Nguyễn Thị Bình

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
(Redirected from Nguyen Thi Binh)

Her Excellency
Nguyễn Thị Bình
Nguyễn Thị Bình during a visit of President Patil of India to Hanoi in 2008
13th Vice President of Vietnam
In office
September 10, 1992 – August 8, 2002
Preceded byNguyễn Thị Định
Succeeded byTrương Mỹ Hoa
2nd Chair of the National Assembly
Foreign Affairs Committee
In office
February 16, 1987 – September 9, 1992
Preceded byVũ Quang
Succeeded byHoàng Bích Sơn
6th Minister of Education
In office
July 3, 1976 – February 15, 1987
Preceded byNguyễn Văn Huyên
Succeeded byPhạm Minh Hạc
1st Minister of Foreign Affairs
(Provisional Revolutionary Government)
In office
June 8, 1969 – July 2, 1976
Preceded byOffice established
Succeeded byOffice abolished
Personal details
Nguyễn Thị Châu Sa

(1927-05-26) 26 May 1927 (age 96)
Châu Thành, Sa Đéc Province, French Indochina
(now in Đồng Tháp Province, Vietnam)
Political partyCommunist Party of Vietnam
Other political
People's Revolutionary Party of South Vietnam (1962–1975)
RelationsPhan Châu Trinh (grandfather)
Nickname(s)Madame Bình
Yến Sa

Nguyễn Thị Bình (born Nguyễn Thị Châu Sa; 26 May 1927), also known as Madame Bình,[1][2] is a Vietnamese revolutionary leader, diplomat and politician. She became internationally known for her role as the Viet Cong (NLF)'s chief diplomat[a] and leading its delegation to the Paris Peace Conference.[3] The only woman among the signatories of the 1973 peace accords that ended American intervention in the Vietnam War, she later served in the government of reunified Vietnam after the Fall of Saigon and later became the country's Vice President in 1992. She is the first woman in Vietnamese history to be appointed a cabinet minister.

Life and work[edit]

Photo of Nguyễn Thị Bình (centre-left) with Nguyễn Thị Định alongside other "Long-Haired Army" leaders.

Nguyễn Thị Bình was born in 1927 in Châu Thành, Sa Đéc Province and is a granddaughter of the Nationalist leader Phan Chu Trinh.[4] She studied French at Lycée Sisowath in Cambodia and worked as a teacher during the French colonisation of Vietnam. She joined Vietnam's Communist Party in 1948. From 1945 to 1951, she took part in various intellectual movements against the French colonists. Subsequently, she was arrested and jailed between 1951 and 1953 in Chí Hòa Prison (Saigon) by the French colonial authority in Vietnam.[5]

Nguyễn Thị Bình with Chinese leader Mao Zedong.

During the Vietnam War, she became a member of the Vietcong's Central Committee and a vice-chairperson of the South Vietnamese Women's Liberation Association. In 1969 she was appointed foreign minister of the Provisional Revolutionary Government of the Republic of South Vietnam. A fluent French speaker, Bình played a major role in the Paris Peace Accords on Vietnam, an agreement that was supposed to end the war and restore peace in Vietnam, which was signed in Paris and which entered into force on 17 January 1973.[6] She was expected to be replaced by a male Vietcong representative after preliminary talks, but quickly became one of the group's most visible international public figures.[3] During that time, she was very famous in representing Vietnamese women with her elegant and gracious style, and was named by the media as "Madame Bình". She was the only woman who signed the Paris Peace Accords.[7]

Signature of Madame Bình on her capacity as Foreign Minister of the Provisional Revolutionary Government of the Republic of South Vietnam in a diplomatic document co-signed by Nguyễn Duy Trinh, her counterpart from the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (North Vietnam)

After the Vietnam War, she was appointed Minister of Education of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam[6] and from 1982 to 1986, which made her the first female minister ever in the history of Viet Nam. Nguyen Thi Binh was a member of the Central Committee of Vietnam's Communist Party from 1987 to 1992. She was also the Deputy Chair of the Party's Central Foreign Affairs Commission and Chair of the National Assembly's Foreign Affairs Committee. The National Assembly elected her twice to the position of Vice President of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam for the terms 1992–1997 and 1997–2002.[7] Since retiring from politics, Madame Bình has authored several op-eds,[8] including a high-profile one on the state newspaper Nhân Dân in which she voiced concerns that the current personnel policy of the Communist Party of Vietnam have allowed some "incompetent and opportunistic" individuals to enter the party's apparatus. She also criticized the Party's focus on increasing membership at the expense of "quality."[9]

From March 2009 to 2014, she served as a member of the support committee of Russell Tribunal on Palestine.[10]


Madame Bình became the source of inspiration and namesake for Madame Binh Graphics Collective, a radical left all-women poster, printmaking, and street art collective based in New York City from 1970s to 1980s.[11]

Madame Bình has been awarded many prestigious awards and honours, including the Order of Ho Chi Minh and the Resistance Order (First Class). In 2021, then-President of Vietnam Nguyễn Xuân Phúc awarded her the 75-year Party Membership Commemorative Medal.[12]

To commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Vietnam, the Government of Vietnam commissioned the official portraits for 12 former foreign ministers from 1945 to 2020. Nguyễn Thị Bình was included among them as the only South Vietnamese foreign minister and the only woman.[13]



  1. ^ "Báo VietnamNet". VietNamNet News (in Vietnamese). Retrieved 15 April 2023.
  2. ^ "50 năm Hiệp định Paris - Bài 3: Madame Bình - Bộ trưởng Việt cộng trên bàn đàm phán". (in Vietnamese). 27 January 2023. Retrieved 15 April 2023.
  3. ^ a b "Voice of the Vietcong in Paris". The New York Times. 18 September 1970. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 23 January 2021.
  4. ^ "Nguyen Thi Binh". Northeastern Dictionary of Women's Biography (3rd ed.). Boston: Northeastern University Press. 1999. pp. 400–401. ISBN 978-1-55553-421-9.
  5. ^ Brigham, Robert K. (2011). "Nguyen Thi Binh". The Encyclopedia of the Vietnam War: A Political, Social, and Military History (2nd ed.). Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO. pp. 834–835. ISBN 978-1-85109-961-0.
  6. ^ a b Hy V. Luong (2003), Postwar Vietnam: dynamics of a transforming society, Rowman & Littlefield, ISBN 0847698653, p. 223
  7. ^ a b " | Việt Nam | BBC phỏng vấn bà Nguyễn Thị Bình". (in Vietnamese). Retrieved 17 June 2018.
  8. ^ "Phát biểu của bà Nguyễn Thị Bình: 'Số Đảng viên đông mà không chất lượng'". BBC News Tiếng Việt (in Vietnamese). Retrieved 15 April 2023.
  9. ^ Nguyễn, Thị Bình (2 January 2017). "Một vài suy nghĩ về xây dựng Đảng". Báo Nhân Dân (in Vietnamese). Retrieved 15 April 2023.
  10. ^ "Patrons and the Support Committee". Russell Tribunal. Retrieved 6 June 2023.
  11. ^ Triantafillou, Eric (3 May 2012). "Graphic Uprising". The Brooklyn Rail. Retrieved 15 April 2023.
  12. ^ "Chủ tịch nước trao 'Huy hiệu 75 năm tuổi Đảng' cho nguyên Phó Chủ tịch nước Nguyễn Thị Bình". Báo Chính Phủ (in Vietnamese). 24 October 2021. Retrieved 15 April 2023.
  13. ^ Nguyen, Lucy (19 July 2020). "Hé lộ chân dung 12 vị Bộ trưởng Ngoại giao của Việt Nam". Thanh Niên (in Vietnamese). Retrieved 15 April 2023.
Political offices
Preceded by Vice President of Vietnam
Succeeded by