Vietnam marks 70 years since Battle of Dien Bien Phu

People in Vietnam have marked the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Dien Bien Phu.
The decisive engagement saw Vietnamese troops defeat French forces, bringing an end to French colonial rule in the country.

More than 10,000 people gathered in Dien Bien Phu on Tuesday for a ceremony that was attended by veterans and local residents, government and Communist Party officials and foreign diplomats.

Dien Bien Phu is located in a mountainous area in northwestern Vietnam. In 1954, General Vo Nguyen Giap led his forces to capture the French stronghold in the region after a two-month siege.

Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh said in a speech that the battle has served as inspiration for other countries seeking independence and freedom. "It was a great victory for our people but also a victory for all people who are oppressed around the world," he said.

Among those attending the ceremony was French Defense Minister Sebastien Lecornu.

In a meeting with Lecornu ahead of the event, Vietnamese officials urged France to put an end to the past and focus on the future. They also exchanged views on issues including the South China Sea and agreed to enhance defense cooperation.