December 8

1919

During his stay in Paris, Nguyen Ai Quoc received a letter from patriotic scholar Phan Chu Trinh. 

Nguyen Ai Quoc wanted to establish an Indochina Mutual Aid Society to support Indochinese people living in France. One of the society’s objectives was to assist them in obtaining a good education in France.

French spies continued to keep tabs on his political activities.

President Ho Chi Minh meets ethnic minority women in Viet Bac in 1959 (File photo)

1940

In Nanning, China, Nguyen Ai Quoc, who pretended to be a journalist, met Vu Anh, who arrived from Vietnam. Also present at the meeting were Pham Van Dong, Phung Chi Kien, and Dang Van Cap, who were living in the province.

The group went to Jingxi District, Guangzi Province, where they met Vo Nguyen Giap to discuss the opening of a military training course.  The group decided to assign Le Thiet Hung to carry out some tasks related to the training.

1943

In the Chinese province of Liuzhou, Ho Chi Minh, who was then deputy chairman of the League for the Vietnamese Revolution, attended a banquet hosted by Major General Hou Zhi Ming, chairman of the Political Department of the Chinese Nationalist Party’s Fourth Military Zone. 

At the banquet, Nguyen Hai Than, chairman of the League for the Vietnamese Revolution, said that both Hou Zhi Ming and Ho Chi Minh were clear-sighted revolutionaries.”

Ho Chi Minh told his Chinese counterparts: “You are revolutionaries, so am I. We need to improve the way we carry out our revolution.”

1947

After counselor Vinh Thuy met with some high-ranking French officials in Hong Kong, President Ho Chi Minh said: “Our Government and people hope he will not act against the nation’s interests and will keep the oath he has made to the people. However, it is hard for an individual or a group to change the future of our nation.”

In a letter to Bishop Le Huu Tu the same day, he said: “On the Christmas occasion, I send you my best wishes and hope you will lead Catholics in the resistance war to achieve independence and unification for our country.”

1961

During a visit to Nghe An Province, his native land, the President had a meeting with members of the local Party Committee and told them that everything related to the nation’s and people's welfare was their responsibility.

To have those things done well, he advised the committee to consolidate its unity, improve management over its members’ activities, practice democracy in its operations, and conduct internal criticism and self-criticism. He said that all these tasks are closely related to each other.”

The President also said: “Afforestation is an issue of great significance … As far as I am concerned, certain species of trees can be exploited five years after planting if they are looked after well, and they will provide wood for construction. Most houses in rural areas are in bad condition …

“What are the essential elements for living? Food, clothes, and accommodation. To have food and clothes, we need to produce them. Likewise, to build houses, we need to have wood, and to have wood we must plant trees. If we do not plant trees now, we will face a lack of wood for construction in future.”

By Duong Trung Quoc* and his assistants
*
The author is a historian and member of the National Assembly

Translated by Truc Thinh

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