1. Main
  2. Learn
  3. Politics
  4. Politics

Vietnam marks 70 years since declaring independence from France

Vietnam marks 70 years since declaring independence from France Vietnam marks 70 years since declaring independence from France

Vietnam's president on Wednesday urged further modernisation of the armed forces in the face of growing maritime territorial disputes as the nation celebrated 70 years since it declared independence from France, AFP reports.

More than 30,000 people, from soldiers to schoolgirls, marched in a lavish parade in the capital Hanoi to mark the anniversary of founding president Ho Chi Minh's proclamation of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam.

His famous September 2, 1945 speech -- part of which was taken from the US Declaration of Independence -- launched a new era of struggle to end nearly a century of French colonial rule and later fight off American intervention and reunify Vietnam.

Speaking in the same Ba Dinh square as Ho Chi Minh 70 years ago, Vietnam's President Truong Tan Sang took aim at new global power struggles in the region.

"Disputes over sea and islands are on the rise, especially in the East Sea," he said, referring to the South China Sea by its Vietnamese name. 

Such maritime territorial disputes are a direct threat to Vietnam's "peace, stability, territorial sovereignty and integrity", Sang added, calling for further modernisation of the armed forces so that the country would be better prepared.

After Ho Chi Minh's 1945 declaration, it took another nine years for Vietnam to score a decisive victory over the French at Dien Bien Phu in 1954.

The US then entered the conflict, hoping to forestall the emergence of a communist Vietnam. 

Earlier this year, Hanoi also celebrated the 40th anniversary of the fall of Saigon on April 30, marking the communist victory over US forces.

The communist party has ruled unified Vietnam since 1975 and while the country has enjoyed rapid economic growth in recent years, it remains locked in a longstanding territorial dispute with Beijing over island chains and waters in the South China Sea.

Vietnam's authoritarian regime has struggled to balance vocal domestic criticism of its handling of the dispute with its traditionally friendly ties with fellow communists in Beijing.

The parade on Wednesday, one of the country's largest in years, did not involve any heavy military equipment but was part of a drive to inspire "patriotism, self-reliance and aspirations for peace", organisers said ahead of the event.

According to Vietnam's foreign ministry, Sang will be in China on Thursday to attend a controversial military parade marking the anniversary of the end of World War II in Asia.

Western leaders are shunning the event, which analysts say is a bid by Beijing to hammer home its growing global importance.

Nobel prizewinner proposes a new city in KZ
New abnormal snowfalls expected in Kazakhstan
Huge glacier retreat triggered in 1940s
Hyperloop construction begins in Las Vegas
"Moonlight" to top Spirit Awards nominations
Oil prices fall due to investors uncertainty
New dwarf galaxy discovered around Milky Way
Kanat Islam becomes a top ten WBO boxer
World oil prices continue to rise
Kazakhstan expects warming - Kazhydromet
Merkel to seek fourth term as chancellor
Sale of Tintin drawings set to break records
US, EU stocks fall as markets focus on dollar
Pacific leaders urged to defend free trade
EU warns eight nations on budget deficit
Universiade-2017: Athletic Village is ready
Bob Dylan can't make Nobel ceremony
Messi will never leave Barca - club president
Google, Facebook take aim at 'fake' news
Aerosmith announces Europe 'farewell' tour
Putin, Trump to normalise US-Russia ties
At least 10 hurt in southern Turkey blast
6.2 quake hits western Japan
OPEC agrees shock oil output cut
Israeli ex-president and Nobel laureate Peres dies
Germany blocks WhatsApp data transfers to Facebook
32,000 arrested in Turkey coup probe
Youth to the fore as Milan fashion week opens
Xenophobia threatening peace in eastern Germany
Four-in-10 Japanese are virgins: poll
Sweden re-militarises Baltic island of Gotland
China to launch second space laboratory: Xinhua
More than a billion stars mapped in Milky Way: ESA
Boxing: Golovkin eyes Saunders after stopping Brook
Kazakhstan shifts PM to security chief
Oil prices gain despite rising OPEC supply forecast
US to give Philippines military planes
Singapore wages war on Zika-bearing mosquitoes
Italy quake death toll nears 250
Viral photos add fuel to French burkini debate
18 dead as Italy struck by powerful quake
Japan's first lady visits Pearl Harbor
Pokemon's a no-go on Bangkok's roads
July was Earth's hottest month in modern times
Pakistan rock climbers scale new heights