Hanoi: Vietnam made an embarrassing gaffe
this week when receiving China`s Vice President Xi Jinping,
considered the future number one in Beijing, by displaying
Chinese flags bearing one star too many.
The trip was designed to improve strained relations that
deteriorated following recent tensions over the disputed South
But on Wednesday, Xi was greeted with flags picturing six
stars, while the official emblem of the People`s Republic of
China has only five -- one large yellow star surrounded by
four smaller ones.
A similar incident occurred in October, when the six-star
flag was used by Vietnam`s national television broadcaster
while mentioning a visit by the Communist Party General
Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong to China.
The official media of both sides did not mention the
latest incident, but exiled Vietnamese websites contained a
number of comments.
"We must end the activities of those selling the
Vietnamese fatherland, looking to make Vietnam the fifth star
of China," lamented an anonymous comment on the dissident site
"Dan Lam Bao" ("Citizen journalism").
"The Vietnamese Communist Party wants to become a
second-class Chinese citizen. This is a damned flag for the
Vietnamese people," said another.