Over USD 660,000 collected for islanders, soldiers

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Organizations and individuals at the third “Xuan noi dao xa” (Spring in the Far Island) program held in Ho Chi Minh City on December 17 donated more than VND 15 billion (660,000 USD) to support island residents and soldiers who are protecting the country’s sovereignty in the East Sea (South China Sea).

>>Photos featuring national sea and islands exhibited

Over USD 660,000 collected for islanders, soldiers

South African Honorary Consul Do Thi Kim Lien donated VND 700 million to build 10 gratitude houses for soldiers from families who receive preferential treatment from the government and members of the Vietnam People’s Navy.

The program was organized by Vu A Dinh Scholarship Foundation, the Club for Beloved Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly), the Ho Chi Minh City Television and the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union. Former Vice President Truong My Hoa is the Chairwoman of the foundation and the club.

Speaking at the ceremony, Vice President Dang Thi Ngoc Thinh praised the program, saying that over the past three years the Club for Beloved Hoang Sa and Truong Sa had attracted more than 80 organizations and more than 3,000 individuals, collecting tens of billions of dong.

Together with the Vu A Dinh Scholarship Foundation, the club has carried out many meaningful activities to support fishermen and soldiers on the Hoang Sa and Truong Sa archipelagoes, including donation of charity houses and scholarships and health care support for children of soldiers.

Over USD 660,000 collected for islanders, soldiers via Dan tri

About Truong Sa

Trường Sa is an island district of Khánh Hòa Province in the South Central Coast region of Vietnam. It was established on the basis of the Spratly Islands, which is also claimed wholly or in part by the Republic of China (Taiwan), the People’s Republic of China, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei. According to the 2009 census, the district has a population of 195 people.

Trường Sa District was established on the basis of small coral islands/cays, reefs and banks of the Spratly Islands which is 248 nautical miles away from Cam Ranh. As the islands contains a large number of scattered geographic entities, it is imaginatively divided into eight clusters including Song Tu, Thi Tu, Loai Ta, Nam Yet, Sinh Ton, Trường Sa, Tham Hiem and Binh Nguyen by Vietnam.

The Spratlys are one of the major archipelagos in the South China Sea which complicate governance and economics in this part of Southeast Asia due to their location in strategic shipping lanes. The islands have no indigenous inhabitants, but offer rich fishing grounds and may contain significant oil and natural gas reserves and as such are important to the claimants in their attempts to establish international boundaries. Some of the islands have civilian settlements, but of the approximately 45 islands, cays, reefs and shoals that are occupied, all contain structures that are occupied by military forces from Malaysia, Taiwan (ROC), China (PRC), the Philippines and Vietnam. Additionally, Brunei has claimed an exclusive economic zone in the southeastern part of the Spratlys, which includes the Louisa Reef.

Over USD 660,000 collected for islanders, soldiers via Bao Phu Yen

In 2005, a cellular phone base station was erected by the Philippines’ Smart Communications on Pag-asa Island.

On 18 May 2011, China Mobile announced that its mobile phone coverage has expanded to the Spratly Islands. The extended coverage would allow soldiers stationed on the islands, fishermen, and merchant vessels within the area to use mobile services, and can also provide assistance during storms and sea rescues. The service network deployment over the islands took nearly one year.

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