A photo by Thanh Nien reporter Dinh Phu shows children walking home from school on Song Tu Tay Island of the Truong Sa Archipelago off Vietnam's central coast
An exhibition organized by Thanh Nien newspaper about life on the Truong Sa (Spratly) Islands off Vietnam’s central coast has drawn thousands of visitors.
The “Thanh Nien with Truong Sa” display contains 136 photographs taken by the paper’s reporters over the past several years, shots that have captured the difficult lives of residents and soldiers in what has become a vulnerable part of the country’s sovereign territory.
The archipelago off Khanh Hoa Province, together with Hoang Sa to the north, are chief among Vietnam’s territorial disputes with China, which has made brazen moves of late, setting up various activities around the islands such as oil exploration and tourism ventures. Chinese vessels have sometimes harrassed Vietnamese fishing and surveillance vessels operating in the area.
The photos on exhibit feature children on the islands going home from school, islanders collecting their fish catch, welcoming visitors from the mainland and honoring soldiers who were slain defending Vietnamese sovereignty.
“Water sovereignty is an issue that Thanh Nien has been following carefully, with coverage on and off the paper,” Nguyen Quang Thong, the newspaper’s editor-in-chief, said at the exhibition’s opening on December 31.
Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung early this month said Vietnam will pursue diplomatic efforts in dealing with the East Sea issues.
However, the country also needs to upgrade its defense capacity too, he said at a meeting in Hai Phong on Dec.6.
“We do our best to keep the peace with diplomacy and other measures, but we have to protect ourselves," Dung said
The exhibition, which marks the newspaper’s 27th anniversary, will be open through January 6 at the Youth Culture Center, 4 Pham Ngoc Thach Street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City.
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