By Nga Pham
A newspaper in Vietnam has been banned for three months for publishing controversial articles on China.
The Ministry of Information and Communication decided to suspend the Du lich (Tourism) bi-weekly for “serious violations of Vietnamese Press Law”.
In a rare display of patriotism, Du lich ran a number of articles on the subject of territorial disputes between Vietnam and China.
The offending articles were in the paper’s Lunar New Year issue.
A story written by Trung Bao praised the “courageous spirit” of those who participated in anti-China demonstrations in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh last year.
Thousands of people joined the protests against the Chinese government’s policies in the South China Sea.
The paper was accused of “writing untruthful information” and “inciting violence, causing hatred between nations” – charges that Du lich’s deputy editor-in-chief denied.
Nguyen Trung Dan told the BBC that the newspaper only reflected “the people’s wishes”.
“Being a Vietnamese, I did not think twice when I approved those articles. Isn’t it a good thing to encourage patriotism among the public?”
The Ministry of Information said it would consider reshuffling the paper’s editorial leadership in order to “improve its management”.