Vietnam Time

1/7/2019 4:17:12 PM

Bright symbol of faithful international solidarity between Vietnam and Cambodia

Today Vietnam is celebrating the 40th anniversary of the victory of the Southwest border defence war and the victory over the genocidal regime of Khmer Rouge along with Cambodia.

Cambodian people bid farewell to Vietnamese volunteer soldiers. (Photo: VNA)

Forty years ago, in exercising the legitimate right to national defence, the Vietnamese army and people along the Southwest border rose up and fought against the atrocities of the Khmer Rouge regime in order to defend national independence and protect the border, and also to help the Cambodian people topple the Khmer Rouge and enter a new era of peace, national harmony and development.

Such a great victory is due to the combination of many factors, first of which is the sound leadership of the Communist Party of Vietnam, followed by the resolute and accurate leadership of the Central Military Commission and the Ministry of Defence. It is also a victory of the art of mobilising the national composite strength with the love for peace and justice of the world’s peoples, especially the patriotic Cambodian people and armed forces.

During the wars against the French and American aggressors, Vietnam and Cambodia fought together and shared the hardships in the struggle against the common enemy to gain independence and freedom for each country. But after assuming power in April 1975, the Khmer Rouge regime started an aggressive war against Vietnam and a brutal genocidal policy against the Cambodian people.

For less than four years, the Khmer Rouge massacred nearly three million Cambodians, throwing the Khmer people on the verge of extinction. For Vietnam, the Khmer Rouge distorted history, incited national hatred and sent troops to assail the Southwest border. They even invaded Tho Chu and several other islands in Vietnam’s southwestern waters. On December 23, 1978, they deployed many divisions to launch a general offensive onVietnam’s Southwest border, destroying villages, looting properties and brutally killing Vietnamese, even women, children and the elderly.

Facing the Khmer Rouge’s aggression and expanding war, Vietnam exercised a policy of restraint, peace and friendship. But the more restraint Vietnam exercised, the further the Khmer Rouge went, forcing the country to choose the path of rising up to exercise the right of legitimate defence. In response to the appeal for help of the Cambodian people and the Kampuchean United Front for National Salvation, Vietnam not only defeated the invaders but also dispatched troops to help the Cambodian people overthrow the genocidal regime of Khmer Rouge on January 7, 1979, salvaging the Cambodian people from the genocidal regime, reclaiming their rights to life and entering an era of independence, freedom and national revival.

Vietnam’s actions arose from the need for legitimate defence, international responsibility and conscience of a people once suffering from much oppression and many invasions. During the arduous fight, numerous Vietnamese soldiers and officers sacrificed their lives or left parts of their bodies on the battlefields. Vietnam’s assistance to the Cambodian revolution was righteous and selfless.

President of the Cambodian National Assembly Heng Samrin once stated that the help of Vietnamese volunteer soldiers was the humane and right assistance. Such assistance should have been the main duty of the international community in salvaging a nation in a tragedy caused by systematic genocide of the Pol Pot regime. Cambodian PM Hun Sen also affirmed that without the help of Vietnamese volunteer soldiers, the Cambodian people and army would not be able to liberate the country that fast. He emphasised that if Cambodia had sought to liberate itself, all Cambodians would have all died.

On January 8, 1979, the People's Revolutionary Council of Cambodia was established and requested that Vietnamese volunteer troops continue to cooperate with Cambodia’s armed forces to eradicate the remnants of the Khmer Rouge and strengthen the revolutionary government. Along with military action, Vietnam also sent many experts to support Cambodia to build local governments and revive its economy from the ruins left by the genocidal regime.

On June 29, 1989 when Vietnamese volunteer soldiers left Cambodia, a newspaper of the Cambodian People's Revolutionary Party ran an editorial stating that “During the extremely tragic years under the Pol Pot genocidal regime, although there were many powerful and wealthy countries in the world, only our neighbour Vietnam came to our rescue.”

During Cambodia’s period of national construction and development, building on the fine tradition, the Party, Government, Army and people of Vietnam continue to cooperate with the Party, Government, Army and people of Cambodia on many fields. Such assistance and the fighting solidarity between the two countries will be inscribed in history forever, becoming a bright symbol of faithful and selfless international solidarity between Vietnam and Cambodia.

Forty years have passed, the world and the region have witnessed tremendous changes, and the bilateral relationship has also seen new developments, but the nature and value of such a relationship between the two countries and peoples remains unchanged.

We believe that the time-honoured relationship between Vietnam and Cambodia will continue to be safeguarded and promoted in a new period through specific and effective cooperation programmes in various fields, making substantive contributions to the cause of national construction and defence in both countries.

VNF/NDO  
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