Former chief of defense intelligence Nguyen Chi Vinh passes away

By Viet Tuan   September 13, 2023 | 05:07 pm PT
Former Deputy Minister of National Defense, Senior Lieutenant General Nguyen Chi Vinh, died at home in Hanoi on Thursday following a period of ill health. He was 64.
Colonel General Nguyen Chi Vinh. Photo by VnExpress/Giang Huy

Senior Lieutenant General Nguyen Chi Vinh. Photo by VnExpress/Giang Huy

He was the son of the late General Nguyen Chi Thanh, head of the General Political Department of the People's Army.

He was a professor from 2013 after obtaining a PhD in international relations.

He was a member of the Party Central Committee for two terms and deputy general director and then general director of Defense Intelligence under the Ministry of National Defense.

In 2009 he became deputy minister of defense, a position held until June 2021.

During his 12 years as deputy minister of defense, Vinh was instrumental in promoting Vietnam's defense diplomacy, such as sending troops for UN peacekeeping and organizing a number of international security and military conferences.

Vinh often spoke on hot issues. One of them was his demand that large countries had to respect rules in ASEAN and no country should force Vietnam to choose sides.

He had told VnExpress in September 2020: "Someone asked me, 'Are you afraid that big countries will force you to choose sides?' I said 'We choose ourselves. No one and no country can force Vietnam to choose sides because we are independent and self-reliant and we maintain independence on our own'."

In June 2021 he said: "No one in this country has thoughts of relinquishing or compromising on sovereignty, especially the leaders. In the military, from top to bottom, everyone considers the East Sea to be vital. Sovereignty is something we absolutely will never let go."

In May this year he was awarded the Order of the Rising Sun by the Japanese government, honoring his contributions to defense cooperation between the two countries.

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