Former Vietnamese soldiers Nguyen Tran Viet (L), Tran Quoc Hanh (C), and Hoang Bao, war veterans of Dien Bien Phu campaign, look at Viet’s old photograph at his house in Hanoi during an interview with AFP on November 1, 2018. Photo by AFP/Nhac Nguyen Hoang Bao was barely 20 years old when he trekked to Dien Bien Phu in northern Vietnam to fight the French, facing his enemy full of hatred and ready to die for his country’s independence. More than 60 years after the shock victory in the epic battle, the site of which French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe will visit Saturday, retired colonel Bao is happy to call his former foe a friend. “We have no hatred toward the French any more,” 85-year-old Bao told AFP in Hanoi, wearing his dark green military uniform decorated with medals. But he said there are important lessons to be learned from the bloody 56-day fight that sparked the collapse of France’s colonial Indochina empire and paved the way for northern Vietnam’s independence. “The French didn’t learn our history well, so they lost… Vietnam is different from other countries, we are not willing to surrender,” he said. Vietnam’s win over the French… Read full this story
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