Red River’s clear colors blamed on dams, pollution

By Gia Chinh   February 25, 2021 | 08:09 am GMT+7 vnexpress

With the Red River turning a surprisingly clear blue-green shade in its upstream sections, experts have blamed it on dams and polluting factories.

The Red River as flows through Lao Cai Town in February 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Pham Ngoc Trien
The Red River flowing through Lao Cai Province in February 2021 is clear and not murky. Photo by VnExpress/Pham Ngoc Trien.

For a week now, the Red River section that flows through Lao Cai Province has become so clear that there are some shallow areas towards the banks where the river bed can be seen at a depth of one meter.

The Red River, over 1,100 km long, originates in China and flows through Lao Cai, Yen Bai, Phu Tho, Vinh Phuc and Hanoi. The river section that flows through Vietnam is about 510 km long.

Nguyen Thi Lan, a resident of Lao Cai, said the water of the Red River in her town was normally a thick brown color, and if seen from afar, it looked like a pinkish strip.

“It is really strange now that the river has such a clear green shade,” she said.

Local people swim in the water full of silt in 2017. Photo by VnExpress/Ngoc Thanh
Locals people swim in the Red River in 2017. Photo by VnExpress/Ngoc Thanh.

Vu Dinh Thuy, deputy director of Lao Cai’s Natural Resources and Environment Department, said this is not the first time the Red River has changed into such a color and this phenomenon has happened around this time of year for the past five years.

“Maybe the reason is that the natural alluvium that has always flowed down naturally from further upstream has been absent; and also northern Vietnam has had no rainfall this season (to muddy the waters).”

Dao Trong Tu, chairman of the Vietnam Rivers Network, also set out two possible reasons for the changes seen in the Red River.

He said a series of hydropower plants and reservoirs operated by China further upstream could have held back alluvium.

The other reason, he said, could be the pollution caused by factories operating in upstream areas and along the banks of the river.

Tu added that theory of pollution would require specific monitoring and study of the water samples to arrive at a final conclusion.Related News:

Thang Long Imperial Citadel expected to become Heritage Park

Chia sẻ | FaceBookTwitter Email Copy LinkInterested024/02/2021    20:32 GMT+7

The Thang Long Imperial Citadel in the centre of Hanoi should be preserved and developed with a vision to become a Heritage Park, said Secretary of the Hanoi Party Committee Vuong Dinh Hue.

Bac Mon (northern gate) – one of the gates of the Thang Long Imperial Citadel. Photos: VNA

The Hanoi leader said at a working session with its management body – the Thang Long-Hanoi Heritage Conservation Centre on February 23 that along with the Co Loa Relic Site, the Thang Long Imperial Citadel is a precious heritage of Hanoi. He stressed the need to promote the citadel relic site’s values in line with tourism development.

He also underscored the importance of strengthening international cooperation in restoring and promoting the values of the Thang Long Imperial Citadel.

The Thang Long Imperial Citadel was built in the 11th century by the Ly Viet Dynasty, marking the independence of the Dai Viet.

The Centre Sector of the Thang Long Imperial Citadel was recognised as a special national relic site in 2009 and a UNESCO World Heritage Site in August 2010. So far, the city has showed strong performance in implementing seven out of eight commitments to the UNESCO and continued realising the commitment in unification of management.

Currently, five projects to restore and develop the site have been underway and planned.

At the meeting, experts, scientists and researchers held that unifying management is a focus of the UNESCO and Vietnam. They advised Hanoi to coordinate with relevant agencies to speed up the hand over of the remaining area of 1,729 hectares and archaeological items, while focusing on prioritsed projects at the 18 Hoang Dieu Archaeological Site and the Kinh Thien Palace restoration.

Luu Tran Tieu, Chairman of the National Cultural Heritage Council, suggested that Hanoi should add a number of additional items to the construction of an outdoor museum at the site to draw visitors.  VNA

Vietnamese Tet Programme at Thang Long Imperial Citadel

A Vietnamese Tet (Lunar New Year) Programme with folk rituals and games took place at the Thang Long ….

Evening tour to introduce visitors to the best of Thang Long Imperial Citadel

An evening tour named “Decoding the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long” is scheduled to be launched later ….

National Assembly to elect state leaders in late March

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24/02/2021    08:17 GMT+7 vietnamnet

The upcoming National Assembly session, which will take place from March 24 to April 7, will elect a number of positions in the State apparatus for the 2016-2021 term.

Quốc hội bầu lãnh đạo nhà nước vào cuối tháng 3
National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan.

National Assembly Chair Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan said at the 53rd session of the 14th National Assembly Standing Committee which concluded on February 23 that the upcoming National Assembly session, which will take place from March 24 to April 7, will elect a number of positions in the State apparatus for the 2016-2021 term.

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Mực nước sông Mekong thấp ‘đáng lo ngại’, TQ cần cấp thêm dữ liệu về đập

Đập Đại Triều Sơn chặn sông Mekong ở tỉnh Vân Nam, TQ.

Ủy hội sông Mekong (MRC) hôm thứ Sáu 12/2 cho hay mực nước của sông Mekong đã hạ thấp xuống mức “đáng lo ngại”, một phần do lượng xả bị hạn chế từ các đập thủy điện của Trung Quốc ở thượng nguồn. MRC kêu gọi Bắc Kinh chia sẻ tất cả dữ liệu của họ về lưu lượng nước.

Dòng sông cũng là tuyến đường thủy quan trọng đã chuyển sang màu xanh lam dọc theo biên giới Thái-Lào, thay vì có màu nâu đục thường thấy. Điều này báo hiệu về mực nước nông và lượng phù sa giàu dinh dưỡng bị giảm xuống thấp – một phần do hạn chế về lượng nước xả từ đập Cảnh Hồng ở tỉnh Vân Nam của Trung Quốc, ủy hội liên chính phủ MRC nói.

Tiếp tục đọc “Mực nước sông Mekong thấp ‘đáng lo ngại’, TQ cần cấp thêm dữ liệu về đập”

Chinese Assessment of New U.S. Naval Strategy

February 19, 2021 10:28 AM USNI News

The following is a translation of the National Institute for South China Sea Studies assessment of the recently released U.S. maritime strategy, Advantage at Sea: Prevailing with Integrated All-Domain Naval Power. The China Maritime Studies Institute at the U.S. Naval War College made the translation.

The Prelude to All-Encompassing Maritime Competition Between China and the U.S. is about to Begin—An Appraisal of America’s Newest Maritime Strategy

By Shi Xiaoqin and Liu Xiaobo

On December 17, 2020, the U.S. Navy (USN), U.S. Marine Corps (USMC), and the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) jointly issued a new maritime strategy entitled Advantage at Sea: Prevailing with Integrated All-Domain Naval Power. This tri-service strategy is a follow-on to A Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower, which the three services jointly issued in 2007 and 2015. Two characteristics of the document deserve attention: one, it directly regards China as an opponent and two, it simultaneously classifies China and Russia as opponents. Compared with the U.S. maritime strategy issued at the height of the Cold War in 1982, this document might be regarded as the first maritime strategy document issued after the inauguration of Sino-U.S. strategic competition.

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Rush Limbaugh Dies at 70; Turned Talk Radio Into a Right-Wing Attack Machine

With a following of 15 million and a divisive style of mockery, grievance and denigrating language, he was a force in reshaping American conservatism.

[TĐH: A tidbit of the history of present day US politics. How the extremist voices become powerful in the public opinion domain.]

By Robert D. McFadden and Michael M. Grynbaum

  • Feb. 17, 2021Updated 6:42 p.m. ET

Rush Limbaugh, the right-wing radio megastar whose slashing, divisive style of mockery and grievance reshaped American conservatism, denigrating Democrats, environmentalists, “feminazis” (his term) and other liberals while presaging the rise of Donald J. Trump, died on Wednesday at his home in Palm Beach, Fla. He was 70.

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Legacies of war, ironically, have brought Vietnam and the US closer together

By Chuck Searcy   February 15, 2021 | 07:40 am GMT+7Last month, completion of dioxin cleanup on a 5,300-square-meter tract of land at Bien Hoa airport marked a significant milestone.

Chuck Searcy
Chuck Searcy

Officials of both the Vietnamese and U.S. governments could derive satisfaction from knowing that the Agent Orange/dioxin legacy of war is now being addressed, after a troubling post-war history of misinformation and controversy, accusations and doubts.

Not just public officials, but veterans and ordinary citizens of both countries can take pride in looking back over the remarkable transformation that has taken place in the past two decades, from early years of mistrust and recrimination to a positive, working partnership between Vietnam and the U.S. today.

That relationship is now built on mutual trust and respect.

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Mineral resources strategy to 2020, with a vision toward 2030 Decision No. 2427/QD-TTg dated December 22nd, 2011 of the Prime Minister.

Mineral resources strategy to 2020, with a vision toward 2030Decision No. 2427/QD-TTg dated December 22nd, 2011 of the Prime Minister.

Attach Files:

Độc lập – Tự do – Hạnh phúc
Số: 2427/QĐ-TTgHà Nội, ngày 22 tháng 12 năm 2011




Căn cứ Luật Tổ chức Chính phủ ngày 25 tháng 12 năm 2001;

Luật Khoáng sản số 60/2010/QH12 ngày 17 tháng 11 năm 2010;

Căn cứ Nghị quyết số 02-NQ/TW ngày 25 tháng 4 năm 2011 của Bộ Chính trị về định hướng chiến lược khoáng sản và công nghiệp khai khoáng đến năm 2020, tầm nhìn đến năm 2030;

Căn cứ Chiến lược phát triển kinh tế – xã hội 2011 – 2020;

Xét đề nghị của Bộ trưởng Bộ Tài nguyên và Môi trường,


Điều 1. Phê duyệt “Chiến lược khoáng sản đến năm 2020, tầm nhìn đến năm 2030” với những nội dung chính như sau:

Tiếp tục đọc “Mineral resources strategy to 2020, with a vision toward 2030 Decision No. 2427/QD-TTg dated December 22nd, 2011 of the Prime Minister.”

The Digital Indo-Pacific: Regional Connectivity and Resilience


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Observer Research Foundation (ORF) is an independent think tank based in Delhi, India. The foundation has three centres in Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata. ORF provides potentially viable inputs for policy and decision-makers in the Indian Government and to the political and business communities of India. ORF started out with an objective of dealing with internal issues of the economy in the wake of the 1990s reforms. However, today its mandate extends to security and strategy, governance, environment, energy and resources, economy and growth.


ORF was founded in part by the Dhirubhai Ambani family; it claims to operate independently, though.[1] According to some reports, until 2009, 95% of the foundation’s budget was provided by Reliance Industries, however, it is now estimated to be around 65% as the foundation diversified its source of finance to government, foreign foundations, and others.[2]

(Source: wikipedia)

The UK Shifts to the Indo-Pacific: An Opportunity for India-UK Ties

The UK Shifts to the Indo-Pacific: An Opportunity for India-UK Ties

When the United Kingdom (UK) releases the highly anticipated integrated review of its foreign, defence, security and development policy in March, it will mark the first formal iteration of the UK’s Indo-Pacific strategy. This brief explores the dynamics that are driving the UK’s tilt to the Indo-Pacific. It identifies three key drivers that are prompting the shift: a reappraisal of China, the economic fallout of Brexit, and the UK’s close ties with the US. It explores the emerging trends in this churn—across security, trade, development, and diplomatic domains—and highlights the opportunities they afford the India-UK relationship.

Attribution: Harsh V Pant and Tom Milford, The UK Shifts to the Indo-Pacific: An Opportunity for India-UK Ties,” ORF Issue Brief No. 444, February 2021, Observer Research Foundation.


The ‘Indo-Pacific’ concept is a recognition that the Indian and Pacific Ocean regions are intertwined and should be treated as one strategic space. Its very idea is an affirmation that because of how globalisation works, regional issues—from climate change to piracy—require regional cooperation. For example, it was the need for massive disaster relief following the Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami in 2004 that was the genesis of the Quadrilateral initiative (of India, Japan, the US and Australia—or Quad). On what is perhaps a deeper level, the ‘Indo-Pacific’ idea is a recognition that the Indo-Pacific is the defining geopolitical theatre of the century: it is not only home to the fastest growing economies and military powers in the world, but it is also littered with land and maritime disputes that will require careful management to maintain stability.

To be sure, there is no consensus around the geographic scope of the Indo-Pacific. Some define it as the entire region that stretches from the eastern shores of Africa to the western coast of the US; others view it as beginning from India, and eastwards.  Drawing the precise geographic borderlines, however, becomes less important when regarding the Indo-Pacific as, foremost, a geostrategic concept. As states conceptualise their geostrategic imperatives and weigh the threats they face, the geographic contours of the Indo-Pacific will only continue to evolve.

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China’s Global Media Footprint – Democratic Responses to Expanding Authoritarian Influence


The Sharp Power and Democratic Resilience series aims to contextualize the nature of sharp power, inventory key authoritarian efforts and domains, and illuminate ideas for non-governmental action that are essential to strengthening democratic resilience.



Sarah Cook is research director for China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan at Freedom House. She directs the China Media Bulletin, a monthly digest providing news and analysis on media freedom developments related to China. Cook is the author of several Asian country reports for Freedom House’s annual publications, as well as four special reports about China.

This report describes the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) sharp power efforts to shape media content around the world. It also documents how nongovernmental actors contribute to a growing accumulation of activities aimed at countering Beijing’s media influence while protecting democratic institutions.

Leveraging propaganda, disinformation, censorship, and influence over key nodes in the information flow, Beijing’s expanding efforts to shape global narratives go beyond simply “telling China’s story.” Their sharper edge undermines democratic norms, erodes national sovereignty, weakens the financial sustainability of independent media, and violates local laws. An acknowledgment and understanding of the challenges that China’s party-state and related actors pose to media freedom globally—not only by China experts, but by the full array of nongovernmental actors engaged in the media, news, and technology sectors—must be central to a comprehensive response.

It is imperative that anyone engaged in the media space—be they journalists, regulators, technology firms, press freedom groups, or even news consumers—acknowledge the influence exerted by China’s authoritarian regime on the news and information circulating in their print publications, radio broadcasts, television programs, and social media feeds.


  • Investigation and research: Academic institutions, think tanks, research entities, and donors should continue existing work and ensure resources are available to monitor and expose CCP media influence activities in a credible, professional, and sustained way in the coming years.
  • Action by media outlets: Local media should improve their awareness of the potential journalistic and political pitfalls of accepting Chinese state or proxy investment, paid supplements, or coproduction deals.
  • Civil society advocacy: International and local press freedom groups should consider whether and how to incorporate a CCP media influence dimension into current or future projects, with support from donors. Such initiatives could support internal capacity building, journalism trainings and education, media literacy, policy advocacy, and information sharing and coordination.
  • Technology sector collaboration: Technology firms should seek further opportunities to work with researchers and civil society in identifying emerging threats and problematic accounts tied to the Chinese party-state. They must also ensure that independent voices, activists, and content producers who are critical of the Chinese government have a clear avenue for appeal if they encounter problems on the companies’ platforms.

The report also highlights specific actions taken by media outlets and civil society to counter the CCP’s expanding global footprint. Categorized by sector, these responses illustrate ways for media, civil society, think tanks, and the technology sector to build resilience to sharp power across the information ecosystem.


China’s Global Media Footprint: Democratic Responses to Expanding Authoritarian Influence [PDF]

Gender norms, LGBTQI issues and development

Author: Evie BrownePublished by: ALIGN

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LGBTQI+ and norms guide cover featuring a rainbow flag.

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) rights have become an important topic of discussion in the development sector in recent years. Moving from the provision of HIV and AIDS care for the disproportionate number of LGBT people affected, through to same-sex marriage legalisation, the landscape has shifted to promote an LGBTI-inclusive approach in many areas. This is supported by a series of international and national human rights provisions affirming all people’s rights to nondiscrimination, freedom of expression and freedom from violence. In some contexts, these changes have been possible due to shifts in social norms towards greater tolerance and acceptance of LGBTQI people. Norm change has largely been the result of long-term and increasingly visible and vibrant activist engagement, drawing on strategies such as media coverage, peer interventions, ally-building and institutional training. This guide reviews some of the literature on the norm changes that are leading to greater acceptance of and less discrimination towards LGBTQI people, focusing on low income countries in the global South. 

This topic guide is primarily intended for policy-makers and practitioners who may not be familiar with a queer theory approach to norms. It provides an overview of some important ideas and ways of thinking about how gendered social norms affect LGBTQI people in developing countries, moving the discussion beyond a rights-based approach to be more inclusive of all kinds of non-normative sexualities and genders. The guide aims to summarise the main theoretical points of a queer approach to gender norms, to identify the key issues and challenges affecting LGBTQI people, and to provide some examples of where norm change has happened.

Vietnam Boy: US ambassador raps to celebrate Tet

By Minh Nga   February 9, 2021 | 02:47 pm GMT+7

Ambassador Daniel Kritenbrink collaborated with Vietnamese rapper Wowy to make a song about the Lunar New Year vibe in Vietnam.

Throughout the song, the ambassador raps several Vietnamese lines to wish people a peaceful new lunar year.

He also lists what should be done throughout Tet in Vietnamese traditions, including preparing the yellow mai and peach plants, of which flowers are signature for home decoration during Tet in Vietnam, cleaning up the house to welcome guests, and giving li xi (lucky money) to children.

He ends the video with the line saying “Tet den roi” which means Tet has arrived.

This is the Ambassador’s fourth Tet in Vietnam, and he has always enjoyed this time of year. “Tet gives us an opportunity to slow down, reconnect with loved ones, and reflect on the passing year while looking ahead to the coming year,” said the U.S. Consulate General in HCMC.

“Our two countries cooperate closely on everything from security, trade, and education, to war legacies, energy, and health, and now we can add music to the list,” it added.

Tet is what Vietnamese calls Lunar New Year, which is so far the nation’s biggest holiday and most important occasion for family reunion.

Related News:

Men arrested for Facebook posts defaming leaders

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Chia sẻ | FaceBookTwitter Email Copy LinkInterested111/02/2021    07:52 GMT+7

Police in the central province of Quang Tri on February 10 launched legal proceedings against two men for compiling and spreading documents with defamatory contents via social networks.

Men arrested for Facebook posts defaming leaders hinh anh 1
Phan Bui Bao Thi (Photo:

The documents were posted on Facebook accounts like Thu Ha and Hoang Le, and such fanpages as Ly Duong Tu, Quang Tri 357, and Tin Quang Tri 246 (Quang Tri news 246).

Those articles, photos and video clips have contents defaming and insulting the prestige of individuals, including some leaders of Quang Tri province, ministries and centrally-run agencies.

They have harmed the leaders’ prestige and dignity as well as the role, position and function of State agencies for a long time, triggering concern among Party members, officials and the public, while affecting political security in the locality.

Local competent forces on February 4 stopped 56-year-old Le Anh Dung, residing in An Phu ward, district 2, Ho Chi Minh City, while he was on the way from Dong Ha city, Quang Tri province, to HCM City.

They found documents stored in Dung’s mobile phone proving that he had directly published the documents on social networks.

Dung’s accomplice is Phan Bui Bao Thi, 50, from Son Tra district, the central city of Da Nang, who is working at the Giao duc & Thoi dai (The Education and Times) newspaper.

Thi confessed that he and Dung wrote many articles defaming Quang Tri leaders and posted more than 10,000 pages on social networks.

The local police on February 5-6 decided to detain the duo for abusing the rights to freedom and democracy, and violating the State’s interests, as well as legal rights and interests of organisations and individuals as prescribed in Article 331 of the Penal Code./.VNA

The Second Island Cloud: A Deeper and Broader Concept for American Presence in the Pacific Islands

By Andrew Rhodes Joint Force Quarterly 959PRINT  |  E-MAIL Nov. 18, 2019 — Washington Headquarters Services

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Andrew Rhodes wrote this essay while a student at the U.S. Naval War College. It won the Strategic Research Paper category of the 2019 Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Strategic Essay Competition.

In the early 20th century, the visionary Marine officer Earl “Pete” Ellis compiled remarkable studies of islands in the Western Pacific and considered the practical means for the seizure or defense of advanced bases. A century after Ellis’s work, China presents new strategic and operational challenges to the U.S. position in Asia, and it is time for Washington to develop a coherent strategy, one that will last another 100 years, for the islands of the Western Pacific. It has become common to consider the second island chain as a defining feature of Pacific geography, but when Ellis mastered its geography, he saw not a “chain,” but a “cloud.” He wrote in 1921 that the “Marshall, Caroline, and Pelew Islands form a ‘cloud’ of islands stretching east and west.” His apt description of these archipelagoes serves well for a broader conception of the islands in, and adjacent to, traditional definitions of the second island chain. A new U.S. strategy should abandon the narrow lens of the “chain” and emphasize a broader second island cloud that highlights the U.S. regional role and invests in a resilient, distributed, and enduring presence in the Pacific.

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