Vietnam celebrates General Vo Nguyen Giap's 102nd birthday

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Defense Minister General Phung Quang Thanh and senior ministry officials Saturday visited General Vo Nguyen Giap, architect of Vietnam's historic military victories over the French and Americans, in Hanoi on his 102nd birthday.

Thanh and Senior Leutenant General Ngo Xuan Lich, chairman of the army's political department, thanked Giap, for his contributions to the revolution.

Tien Phong newspaper reported that Giap shook hands and thanked Thanh and Lich for their visit.

Earlier, on August 24, former Party general secretary Le Kha Phieu visited Giap to wish him good health and long life, Quan Doi Nhan Dan (People's Army) reported.

On the occasion of his birthday, an exhibition of nearly 200 photos featuring the military hero opened at the cultural center in his hometown in Quang Binh Province's Le Thuy District on Sunday.

It will remain open until September 10.

In 1954 Giap stunned the world with a crushing victory over a French garrison in the northwestern town of Dien Bien Phu, effectively ending French colonial rule in Vietnam.

Then he masterminded the Mau Than Campaign, also known as the Tet Offensive of 1968, which was considered the turning point in the Vietnam War that ended seven years later.

Giap commanded Vietnam's military and insurgent forces for more than three decades against the Japanese, French, Americans, Chinese, and the Khmer Rouge in 1979.

Fittingly, he is considered among the greatest military leaders in history.

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