Congressman Gerald Connolly marks China’s invasion and occupation of the Paracel Islands

Gerald E. Connolly

January 17, 2024

Dear Viet Tan members and attendees,

I would like to welcome those attending today’s briefing marking 50 years of China’s invasion and occupation of Vietnam’s Paracel Islands. I would also like to recognize the Viet Tan organization for their efforts in promoting civil society, empowering youth, and raising awareness about human rights violations in Vietnam. I would like to express my unwavering support for your advocacy and activism on behalf of Vietnamese democracy reform.

In my district, we have a strong Vietnamese American population in our community, and together we celebrate the significance of this day and the importance of fighting for democracy in Vietnam. Since the battle of the Paracel Islands in 1974, China has maintained de facto control of the islands and island groups. In recent years, China has expanded its illegal occupation and continuous attempts to claim the South China Sea as its sovereign territory. China’s actions and increasing expansion constitute a direct threat in the Indo-Pacific region. We must reign in China’s attacks on sovereignty, freedom, and democracy around the world.

I want to thank the Viet Tan organization for advancing our shared democratic values and ideals that define us both as a nation and a broader international movement. Finally, I hope that this will be the year in which we see significant progress in your cause and advancement of democratic reform, human rights, and social justice in Vietnam.


Gerald E. Connolly

Member of Congress

11th District, Virginia