Con Co – “Pearl Island” in the East Sea

Tuesday - 28/05/2019 15:11 176 0
Con Co is an island in the waters of Quang Tri province, 13 - 17 nautical miles east of the mainland. The nearest point is 13 nautical miles from Mui Lay in Vinh Thach commune, Vinh Linh district, 15 nautical miles from Cua Tung, 17 nautical miles from Cua Viet.
The island has an area of 2.3 km2 with a population of about 400 people. The island also has other names such as Hon Co, Hon Gio, Thao Phu, Hon Me and Con Ho ... Although the area is not large, it has an important strategic position as a southern gateway of Tonkin Gulf - one of the world's largest bays. Con Co has a favorable position in terms of geography - economy: it is near the land, which is favorable for offshore economic development (services, fishing, aquaculture ...) and it is convenient for developing sea transport and tourism activities (in the triangle of Cua Tung - Cua Viet - Con Co in particular and Quang Tri in general). At the same time, Con Co is also an outpost of the country, playing a very important role in the defense of territorial waters and and socio-economic development of the islands system of Vietnam.
The political system of the district has been consolidated and in accordance with the specific characteristics of the island district. The role of the Party's leadership, the managerment and operation of the State, the democracy of people are claimed. With the priority of investment in planning work, Con Co island district has basically completed the planning work in the whole district. From general planning of socio-economic development to planning of sectors and areas such as land use planning, tourism planning, detailed planning of residential areas, transportation planning and environment planning... First of all, the infrastructure system, especially the essential infrastructure to serve people's livelihoods, activities of State agencies and operational units of the armed forces, to protect the landscape and environment of the island is invested with a capital of nearly VND 1,000 billion: a system of fishing ports, a fishery logistic service area and an anti-erosion embankment to protect the island in socio-economic development in combination with national defense, water storing artificial lake, electric, traffic system on the island ...; life services that provide electricity, water and tourism are launched; the protection of ecological environment resources has been strengthened.
Socio-cultural activities are focused, cultural institutions are formed such as: Cultural House, Medical Center, Communication System, Radio Station, Preschool. Along with the development of cultural life, sports and cultural activities are regularly organized to meet the spiritual needs of officials, soldiers and people from remote islands,  to make it quickly integrated with the cultural movement of Quang Tri province.
The national defense and the security on the island have been built and solidified, the district defense area has been strengthened. The armed forces of Con Co Island are regularly trained and ready to fight and protect the sacred maritime sovereignty of the country. The situation of political security, social order and safety on the island and the sea has been maintained. After 10 years of establishment, there are no criminal offenses, no evils, no complaint letters andno  denounce letters. The political, cultural and social environment is healthy and peaceful.
However, because of a newly established island district located far from the mainland and starting from a low point on the base of a military island, in the process of building and developing Con Co according to the orientation as the first and second district Party Congress resolutions, there are many difficulties and obstacles. Infrastructure is lacking and not synchronous, especially the infrastructure for tourism    development such as electricity, water, transportation. Solving the problem between economic development and the national defense and the mechanism of a military island was previously a pressing issue, requiring the conentration of district, provincial and central levels. Human resources do not meet the orientation of economic structure, the migration is still difficult, the organization of the staff is not completed, the weather is abnormal, the situation of disputes over fishing grounds and sovereignty over the sea is complicated and unpredictable ... This is one of the major difficulties for the development of Con Co.
 Although there are many difficulties of a newly established 10-year district. But we believe that: With the attention of the Party, Government, ministries, provinces and friends, and the efforts of the Party, government and people, in the near future, Con Co will become the "Pearl of the East Sea", a sparkling peak of the Cua Tung - Cua Viet - Con Co sea eco-tourism triangle, which is an attractive destination of tourists, worthy of Cultural island - tourist island – safe island and the national gateway of the country.
Con Co has favorable natural conditions for tourism development. Is an island formed by tectonic activity from volcanic eruptions over 40000 years ago, Con Co has valuable geological and ecological landscape as a natural museum with unique basalt terraces along the shore, small wild beaches made up of coral chips, shellfish, scallops, sand ... clear sea, stable sea temperature. It has a temperate climate, with beautiful landscapes. Blue is the dominant color in Con Co because nearly 74% of the island's area is natural forest. Although the it was devastated by the war, but until now, the primeval forest on Con Co island is still nearly intact and belongs to the rare and precious tropical forest ecosystem with many layers of plants, making Con Co a green island with rich vegetation. Although there are not many animals on the island, all of them are quite unique. Swarms often fly. In the grove of trees there are many types of reptiles, including the red-tailed red snakes, they are precious, rare but considered to be very valuable pharmaceuticals. Especially, rock crab species in Con Dao live both on land and water and they are strictly protected because of being in danger of extinction.
Con Co is located in an area with ecosystems, abundant natural resources of  9,000 km2 Con Ho fishing grounds, near the intersection of the sea currents, it is the convergence of the North-South seafood areas - Tonkin Gulf and the East Sea. With the diversity of ecosystems, the waters around the island have rich marine resources. According to the study results, Con Co has 267 fish species of 120 varieties belonging to 69 families, with reserves of about 60,000 tons / year. There are also crustaceans, crabs, lobsters and mackerel, tuna ... with high export value. With the characteristics of the ecosystem, the sea area around the island has a variety of marine living resources such as seaweed (52 species of 3 branches of which 48 species have high economic value). Con Co seabed is one of the best coral reef waters in Vietnam. Con Co also has a rare and precious red coral with a high density, very beautiful shape, unusually attractive colors.
These specific factors make Con Co have its own advantages and attractiveness to develop island marine eco-tourism with products such as sightseeing, relaxation, research, sports tourism. , diving, exploring, fishing, exploring primeval forest on the island ...
Con Co is part of a system of famous historical landmarks in Quang Tri's army and people such as Hien Luong Bridge, the 17th parallel, Vinh Moc Tunnel, Quang Tri Citadel, Cua Tung, Cua Viet tourist sites, ... Moreover, Con Co is located on the axis of the trans-Asia road linking ASEAN countries, the legendary Ho Chi Minh road, and close to the world natural heritage such as Hue, Phong Nha - Ke Bang. Especially Con Co was also famous in the national history for immortal victories in the war against the US. During the 21 years of fighting the US, Con Co was the pre-eminent island of the North socialist, a symbol of the resilient spirit and the bravery of the Vietnamese people, becoming "the steel battleship to guard the East Sea","The eye of god" and "outpost"of the North Socialist, a shining symbol of Vietnam's revolutionary heroism, the aspiration of truth "nothing more precious than independence and freedom". Coming to Con Co is coming to the glorious landmarks of the national unification. Con Co still stand firm after so many storms and enemy bombs with pride. During nearly 1,500 days and nights fighting against, in over 1,000 small and big battles, armed forces of Con Co fired 48 aircraft, fired and burned 17 types of American warships. With these glorious victories Con Co was honored twice by the Party and the State to be conferred the title of Hero of the People's Armed Forces, 6 officers and soldiers were awarded the titles of hero and received letters of praise from Unlce Ho with two verses:
"Con Co blooms full of flowers
Beat Hue Ky's invaders till death.”
So far many war evidences still exist on the island such as: The 20km system of trenches and the horizontal tunnels, dozens of blocks and military works along the coast, the artillery zones, the landmarks such as high point 63, 37, Ha Dong, Hanoi, Hai Phong ... Con Co is also an attractive historical tourist destination, a red address - where many people wish to have a chance to visit to admire a magnificent and glorious past to better the traditional education for the younger generation today and tomorrow.
With the policy of "civilization", since 2002, Con Co has marked a new step of development. With the model of "Youth Island", Quang Tri Youth Union has sent 43 youths to the island to establish their careers. The population structure on Con Co island has changed. Young volunteer villages, some infrastructure for production and life have been invested with hundreds of billion by the State. Systems of transportation, ship lock, fishing port, freshwater exploration program, youth houses.... set the initial foundation for socio-economic development - national security in Con Co during the new age - the age of building Con Co island into an administrative and economic entity combined with solid national island sovereignty protection.
According to the wishes of Quang Tri Party Committee and People, on October 1, 2004, the Government issued Decree No.174/2004/ND-CP on establishing Con Co island district with the orientation: Building and developing Con Co island to become a tourist island district in combination with national defense to maintain and firmly protect the islands' sovereignty and complete the civilization of the island. Con Co became the 10th administrative unit of Quang Tri province and became the 12th island district of the country. With a viewpoint of being strong from the sea, rich from the sea, right from the establishment up to now, the orientation of the economic structure of Con Co island district in the long term is to develop tourism - service, fisheries, agriculture industry with ecological environment protection. Inside:
      Tourism, service as the main;
       Fishery as a basis;
       Agroforestry is an auxiliary.
 In the first 10 years of construction and development, Con Co island district always promotes heroic tradition, solidarity, be initiative to overcome challenges, take advantage of the opportunities to develop the island district in terms of economy, culture, strong national security,gradual improvement of people's life. Con Co has been changing itself day by day with new prosperity, the shape of a small city on the "Pearl island" in the middle of the East Sea.

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