCP government once
again awkwardly tried to explain their silence when the Chinese invaded
those islands, which now it claims possession of.
According to the VCP government,
China took advantage of the unrest political and social situations in
Vietnam and in the world at the time to use military forces to invade
the Paracel Islands. The reason was very weak and also did not explain
Hanoi silence at the time. Twenty years have passed, history has
corroborated many facts. It is time to recognize the South Vietnam
government's merits. Hanoi should recognize that too, and admit the
fact that while South Vietnam bravely standing up to resist the Chinese
invasion, Hanoi was still busy flattering China. Hanoi has to admit the
fact that the South Vietnam government cared for the country more than
Hanoi has ever done.
Based on many ancient historical
documents to prove the ownership of two archipelagoes, especially the
document "Phu Bien Tap Luc" by Le-Quy-Don, Vietnam has a sound and
legitimate claim. Vietnam has called the two archipelagoes as
"Hoang-Sa" and "Truong-Sa", where China has called "Xisha" (Tay-Sa) and
"Nansha" (Nam-Sa) respectively.
In the Paracel Islands battle,
the South Vietnam fleet sank two Chinese ships and caused damage to two
others, whereas on the South Vietnam side, one Patrol craft escort was
sunk, 40 soldiers were captured. In 1988, when China invaded the
Spratly Islands, Hanoi forces let China sink 3 ships, kill 72 soldiers
and capture 9 others.
The reasons for those invasions
have been known far earlier. It is part of the "Survival Space"
Program, because China has foreseen the two main national resources in
Manchuria and Sinkang will soon be dry up. To carry out the program,
China started the easiest steps. It began with what the VCP had
promised China earlier. It was a secret agreement between the communist
governments of Vietnam and China.
According to Reuter, on
12-30-1993, the VCP denied the secret agreement with China. However,
they could not prove that such agreement has not existed. Le-Duc-Anh
visited China and the Chinese told him to wait 50 more years to discuss
about the dispute. Might China look at Le-Duc-Anh as an ungrateful and
disloyal person, who forgets the earlier promise?
According to the China Foreign
Ministry, their sovereignty on those two Paracel and Spratly Islands is
indisputable (Beijing Review, Feb 18, 1980), because Hanoi had already
settled the matter with China. China also provides evidence to support
- In June 1956, two years after
Ho-Chi-Minh formed his new North Vietnam government, Ung-Van-Khiem,
Deputy Foreign Minister of North Vietnam government told Li-Zhimin,
Charge d'affaires of the China Embassy in Hanoi that: "According to
Vietnam document, Xisha (Hoang-Sa or Paracel Islands), and Nansha
(Truong-Sa or Spratly Islands) are Chinese historical lands." [sic]
On 09-04-1958, the China
government declared their territorial waters is 12 nautical miles,
applied to all China territory, including Dongsha, Xisha (Hoang-Sa or
Paracel Islands), Zhongsha, Nansha (Truong-Sa or Spratly Islands). Ten
days later, Pham-Van-Dong, then the Prime Minister of the North Vietnam
sent an official message to Chou-En-Lai, Prime Minister of China to
confirm that "the Democratic Republic of Vietnam government recognizes
and supports the proclamation of the People Republic of China
government on 09-04-1958."
Below is the full text of the document:
The Democratic Republic of Vietnam Prime Minister...
Dear Comrade Prime Minister:
We would like to inform you that:
The Democratic Republic of Vietnam government acknowledges and agrees
to the proclamation of the People Republic of China on 09-04-1958
about the China territorial waters claim.
The Democratic Republic of Vietnam government honors that proclamation
and directs responsible departments to ultimately honor that 12 nautical
miles territorial waters claim of the People Republic of China in all relations with China on the sea.
Prime Minister of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam
It should be noted that in
the islands dispute between the two, China has only invaded islands
belong to Vietnam, but leaves alone other countries who also claim
their rights on those islands. Obviously Ho-Chi-Minh and Pham-Van-Dong,
did yield those islands to China. At that time, Ho was preparing to
invade South Vietnam, he needed huge aids from China, therefore blindly
accepted any conditions from Beijing, even giving up lands. To
Ho-Chi-Minh, giving up those two islands belong to South Vietnam
happened only "on paper" (because North Vietnam lost nothing?)
The VCP is waiting for ASEAN's
help to "fairly" resolve the dispute. On the China side, after
occupying the Paracel and Spratly Islands, they befriend with the
Philippines and Malaysia to be ready for discussion about how to share
the abundant natural resources in the disputed area without Vietnam
participation. In addition, China firmly states that they do not accept
settlement by any country about the dispute between Hanoi and Beijing.
Pham-Van-Dong denied his mistake
in his staatement on the Far East Economy dated 03-16-1979. Basically,
he alleged "war time" as a reason of his action.
In 1977, Pham-Van-Dong,
answering a question about his official message to China Prime Minister
Chou-En-Lai to acknowledge and agree to the China claim on the Paracel
and Spratly Islands, also said that "During war time, I had no other
choice except that deal." Because Ho-Chi-Minh was so eager to conquer
South Vietnam and contribute to the world communism, he never hesitated
to give away the "future" land to China without knowing whether he
could take over the South later.
"During war time, I had no other
choice except that deal." Who started the war and were willing to trade
anything to carry out the war even selling a part of the country?
Selling lands to carry out the war, but after the war ended,
Pham-Van-Dong blamed on the war as a reason why he had to give up
Nguyen-Manh-Cam, Hanoi Foreign
Minister also admitted: "The previous statement from our government
about the Paracel and Spratly Islands based on the following fact: At
that time, after the Geneva Agreement about Indochina, the territory
below the17th parallel, including those two islands, belonged to South
Vietnam. Besides, during that period, North Vietnam had to concentrate
highest efforts to fight the American war of aggression and to preserve
independence. Therefore, we needed a lot of support from friends all
over the world. The relationship between Vietnam and China at that time
was very close, and we trusted each other. To Vietnam, China was the
valuable and enormous sources of support. Based on that fact and urgent
demands, the statement of our leadership (to acknowledge and agree to
the China claim on the Paracel and Spratly Islands) was necessary
because it directly served the fighting for independence and freedom of
the country. Especially, it met the immediate necessity to keep the
Americans from using those islands to attack us. That statement does
not affect the historical and legitimate basis of Vietnam ownership of
the Paracel and Spratly Islands." (Press conference in Hanoi,
10-02-1992, released by Vietnam News Agency on 12-03-1992).
The above statements confirms
that China evidence is valid. What is happening today related to the
dispute is the result of deceitful and twisting statements between the
two communist brothers in the past. Today, no country wants to resolve
the dispute between communist-ruled Vietnam and communist-ruled China.
The reason is too obvious: The Vietnam Communist regime cannot annul
diplomatic documents and statements concerning relations with China
which have been intended to fool each other. Nevertheless, the Vietnam
Communist regime is unable to entirely separate from China while still
copying Chinese-styled "economic reforms" to "move forward to
(1) The official rank was "Deputy of Naval Commander on Riverine
Operations," most of people referred all general ranks in the navy as
"admiral," the same way as in US and British Navy.
(2) Vu-Huu-San, Naval Officer Magazine, the Graduation Class of the Second Libra.
(3) Commodore, tittle
referring to the commanding officer of a task division, or of a task
force with several ships under one's command.