Without reluctant, three eight graders jumped into the sea in an effort to save two of five people. One of student in five man saved his two girlfriends.
By Nguyen Hoang – Translated by Anh Quan
Without reluctant, three eight graders jumped into the sea in an effort to save two of five people. One of student in five man saved his two girlfriends.
By Nguyen Hoang – Translated by Anh Quan
Tourists watch dragon fruit trees. Photo: VOV
Binh Thuan has the largest acreage of dragon fruit tree cultivation in Vietnam. It also grows many other fruit trees, including apple, grape, and durian.
Mr. Nguyen Thanh Truc’s family in Ham Minh commune, Ham Thuan Nam district, considered Binh Thuan’s dragon fruit capital, grows dragon fruit on 4 ha of land. In between the dragon fruit trees, he grows grapefruit, coconut, jackfruit, and mango. His orchard is frequented by his friends and relatives on weekends. As the word has spread, an increasing number of tourists also visit the orchard, giving Truc the idea of offering hospitality services. He renovated his lotus pond, opened a fishing service, and created photo zones.
Truc said, “Because of the COVID-19 epidemic, the number of visitors decreased over the past year. People from the city used to visit my coconut and grapefruit operation, usually on Saturday or Sunday.”
In Ham Thuan Nam district, orchard visitors can observe the tending, harvesting and processing of dragon fruit and enjoy juice and dishes made from dragon fruit. Nguyen Thi Kim Thoa is excited to pick grapefruits and coconuts at Nguyen Thanh Truc’s orchard.
“This is the first time I have visited an orchard. I like the fresh, cool air and the fruit is delicious. The orchard owner is very hospitable and friendly. I’ve toured the orchard, I think it will attract many tourists,” said Thoa.
Other districts in Binh Thuan province also grow a lot of fruit trees. Ho Cong Tien, head of Tuy Phong district’s Culture and Information Department, said, “In recent years, Tuy Phong has focused on growing yellow grapefruits, yellow apples, chili, lemon, and banana to sell to tourists.”
Vo Xuan Nghia, Director of the Binh Thuan Tourism Promotion Information Center, is optimistic about orchard tourism.
“Agricultural tourism is becoming popular. We have introduced it through media outlets and travel companies. Hopefully, when the COVID-19 epidemic subsides, the Binh Thuan tourism market will revive. Fruit orchards are a new attraction that helps to diversify tourism in our province,” said Nghia.
Binh Thuan now has about 44,300 ha of fruit trees of all kinds in orchards that both produce fruit and offer tourism services.
Mekong Delta long-term future relying on renewables, illustration photo
The latest draft of the National Power Development Plan 8 (PDP8) calculates with an expected commercial power capacity estimated at 491 billion kWh by 2030, and 877 billion kWh by 2045. To develop power capacity, the total installed power generation is planned to hit 137.2GW, contributed by 27 per cent coal-fired power, 21 per cent thermal gas, 18 per cent hydropower, and 29 per cent renewable energies, as well as 4 per cent imported energy by 2030.
By 2045, the capacity of installed power is planned to be around 276.7GW, supplied by 18 per cent coal thermal power, 24 per cent thermal gas, 9 per cent hydropower, and 44 per cent of renewable energies, as well as 2 per cent of imported energy.
“The PDP8 highlights the evolvement of renewables, in addition to hydropower, with a significant increase from 13 per cent in 2020 to nearly 30 per cent in 2030 and 44 per cent in 2045, while most other sources will be reduced,” said Le Anh Tuan, deputy director of Can Tho University’s Research Institute for Climate Change.
In the view of Tuan, the draft PDP8 is different in many ways to its predecessor, removing 5,000MW of coal thermal power and significantly raising the contribution ratio of renewable energies. However, Tuan also raised some issues like capital sources, the suitability of green finance solutions, and banking that are all also mentioned in the Politburo’s Resolution No.55-NQ/TW dated October 2, 2020 on the orientation of Vietnam’s National Energy Development Strategy until 2030 and outlook to 2045. It will be tough for coal power projects to mobilise capital in the future, because numerous global financial institutions are divesting from this sector.
Tuan also assessed that the draft PDP8 is more focused on environmental troubles and sustainable development. However, the plan still relies heavily on an old thinking focusing on coal-fired power, with new projects mainly expected to use imported coal.
Under the plan, three coal thermal power plants will be developed in the Mekong River Delta. A project in Hau Giang province and two in Soc Trang province are expected to generate around 5,000MW, which will significantly impact the environment of the region – one that is crucial for rice cultivation and aquaculture.
“Why don’t we focus on other energies that can replace coal? Vietnam is a promising land for wind and solar energy. We can even export power instead of importing from Laos and China as mentioned in the PDP8’s draft,” Tuan argued.
He explained that developing coal-fired power plants in this region stands in contrast to Resolution No.120/NQ-CP issued in 2017 on sustainable and climate-resilient development of the delta. “In this region, in addition to solar and wind power, biomass at small scale is quite suitable to develop, which would help the use of eco-friendly technologies and the reliance on coal thermal power,” Tuan suggested.
Tran Huu Hiep, former director of the Economics Department of the National Steering Committee for the Southwest Region, noted the role of the competitive power market and asked to remove the monopoly in this sector. “Developing coal thermal power is risky. Raising dependence on imported fuel like coal and gas will also bring risks for national energy security,” said Hiep. “Meanwhile, we have yet to make use of renewable energy potentials, and capital for this energy will be from many sources, including local and foreign investors.”
Hiep added that while the PDP8 should consider developing coal thermal power projects, especially in the next 10 years, there should also be a stronger focus on renewables like solar, wind, and biomass in the Mekong Delta.
Nguyen Ngoc Huy, senior consultant at Oxfam Vietnam, said that developing renewable energy in this region would pay attention to its characteristics. “Around 75 per cent of the region’s total power output serves aquaculture, while the remainder is spent for factories and consumption. Therefore, developing renewables in the delta will offer doubled benefits for both the energy sector and the region’s aquaculture and husbandry,” Huy said.
The 11th and final session of the 14th National Assembly, scheduled for March 24 to April 8, provided opportunities to evaluate and review the achievements and limitations in the exercise of the National Assembly’s legislative, executive and judicial powers.
Under the leadership of the party and the supervision of the deputies, together with the valuable experience of previous terms, the 14th National Assembly proved its role as the embodiment of national unity, creative thinking, strong innovation, flexibility, prudence, assertiveness and responsibility, acting for the benefit of the country and the people. The 14th National Assembly also completed its tasks in the exercise of the legislative, executive and judicial powers. The 14th National Assembly issued many legal documents to institutionalize party policies, affirming its important role in building and perfecting the institutions of the socialist law-governed state.
In the past tenure, the National Assembly adopted 72 laws, two ordinances and various resolutions, creating a legal basis for renewal, effectiveness and efficiency of the state’s governance, promoting democracy and protecting human and civil rights.
The National Assembly’s oversight generated public approval, with major changes introduced into the question and answer sessions and the format switched from discussion to open debate.
The National Assembly also adopted major decisions of great impact for socioeconomic life and development in mountainous and ethnic minority areas.
Specifically, deputies decided to invest in major national projects, such as the construction of three sections of the eastern North-South Expressway and of a runway, a terminal and other components for the phase-one development of the Long Thanh International Airport.
The National Assembly’s external relations also contributed greatly to the success of the party and state foreign policies, helping maintain a peaceful and stable environment for national construction, defense and development and elevating the country’s standing in the international arena.
The Vietnamese National Assembly also approved the new-generation free trade agreements Vietnam has signed, such as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), creating a momentum for the country’s rapid and sustainable development. In particular, the Vietnamese National Assembly has promoted friendly relations and multifaceted cooperation with other parliaments.
Do Nga & Quynh Nga
During weekends, from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m, many streets of the central town are crowded with groups of visitors. On average, Hoi An attracts more than 1,000 visitors over weekends, three times more than on normal days.
The surge in tourist numbers has been credited to the country’s good handling of its latest Covid-19 outbreak that began on Jan. 28. All 13 affected localities including hotspot Hai Duong Province have passed many days without new community transmissions.
Visitors cycle along Le Loi Street.
Motorbikes and cars are banned from the town center for large parts of the day – from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and from 3 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., making bicycles the most ideal choice for town explorations.
Many visitors prefer the tranquility of biking through narrow alleys and past yellow houses decorated with old red-tiled roofs. Rental prices range from VND20,000 to VND40,000 ($0.87 – 1.73) a day.
Pagoda Bridge is an iconic symbol of Hoi An. The bridge, built by Japanese traders in the 17th century, is a national relic that appears on VND20,000 bills.
Lan, the owner of a sweet shop on Bach Dang Street, said it has been a long time since she has served such a large number of weekend customers. In January and February, there were no customers, so she only opened her shop on weekends, though selling little.
“From March 8 till now, the number of customers has tripled, so I now keep my shop open every day to increase my income,” she said.
The ancient town is seen from above, with throngs of tourists gathering on a bridge across Hoai River where many restaurants, street food stalls and coffee shops have sprouted like mushroom along the banks.
At night, a series of boats on Hoai River are lit by lanterns, attracting many tourists to enjoy Hoi An from the water.
“Every weekend I serve a few passengers and earn more than VND200,000 ($8.8),” said Hung, a boatman, who wished for more tourists to come to Hoi An in the coming time so the local tourism industry could thrive.
The Hoai River area has become more crowded, but by mainly domestic tourists.
The number of foreign visitors to Vietnam in the first quarter fell 98.7 percent year-on-year to 48,000 with travel restrictions in place to mitigate the impacts of Covid-19.
The government has closed its borders and canceled all international flights since March 25 last year except for special cases like f oreign experts and highly-skilled workers and repatriation purposes under stringent conditions.
Minister of Information and Communications Nguyen Manh Hung has emphasized that the biggest fear of youth is wasting time without learning anything valuable. Young people should get involved, and do what they never thought they could do.
This was the message in a speech given by Mr. Hung at a youth event of the Viettel Group, when he was still Viettel’s General Director. VietNamNet would like to introduce the speech:
Minister of Information and Communications Nguyen Manh Hung.
Today, we are immersed in the atmosphere of Viettel youth, which is an atmosphere of creativity, daring to commit, being unafraid of difficulties, and full of aspirations.
Each of us has only one life to live on and each life has only one passage called youth. Youth is also the time when people have the most opportunities to try their best. Youth in general and Viettel’s young people in particular have in hand the most valuable asset which is time. And many young people in Viettel do not let time pass by meaninglessly. They are brave to engage in things that even they do not think they can do.
Today’s world has changed a lot. The power and the way people use their powers have also been changing day by day and hour by hour. Artificial intelligence, Internet of things, social networks … can make us stronger but can also engulf us at any moment. In the age of Internet, we can easily connect with millions of people but we are losing connection with ourselves, living without purpose, living under popular trends, not knowing what is valuable to us, not knowing what is our true strength. Today’s young generation has a lot of strength but also faces many challenges. That means your generation has a lot of things to do.
Our generation gave birth to Viettel, but the day when we leave Viettel will come. The responsibility today is all with you, with the younger generation Viettel. The wisdom of your generation is the wisdom of Viettel. No one else but you are the future of Viettel, a new Viettel born by you. The future of Viettel depends largely on the younger generation of Viettel today. So I want to talk a little bit about your responsibility.
That responsibility begins with always thinking differently, being more creative, out of old patterns, not dwelling in the experiences that have created today’s success. It is often said that youth is impotent, because youth is the age when one is not shy at all, always doubts everything – except his own ability. But immaturity is a special kind of energy unique to young people. Experienced people are actually living in a box with 6 panels. The bottom panel is all the data they have, the top panel is their belief, the front is what they’ve ever seen, the experience creates the behind panel, the left is all they suppose, and the right panel is all of their knowledge.
All the good people, the experienced people, the older people live in those 6 partitions. The better they are, the harder the partitions can become. The more years there are, the more difficult to break the partitions. But young people don’t have those partitions, they don’t live in that six-sided box. Without a box, without any barriers to hinder you, you will see the universe. When a young person makes an effort towards a goal, it is the strongest, most beautiful posture. In the world, nothing more beautiful can be found than the arduous struggle of youth. Because of that, smart people always wish they could be younger.
That responsibility is also to always have a sense of learning. It is not only about learning specialized knowledge, and not stopping at cultivating foreign language skills in order to be able to integrate into the world. It also doesn’t stop at the fact that we have to forge the habit of reading to absorb new human knowledge. It also means that you have to constantly try, be determined and patient to overcome difficulties.
You will not avoid difficult things or hesitate to try things you have never done, and you will constantly commit to discovering yourself. Today we can work in the engineering industry, tomorrow we can try business. Today we can work at home, tomorrow we go out to foreign markets. Today we have experiences in the field of telecommunications, tomorrow we will immerse ourselves in the field of manufacturing research. New experience is never redundant. Discover new passions, learn new skills, use precious adolescence to prepare yourself and hone the skills needed to pursue a career that you aspire to. And that is why, when we are young, we need to try a lot and rise a lot to explore our very different abilities. Today’s world is a world that offers opportunities for those who are multidisciplinary, multi-knowledgeable and multi-skilled.
That responsibility also means that you stay engaged, take risks and not be afraid of hard work. Do not be disappointed if you are not immediately good at something. For all of us, no one can be good at everything right away. Take each failure as a necessary lesson for success. Only by making commitment and be brave can you do great things in your life.
The menu or the diners? It is the name of a book about the history of Singapore. Deciding to be a dish for the world’s powers to determine your own destiny or to become an equal with them, discussing important issues with them. They have the right to choose. And they chose themselves as diners, and after only 25 years separated from Malaysia, Singapore, from an island nation, became a prosperous country. This question should also be posed by young people. Do we decide whether we will become victims or the cause of all of our problems? Because if we are the victim, we will just cry, but if we understand that we are the cause, we will find a solution to fix it. Do we decide to be employees or do we become an employer? As employees, we will work under the direction of others. As an employer, we know what we want and what we need to do.
Yesterday, I had a talk with Truong Thanh Thuy – who is known as Vietnam’s startup queen – who has stage 4 lung cancer. One year ago, Thuy was full of energy with many plans and ambitions. Thuy and Viettel have coordinated to bring the Hour of code program to Vietnam, so that Vietnamese people can understand that programming is not difficult, that programming language will make our life smarter and more convenient. At the same time, cancer fell on Thuy’s life. Yesterday, I met Thuy. She was thinner, bluer, and her facial skin was ravaged by drugs aimed at controlling painful tumors that are metastasizing to her bones. But her energy is still intact. Thuy said that since the day she has been living with cancer, her life has been more meaningful.
Thuy founded a non-profit organization to help cancer patients in Vietnam. Thuy is striving to create a cancer faculty at an university. Thuy is building software to support the lives of cancer patients. Thuy did not let adversity knock her down. Thuy did not turn herself into a victim of cancer. On the contrary, Thuy considers cancer a second chance of life. And Thuy has found the meaning of her life and the value that she can bring. What could be happier than living your life and seeing yourself worthwhile? And that just needs a little change in your mind, so don’t turn yourself in to a victim to anyone, of anything but yourself. Always be the employer in all your work. Take control of your own life. Don’t entrust it to anyone, but yourself.
To tell this story, I want to tell Viettel young people that adversity is a wonderful thing this life gives us. And as the General Director of the Group, I am working hard to create challenges for Viettel’s youth. Challenges, great goals, and divine aspirations are also adversities for us to explore our abilities.
We can completely see these things from the OCS project, the project to research and manufacture telecommunications network infrastructure, the project to protect customers in cyberspace. We, the young people of Viettel, did it. To reach success, many times you have to face failure and deadlock. But it is the strength of Viettel youth that I mentioned above, that is creativity, daring to venture, not being afraid of difficulties and always being full of aspirations that make impossible projects, at least for Vietnamese people, become a reality.
I love the fable about the butterfly very much. Before becoming a butterfly, a silk moth needs to be strong enough to break out of its cramped cocoon. Someone, because he wanted to help the silk moth, uses his hands to split the cocoon. As a result, he has a handicapped butterfly because its wings are so weak. It turns out that the cocoon is stiff for a reason – it creates an environment for the young butterfly to constantly move, constantly strive so that its wings are sturdy and large enough to be able to fly in the sky when it escapes from the cocoon.
At Viettel, we have determination, aspiration and we even consider it a responsibility to young people to ensure that the silk moth be born healthy. We create challenges, we set high goals, we are picky about our products so that each person can grow up faster, manifest his abilities more clearly. Because I myself and the group leaders always believe that 90% of capacity in each person is still sleeping, which needs something to wake it up. Like the silk moth, without a cocoon thick enough, its wings will not be stiff enough. If the cocoon is not a harsh environment, the silk moth will forever stay in the peaceful nest and never dare to leave. Therefore, Viettel is always proud of having created a harsh enough environment for anyone passing through this organization; when looking back, they will see that they are much more mature. Viettel is contributing to allowing people the opportunity to find their own capabilities, find the purpose of their life.
Because everyone has youth at some point. Therefore, when we have health, have time, have passion, have recklessness, do not let time pass by meaninglessly. Because anything can be regained, but youth cannot be regained. The most valuable asset of youth is time. The greatest fear of youth is wasting time without learning anything valuable. Let’s be brave, be engaged, go ahead, do what you never thought you could do. The magic of youth is not being able to do everything, but always hoping to make everything. The property and money that we have can be lost. Human reputation can also dissipate in an instant. Friends and relatives have to leave us sometimes. Only wisdom will be never lost. It will follow us all our life. It will even last forever if one day we are not in this world anymore.
If you want to change something, tighten the laces and move on. If you’re frustrated with what you have currently, take action now. Express yourself, stick to your goals. You can win sometimes, but sometimes you have to lose. But always remember that what’s worthwhile never comes easy. And failure is also a kind of experience. More than that, it is a good experience. Because it is failure that helps us to be stronger and more mature. A rich youth is a youth with many experiences.
Young people are energetic, have a lot of aspirations, are not afraid of failure, so let’s take difficult jobs, challenges, go ahead, get involved, fight evil, create startups, raise new ideas, give birth to your own baby and if you fall, you can get up. Viettel has dreams, divine aspirations, and the mission of Viettel’s youth is to give birth to a new Viettel, your Viettel, to fulfill those dreams and aspirations.
Nguyen Manh Hung