Vietnam’s President Quang dies after ‘serious illness’

Vietnam President Tran Dai Quang was appointed to the role in April, 2016. (AFP)
Updated 21 September 2018
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Vietnam’s President Quang dies after ‘serious illness’

  • Vietnam has no paramount ruler and is officially led by the president, prime minister and Communist Party chief
  • Rumors of Quang’s illness had been swirling on social media for months

HANOI: Vietnam President Tran Dai Quang, one of the country’s top three leaders but with mostly ceremonial duties, died on Friday after an illness, state television and radio announced.
Quang, 61, died in a military hospital in Hanoi from a “serious illness despite efforts by domestic and international doctors and professors,” Vietnam Television reported.
Vietnam has no paramount ruler and is officially led by the president, prime minister and Communist Party chief. Experts say the presidency is largely ceremonial.
Quang was appointed to the role in April, 2016. Before that, he had served as Minister of Public Security, an organization with broad powers and a remit that includes intelligence gathering and thwarting domestic and foreign threats to the party.
Originally from a small farming community 115 kilometers south of Hanoi, Quang rose through party ranks to become a police general and member of Vietnam’s powerful decision-making Politburo.
“We are saddened to hear the news that the president has died,” said Bui Duc Phi, chairman of the village in which Quang was born.
Rumors of Quang’s illness had been swirling on social media for months.
At one of his last appearances, during a visit by Indonesian President Joko Widodo to Hanoi on September 11, Quang appeared visibly unwell and stumbled as he stepped onto a platform to inspect a guard of honor.
State-owned newspaper Vietnam News said Quang hosted a reception for China’s Supreme Court chief in Hanoi on Wednesday.


Japan deepens Southeast Asian ties with airmen program

Updated 15 min 49 sec ago
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Japan deepens Southeast Asian ties with airmen program

  • The program hopes to promote shared values and interoperability among Japan’s Air Self-Defense Force and airmen of ASEAN countries

SINGAPORE: Japan’s defense minister says he plans to start a program for professional airmen to strengthen ties between his country and Southeast Asia.
Takeshi Iwaya says the program fits in with the government’s vision to raise defense cooperation with the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations, which has “gained momentum” since it was announced in 2016.
The program hopes to promote shared values and interoperability among Japan’s Air Self-Defense Force and airmen of ASEAN countries.
Iwaya did not give details on when it will be launched or its frequency. He was speaking on the sidelines of an Asian security conference in Singapore, which was also attended by regional defense ministers, US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and his Chinese counterpart, Gen. Wei Feng.