|Border marker 67(2) in Hung Peng hamlet, Ma Ly Pho commune, Phong Tho district, Lai Chau province. (Photo: VOV)
Lai Chau province shares more than 265 km of border with China’s Yunan province. Volunteering to guard the border and its boundary markers has generated a widespread movement among ethnic minority groups in Lai Chau.
Hung Peng hamlet of the Dao in Ma Ly Pho commune, Phong Tho district has a border marker in the yard of a private house. The border between Vietnam and China in the hamlet is demarcated by the Pa Nam Cum spring.
There is landmark 67(1) on the Chinese side and 67(2) on the Vietnamese side. When Vietnam built landmark 67(2) in 2001, Hung Peng hamlet was not yet established.
Lieutenant Colonel Nguyen Hoang Xuyen of the Ma Lu Thang border guard station in Phong Tho district said that he has been on duty here for nearly 20 years.
“In the past, this place was wild. On the Chinese side, there were a dozen houses. There were no houses on the Vietnamese side. At that time, China had not built the border demarcation fence and Chinese people could pass through freely,” Xuyen said.
In 2005, the border guard of Lai Chau and local authorities supported 27 Dao households to settle here and establish Hung Peng hamlet. Tan Van Phu is one of the first residents of the hamlet.
“The border marker had not been well taken care of until the border soldiers told us that we have to protect our land,” Phu said.
Since the hamlet was established, marker 67(2) is located in the yard of Teo Van Du’s house. The Dao in Hung Peng hamlet consider the marker their asset. They have created hamlet rules and formed a team to take care of the marker.
Ly Dau Phung, Party Secretary and Head of Hung Peng hamlet, said:, “The villagers voluntarily take turns to clear the boundary area. No illegal border crossings have been reported in recent years.”
|Hung Peng hamlet of the Dao in Ma Ly Pho commune, Phong Tho district, Lai Chau province. (Photo: VOV)
Hung Peng hamlet now has 36 households with nearly 250 people. By taking good care of the border, local people have peace of mind to settle down and earn a living. They have built new and spacious houses. Landmark 67(2) is a faithful commitment of the villagers to protect the sacred sovereignty of the Fatherland, according to Tan Van Phu.
“The Party and State protect us. Our children can go to school and enjoy a happy life. We try to protect national sovereignty,” said Phu.
During the New Year Festival and ceremonies, the Dao in Ma Ly Pho visit marker 67(2) to offer incense to commemorate the soldiers and people, who sacrificed their lives for national protection, independence and freedom.