Foreign media praise General Vo Nguyen Giap

VietNamNet Bridge - Pride of place in foreign media was given to General Vo Nguyen Giap who passed away in Hanoi on October 4 at the age of 103.

vo nguyen giap

General Vo Nguyen Giap met with former US Defense Secretary Robert S. McNamara in Hanoi in 1995 (Photo: AFP)

Many newspapers have described his death as a major loss, not only for the Vietnamese people but for millions of people who admire him around the world.

The Cuban press has run documentary photos of the life and career of Giap who was seen as an older brother to the Vietnam People’s Army.

The Granma newspaper, official organ of the Communist Party of Cuba, has publicly printed valuable documentary photos featuring Giap’s life and his historic meeting with Cuban leader Fidel Castro and President Raul Castro.

The newspaper applauded him as a master of war arts for revolutionary cause and a talented writer who wrote many important books noting his military experiences.

China's Xinhua News Agency has run various articles praising General Giap as a hero and a legend of Vietnam. The Global Times newspaper described him as a good friend of the Chinese people who greatly contributed to the normalisation of the Vietnam-China relations.

France’s Le Nouvel Observateur newspaper published an article written by former French ambassador to Vietnam Claude Blachemaisong who used to have meetings with the General.

The French diplomat recalled his unforgettable memories with Giap who he called “ the Winner of the Dien Bien Phu Campaign”.

On October 5, the Washington Post gave five pages of coverage praising Giap’s military strategy especially his art of organising the people’s war.

The US’ AP News Agency regarded General Giap as a brilliant commander who led the outgunned Vietnamese to victory first over the French and then the Americans.

“A national hero, Giap enjoyed a legacy second only to that of his mentor, founding president and independence leader Ho Chi Minh.” It said.

The New York Times described Giap as an elder statesman whose hard-line views softened with the cessation of the war that unified Vietnam.

He supported economic reform and closer relations with the United States.

A teacher and journalist with no formal military training, Vo Nguyen Giap had built a highly disciplined force that ended an empire and united a nation, the newspaper said.

“He learned from his mistakes and did not repeat them,” Gen. Marcel Bigeard, who as a young colonel of French paratroops surrendered at Dien Bien Phu, told Peter G. Macdonald, one of General Giap’s biographers. But “to Giap,” he said, “a man’s life was nothing.”

US Sen. John McCain, who as a Navy pilot was held prisoner by the North Vietnamese for more than five years after his plane was shot down, marked Giap's death on the social network Twitter on October 4.

"Gen. Vo Nguyen Giap has passed away-- brilliant military strategist who once told me that we were an 'honorable enemy,'" McCain tweeted.

The Hindu newspaper of India said the deceased is one of the genius military leaders of the period after World War II.

Corriere della Sera, a leading newspaper of Italy had an article praising General Giap as a hero of the Vietnamese nation’s independence, while another newspaper, La Stampa, called him a hero of all the countries of the Non-Aligned Movement.

Media houses from Japan, Thailand, Germany, Australia and Algeria also ran articles highlighting Vietnam’s greatest military commander.

Prensa Latina news agency said General Giap’s guerilla warfare is an inspiration for those who fight for their national independence all over the world, while the Cuban TV highlighted his historical meetings with Cuban leader Fidel Castro and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

Nicaraguan government spokeswoman Rosario Murillo conveyed condolences to the Vietnamese government over the death of General Giap and said the legendary General is a lively symbol of the justice struggle by the Vietnamese people.

US Senator John McCain called General Giap a brilliant military strategist, while The Associated Press described the deceased as a talented military commander and a national hero, and The New York Times called him a very attractive and dynamic figure.

Meanwhile, British Financial Times newspaper commented that General Giap is one of the most outstanding military leaders of the 20th century.

French newspapers described General Giap as a strategist and a hero of Vietnam’s independence, and a monument in the heart of the people. Le Parisien newspaper commented that the General’s name and influence have inspired the struggles for national independence from Asia to Africa, while the L’Humanite published a quote by the deceased that he is a general of peace, not war.

Corriere della Sera, a leading newspaper of Italy, ran an article praising General Giap as a hero of the Vietnamese nation’s independence, while another newspaper, La Stampa, called him a hero of all the countries of the Non-Aligned Movement.

Many newspapers in Germany said General Giap, a disciple of President Ho Chi Minh, inspired the anti-colonialism movement all over the world.

The Hindu newspaper of India said the deceased is one of the genius military leaders of the period after World War II.

Australian media highlighted General Giap’s great contributions to Vietnam’s national independence, and described him as one of the most revered of the country. They also said the passing away of the General created a sorrow for not only Vietnamese but also other peoples in the world.

Algerian newspapers also called General Giap the Algerian people’s great friend who glorifies the struggles by the nations against colonialism and foreign domination and who is respected by all, including his opponents.

Meanwhile, a leading daily of Argentina , the Clarin, said the book on the people’s war and people’s army by the General can be taken as a manual on the guerilla warfare.

The Mercurio, one of the major dailies of Chile , also ran an article affirming that General Giap is one of the leaders most revered in Vietnam thanks to his contributions to the struggle for national independence.

Mexican state news agency NOTIMEX stressed that General Vo Nguyen Giap is one of the greatest figures of the 20 th century, while the electronic daily Las 24 horas praised the deceased as a military genius who helps expel many armies of foreign aggressors.

The Colima university has extended condolences to the Vietnamese embassy in Mexico and leaders of the Labour Party of the country is preparing to publish a number of articles and books in the military field by the General.


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