See More on Facebook

Politics

US Senator John McCain: Obituary from Vietnam

US Senator McCain – who helped lay a foundation for Vietnam-US relations – passes away.


Written by

Updated: August 27, 2018

Senator John McCain, who helped lay the foundation for a cooperative Vietnam – US relationship, passed away on Saturday (US time) at the age of 81.

Tributes to the politicians were paid yesterday including one from the man who was in charge of the prison where he was held for five years.

McCain served in the invading war of the US in Vietnam. He joined in the Rolling Thunder air campaign in 1967, bombing targets in the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (northern Vietnam). His plane was shot down on October 26, 1967 and McCain was taken prisoner. He was returned to the US in an exchange of prisoners in 1973.

During his time he was held at Hỏa Lò Prison, now a museum which McCain has visited many times.

The prison was being run at the time by Colonel Trần Trọng Duyệt.

Speaking to Vietnam News yesterday, he said: “I had a lot of time meeting him when he was kept in the prison.

“At that time I liked him personally for his toughness and strong stance. Later on, when he became a US Senator, he and Senator John Kerry greatly contributed to promote Vietnam-US relations so I was very fond of him.”

“When I learnt about his death early this morning, I feel very sad. I would like to send condolences to his family. I think it’s the same feeling for all Vietnamese people as he has greatly contributed to the development of Vietnam – US relations.”

Returning from Vietnam, McCain joined politics and was one of the first to campaign for normalisation of US – Vietnam relations through promoting humanitarian issues such as removing unexploded devices left by the war, searching for missing-in-action personnel, supporting people with disabilities caused by the war, and detoxifying areas polluted by dioxin.

In 1994, the US Senate approved a resolution sponsored by McCain and Senator John Kerry, calling to end the economic sanction against Vietnam, paving the way for the improving of relations between the two countries a year later.

Following the normalisation of bilateral ties, McCain and Kerry visited Vietnam many times to address the issue of American missing-in-action soldiers (POW/MIA).

Senator McCain also supported the Vietnamese community in the US, serving as a bridge between them and the US authorities as well as the Vietnamese Government.

He has a very special position in the history of the Vietnam – US relationship, said Vietnamese Ambassador to the US Hà Kim Ngọc.

Ngọc shared that he had opportunities to work with McCain as his interpreter during the US Senator’s working trips to Vietnam.

From those trips, Ngọc noticed the Senator’s strategic vision, leadership and high political determination for the normalisation of Vietnam – US relations despite very great internal obstacles.

“It can be said that Senator McCain is a symbol of the Vietnam – US reconciliation process during which the two sides overcame their past as old enemies to normalise and develop bilateral relations.

“McCain enthusiastically supported and made untiring efforts for the Vietnam – US comprehensive partnership,” Ngọc said.

Along with Senator John Kerry and other senators like Patrick Leahy or Jim Webb, McCain had been at the forefront in the normalisation and enhancement of Vietnam – US friendship and co-operation, he added.

At the most difficult time of the bilateral relations when many still expressed suspicion and even protest about the Vietnam – US ties, McCain and Kerry and other senators had played a decisive role in the irreversible process of normalisation, Ngọc said.

Therefore, it could be said that McCain deserves credit for promoting the Vietnam – US relations and later, the comprehensive partnership between the two countries, according to the ambassador.

He said: “Even during his illness, McCain still paid attention to Vietnam-related issues such as cooperation with Vietnam, the East Sea issues and the catfish programme that affects poor farmers in the Mekong Delta region of Vietnam.

“With the support of both the Republican and Democratic Parties in the US Congress, the Vietnam – US comprehensive partnership will continue thriving for the benefits of the two countries.”

At a meeting with the Senator in Washington DC on January 21, 2016, Vietnamese Ambassador to the US at the time, Phạm Quang Vinh praised the Senator for his great contribution to the friendly and cooperative relations between the two countries.

In reply, McCain said he always attached importance to the US – Vietnam relations, and for him, Vietnam has an important position and role in the region.



Enjoyed this story? Share it.


Viet Nam News
About the Author: Viet Nam News is one of the country's top English language daily newspapers, providing coverage of the latest domestic and international developments in a range of areas.

Eastern Briefings

All you need to know about Asia


Our Eastern Briefings Newsletter presents curated stories from 22 Asian newspapers from South, Southeast and Northeast Asia.

Sign up and stay updated with the latest news.



By providing us with your email address, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

View Today's Newsletter Here

Politics

Bangkok grapple with shortage of masks as smog smothers city

The Thai government is trying to resolve a dangerous air pollution problem in Bangkok, by seeding clouds to produce rain and using water cannons to clean streets and the air. After spending several days choking on high levels of fine particle dust, many Bangkok residents have opted for masks to protect themselves. But some were unable to find the N95-grade face masks required and are calling for the authorities to cover the shortage. Meanwhile, an online poll conducted by The Standard online magazine among 2,200 residents on Monday (Jan 14) and Tuesday revealed that 50.3 per cent wore masks to protect themselves, while the remainder complained they could not find one.


By The Nation (Thailand)
January 17, 2019

Politics

South Korean defense paper doesn’t label north an enemy

Ministry also says the north has specialized battalion for assassination of key figures. The Defense Ministry does not directly refer to North Korea as an enemy and takes a less hostile tone toward the communist state in its 23rd white paper published Tuesday. The ministry’s latest biennial white paper — the first to be published since the Moon Jae-in administration came to power in 2017 — addresses security threats, military policies and the regional security environment. Perhaps most notably, the Defense Ministry eliminated the phrase specifically describing North Korea as South Korea’s “enemy,” a move that appears to reflect


By The Korea Herald
January 16, 2019

Politics

Huawei to end employment of staff arrested in Poland for spying

Huawei has been accused by countries of spying for Chinese government. Huawei announced on Saturday evening that it would terminate employment of Wang Weijing, who was detained in Poland on suspicion of spying, CCTV reported. Wang’s alleged actions have no relation to the company, according to Huawei. “In accordance with the terms and conditions of Huawei’s labor contract, we have made this decision because the incident in question has brought Huawei into disrepute,” said Huawei. “Huawei complies with all applicable laws and regulations in the countries where it operates, and we require every employee to abide by the laws and regulations in the countries where they are based,” said Huawei.


By China Daily
January 14, 2019

Politics

Xi: Step up fight against corruption

The president calls for more measures to be taken against corruption. Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, called on Friday for all-around efforts to fight corruption and improve the nation’s oversight system to secure even greater strategic outcomes in full and strict governance over the Party. Xi, China’s president and chairman of the Central Military Commission, made the remark at the third plenary session of the 19th CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection in Beijing. The sweeping victory that has been secured in the anti-graft campaign must be consolidated by strengthening deterrence so that officials “don’t dare to, are unable to and have no desire to” commit acts of corruption, Xi said. To this end, anti-corruption efforts in financial fields should be stepped up, particularly in key projects, areas and posi


By China Daily
January 14, 2019

Politics

Talks calm trade climate for Beijing, Washington

For the trade war, more talks means less tension. The latest round of vice-ministerial level trade talks between China and the United States, which concluded on Wednesday, have laid a foundation for addressing each other’s concerns, the Ministry of Commerce said on Thursday. Both sides have actively implemented the significant consensus reached by their heads of state and conducted extensive, in-depth and detailed exchanges on trade and structural issues of common concern, Gao Feng, the ministry’s spokesman, said at a news briefing on Thursday. The meetings between China and the US began on Monday in Beijing. According to a statement released by the ministry on Thursday morning, the two sides improved mutual understanding. Both sides agreed to continue to keep in close contact, the statement said. On Dec 1, the top leaders of China and the US met on the sidelines of the


By China Daily
January 11, 2019

Politics

Fugitive Jho Low says no connection between 1Mdb and China

Jho Low rubbishes Wall Street Journal report about China’s alleged role in 1MDB probe. Fugitive businessman Jho Low has dismissed a report by the Wall Street Journal linking China to Malaysian state investment fund 1MDB as “a continuation of a trial by media” led by Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad. The Journal said in a report on Monday (Jan 7) that senior Chinese leaders offered in 2016 to help bail out 1Malaysia Development Berhad or 1MDB, which is at the centre of a swelling, multi-billion-dollar graft scandal. The report cited minutes from a series of previously undisclosed meetings. Chinese officials told visiting Malaysians that China would use its influence to try to get the United States and other countries to drop their probes of allegations


By The Straits Times
January 10, 2019