Thứ Ba, 19 tháng 7, 2016

Social News 19/7

Use of banned substances for pig farming prevalent

Use of banned substances for pig farming prevalent, New school-year to start on September 5, More dead fish found in Thua Thien-Hue, More Formosa waste found buried in Ha Tinh’s park, Youngest Vpop releases first album 

Despite a recent respite, the use of prohibited substances is still rampant in the pig farming sector in HCMC, posing a public health threat, the Animal Health Department reported.
At a conference on the issue last Friday, the department said that in the first six months its inspectors tested 1,225 pig samples from 551 shipments of several major slaughterhouses.
Their test results showed that 116 samples, or 9.47%, from 38 shipments contained salbutamol. The samples came from pigs raised in the provinces of Dong Nai, Tien Giang, Binh Thuan, Long An, Ba Ria-Vung Tau, and Binh Duong.
The inspection team also tested 48 samples from 25 pig shipments which were illegally transported and slaughtered. They detected salbutamol in 10 samples, equivalent to 20.8%. The samples tested negative for ractopamine.
Salbutamol, together with clenbuterol and ractopamine, belong to the Beta-agonist substance group that can make pigs grow fast and produce more lean meat.
Phan Xuan Thao, director of the HCMC Animal Health Department, said despite such findings, the overall management and control of food safety in the city has improved.
In the first six months, local authorities checked and certified 1.3 million pigs as safe, equivalent to more than 117,000 tons of pork. They also approved 5,600 cattle and about 20 million poultry.
Over 75,000 tons of frozen food, with poultry accounting for nearly 52% and buffalo meat 23%, was also put under tight control, up 26.89% from the amount checked in the same period last year.
In addition, inspectors found no banned substances when combing through 74 livestock farming facilities in HCMC’s districts 9, 12, Hoc Mon, Cu Chi, Binh Chanh and Binh Tan and testing 18 urine samples from 13 suspected pig farms.
At the conference, concerns continued to be raised over poor food hygiene and safety in the city.
Nguyen Huu Hung, deputy director of the HCMC Health Department, said the city needs to promote health information access, publicize the names of violators, step up food safety controls, and closely monitor food supplies, not least from other provinces and cities.
Hung said the HCMC Department of Home Affairs has sent the city government a plan for a new food safety management board. If approved, the board will be the agency responsible for food safety issues in the city.
Dong Nai establishes Vietnam-Russia Friendship Association
The Vietnam-Russia Friendship Association of southern Dong Nai province held its first congress for the 2016-2021 tenure on July 18.
At the congress, Dang Manh Trung, head of the provincial Information and Education Board, was chosen as the association’s President.
The congress also set forth activities to intensify cooperation between Vietnamese and Russian people.
Trung stated that the Vietnam-Russia diplomatic relationship has been nurtured and developed over the past 66 years.
In Dong Nai province, during 1984-1991, the former Soviet Union (now Russia) provided both financial and technological assistance to build the Tri An hydropower plant on the Dong Nai river in Vinh Cuu district, whose electricity output reaches 1.7 billion kWh per year.
Numerous localities also set up their Vietnam-Russia Friendship Associations, including Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang city, and Ba Ria-Vung Tau, Dong Thap, Thai Binh, Phu Tho and Hai Duong provinces.
Waste treatment project to be built in Phan Rang-Thap Cham
The Prime Minister has agreed in principle to the signing of an agreement on receiving non-refundable aid from the Dutch Government to construct a system for wastewater collection, treatment and re-cycle in Phan Rang-Thap Cham city, the central province of Ninh Thuan.
The Prime Minister asked the provincial People’s Committee to join hands with the Ministry of Planning and Investment, the Ministry of Finance and the Netherlands Enterprise Agency to sign the agreement to get the funding soon.
The project will benefit 125,000 local residents and about 300 small-medium enterprises while improving water quality in detention basins and rivers in the city.
It also helps enhance institutional and technical capacity in operation and maintenance of wastewater treatment and collection systems as well as apply suitable sewage treatment technology to use treated wastewater for agricultural development in the locality and neighbouring regions.
The aid grant is provided under the Facility for Infrastructure Development ORIO, which is funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and implemented by the Netherlands Enterprise Agency. ORIO contributes to the development, construction, expansion, operation and maintenance of public infrastructure in developing countries, contributing to human and private sector development.    
New school-year to start on September 5
The Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee has just issued Decision No. 3626 to announce the new school year of 2016- 2017 for kindergarten, high schools and vocational schools.
Pursuant to the decision, Director of Ho Chi Minh City Education and Training Department will instruct schools from kindergarten to higher education levels in the city to start the new academic year on September 5. The plan will be adjusted if the weather condition is bad such as flood, storms, thunderstorm and strong wind.
Accordingly, schools in the city will officially begin the new school year on September 5. The primary, secondary, high school and vocational school will start on August 15.
Pupils and students will be absent from school on Tet (Lunar New Year) holiday from January 23 to February 5.
More dead fish found in Thua Thien-Hue
Over the past week, more dead fish have been washed up on a beach in the central province of Thua Thien-Hue's Phu Loc District.
According to the Phu Loc District's Department of Agriculture and Rural Development it has co-operated with the provincial Veterinary Department to take samples of the dead fish for testing.
Residents in Loc Vinh commune have collected around 30kg of dead fish along the local 1km-beach in recent days. Much of the found dead fish are ulcerated, showing signals of being contracting skin diseases.
Loc Vinh was also among localities in Thua Thien-Hue Province affected by the mass fish deaths in April caused by the toxic discharge from Taiwan's Formosa Group's steel plant in Ha Tinh Province.
Formosa admitted to its responsibility for the massive pollution and pledged USD500 million in compensation following a three-month investigation.
SCG grants scholarships to poor students
Thai group SCG last week awarded 350 scholarships and gifts worth a total of VND1.4 billion to poor high school children in seven southeastern provinces.
The scholarships were donated to mark the 10th anniversary of the company’s “SCG Sharing The Dream” program carried out in collaboration with Tuoi Tre newspaper.
Since 2007, the program has benefited 3,801 needy high school children with outstanding academic records in Hanoi and seven localities of southeastern Vietnam -- Binh Duong, Dong Nai, Binh Phuoc, Ba Ria-Vung Tau, Tay Ninh, Binh Thuan and HCMC.
VBL funds clean water projects
Vietnam Brewery Limited (VBL) has donated VND400 million (US$17,800) to the Vietnam Central Youth Union to implement clean water supply projects in rural areas.
The financial aid was presented to the union during an event held last Saturday at the HCMC Youth Cultural House as part of VBL’s community program titled “Mot phut tiet kiem trieu niem vui” (one minute of saving brings joy to millions).
Launched in 2012, the program has helped raise public awareness on the importance of clean water and the need for saving and protecting water resources.
For every 100,000 good deeds for environmental and water resource protection posted on the program’s website at, VBL will sponsor a clean water station in a certain locality.
After nearly five years, the program has financed 10 clean water supply stations in areas in need of clean water.
Through its cooperation with the Vietnam Central Youth Union since last year, VBL expects one million actions of environmental protection. So far, 400,000 actions have been sent to VBL.
Paul Bleijs, supply chain director of VBL, said: “I believe that there would be nothing more practical than individual efforts in small good actions to create a big impact on water saving and protection.”
More Formosa waste found buried in Ha Tinh’s park
The Department of Natural Resources and Environment of Ha Tinh Province has found waste from the Formosa Ha Tinh Steel Corp buried in and outside Hung Thinh Park in the north-central province, adding to already-grave concerns over its rampant discharge of industrial waste.
Dang Ba Luc from the province’s environment agency was quoted by Tuoi Tre newspaper as saying that in addition to 10 tons of waste buried inside the park in Ky Anh Town, there was some waste buried outside. The waste was handled by Ky Anh Urban Environment Company.
Regarding more than 100 tons of Formosa’s waste dumped at a farm of Le Quang Hoa, director of the company, Luc said the waste had been moved out of the farm and that soil in the waste holes would be collected for treatment to avoid possible contamination.
In addition, Formosa Ha Tinh Steel Corp has been told by local authorities to remove an illegal underground waste drainage pipeline in Ky Phuong Ward of Ky Anh Town.
According to the newspaper, the underground pipeline installed inside the Formosa steel plant and connected to a ditch in Ky Phuong was discovered by local people.
Besides the illegally installed pipeline, locals have also found another pipeline outside the fence of the Formosa project running towards the sea.
Late last month, Formosa Ha Tinh Steel Corp took responsibility for mass fish deaths along the coasts of Ha Tinh, Quang Binh, Quang Tri and Thua Thien-Hue by industrial waste from its steel complex, and pledged to pay US$500 in compensation for economic damage.
Charity concert to suport disadvantaged children in Hanoi
A concert featuring classical music titled “Smile for You” will take place at the V-Art Club in Hanoi on July 23.
The event with the participation of cellist Ha Mien, violist Trinh Minh Hien, pianist Tran Thu Thao aims to spread and share love and sympathy to the poor and unlucky children.
Cellist Ha Mien is a member of the Hanoi Philharmonic Orchestra and the Hanoi Strings Chamber Orchestra, and then also is a cello faculty of the Academy. From 2014 to present, she is a cellist in the two newly chamber music groups; Hanoian Trio, and Apaixonado String Quartet.
Violist Trinh Minh Hienstarted playing violin at young ages and graduated String instrument Department of Vietnam National Academy of Music. She is now a violist of Vietnam Symphony Orchestra.
The pianist Thao Thu Tran was born in an artist family as her parents are professional dancers. In 1987, she graduated as a valedictorian and won full music scholarship in Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. Ms. Thao has established the THT Art Center with the desire to share knowledge and experiences with people who have the same interests.
Youngest Vpop releases first album
The TBC music band has just released the first album named “FIRST” and received many good replies from experts and audiences.
The FIRST includes 6 new and old songs. “Don’t think” is new song composed by Pham Hai Au. The TBC was founded in 2015 with 5 young members.
They are Thu Mai (1999); Vicky Duong (2000); Phuc Nguyen (1999); Jasmine Nguyen (2001) and Van Pham (2000).
VFF President hosts Lao Front official
President of the Vietnam Fatherland Front (VFF) Nguyen Thien Nhan hosted a reception for Vice President of the Lao Front for National Construction (LFNC)’s Central Committee Chanthavong Senamatmontry in Hanoi on July 18.
Nhan said Vietnam is delighted at the recent developments of Laos, especially the success of the 10th Congress of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party.
He informed his guest that the 2013 Constitution has further specified the VFF’s role to continue working with its 46 member units on mass mobilisation for national construction.
As fraternal countries, Vietnam and Laos should learn from each other’s experience, he said, adding that Vietnam is ready to share its expertise with Lao Front officials.
Chanthavong Senamatmontry, for his part, informed his host about the outcomes of talks between the VFF and LFNC.
He believed that under the leadership of the President of the VFF Central Committee, the special solidarity between Vietnam and Laos would be deepened.
During the earlier talks, Vice President of the VFF Central Committee Nguyen Van Pha said both sides have effectively realised the 2012-2016 agreement, with its contents to be continued in 2017-2021.
The two countries’ VFF Central Committees will increase bilateral friendship and cooperation to celebrate the 55th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties and the 40th anniversary of the signing of Vietnam-Laos Cooperation and Amity Agreement, he said.
The guest wished that the two sides would sign a cooperation agreement for the next five years, featuring the regular exchange of information and visits by the two fronts, celebrations for the 55th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties and the 40th anniversary of the signing of Vietnam-Laos Cooperation and Amity Agreement, and training officials of the LFNC’s Central Committee.
Host and guest expressed their belief that bilateral ties between VFF and LFNC will contribute to fostering special solidarity, friendship and comprehensive cooperation between the two peoples.
Sustainable poverty reduction requires joint efforts
Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue has emphasised the need to mobilise social resources for sustainable poverty reduction and encourage people to join these efforts.
Speaking at a meeting of the Central Steering Committee for Sustainable Poverty Reduction in Hanoi on July 18, the official said policies should be rolled out to support farms and businesses that can generate multiple jobs.
According to Deputy Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs Nguyen Trong Dam, initial results collected from localities show that the number of poor and near-poor households stands at 15.1 percent.
In the first six months of this year, about 10.8 trillion VND (roughly 486 million USD) has been channeled into health insurance coverage and education for the poor, he said.
Most of localities have allocated capital to communes and districts to implement the national target programme on poverty reduction in 2016, and poured investments in infrastructure construction in communes and districts in extreme difficulties. However, several localities have still lagged behind, he admitted.
Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Dao Quang Thu suggested setting expiration dates for poverty reduction-related policies, creating more livelihoods for the poor and supporting business initiatives.
Other delegates underscored the need to adjust relevant policies and empower the poor.-
Extension of flood-proof house construction programme proposed
The Ministry of Construction has proposed to the Government on the extension of a programme to build floodproof residential clusters and houses in areas highly vulnerable to flood in the Mekong Delta region to another period from 2016 to 2020.
As planned, 132 projects will be added to the programme, with the construction of 86 additional residential clusters and dykes around 44 flood-affected residential areas, aiming to prevent serious flood, landslide, saltwater intrusion as well as ensure safe shelters for 44,800 locals.
Half of the capital for the ground upgrading in these areas will be sourced by the central budget, while the rest will be funded from the Vietnam Bank of Investment and Development.
Meanwhile, major infrastructure works for the clusters will be invested fifty-fifty by both central and local budgets. The central budget will also cover 80 percent of investment for the building of banks around the residential areas, while the rest will be paid by local budget.
Under the programme, a half of loans for locals to build houses will come from the State budget through the Vietnam Bank for Social Policies. The bank will be in charge of mobilising the rest.
Total estimated central budget for the programme in the 2016-2020 period is 1.79 trillion VND (80.26 million USD), including over 1.39 trillion VND (62.32 million USD) in direct support and 394 billion VND (17.66 million USD) in soft loan. In 2016, the State budget poured into the programme is about 358 billion VND (16.05 million USD).
In the first phase from 2001 to 2008, 804 residential clusters with banks were built, while 140,000 poor households in flood-affected areas were moved to a safer and stable places, reaching 94.7 percent of the target.
In the second phase from 2008-2015, 178 out of 179 clusters with banks were constructed, or 99.4 percent of the plan, together with safe places for about 52,220 poor households.
However, many regional localities have reported of areas affected by dangerous landslides threatening the safety and livelihood of locals, showing the need to prolong the programme.
Lao Cai ramps up activities in preparation for 2017 Tourism Year
The northern mountainous province of Lao Cai is focusing on improving infrastructure and creating more products in preparation for the Year of Tourism 2017, which will be organised in the province.
Nguyen Dinh Dung, Deputy Director of the provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, said in order to prepare for the year’s biggest tourism event, Lao Cai is promoting such programmes as exploring the northwestern region’s terraced field culture heritage route in Bac Ha and Bat Xat districts; popular markets in Bac Ha, Muong Khuong and Si Ma Cai; and spiritual tourism along the Red River.
He said the province has also instructed Bao Yen district to develop community cultural tourism in Nghia Do commune and revive Com (Green Rice Flakes) festival of the Tay ethnic group in Viet Tien commune while maintaining and enhancing the quality of the Buffalo Fighting Festival in Bao Ha commune and the Goat Fighting Festival in Vinh Yen commune.
Lao Cai is calling for investment in some new tourist spots in Bac Ha district like the Ba Me Con (Mother and her two children) Mountain, Thien Long Cave, Bac Ha Culture Market, the Chay River and the Van Ban – Thac Bay Natural Reserve, said Dung.
Construction of roads connecting tourism sites has been accelerated, he added.
At a recent conference on investment, trade and tourism promotion, Secretary of the provincial Party Committee Nguyen Van Vinh stressed districts like Bat Xat, Bac Ha, Bao Yen and Si Ma Cai should step up communication campaigns to raise locals’ awareness of tourism-based economy as well as develop infrastructure for sustainable tourism development.
Besides that, localities also need to preserve and promote their unique ethnic cultural features and develop native tourism products, Vinh said.
Diphtheria toll rises in Bình Phước
The number of cases of diphtheria increased to 60 as of yesterday in Bình Phước, according to the south-eastern province’s Preventive Health Centre.
The epidemic has spread to one more commune, Đồng Tiến in Đồng Phú District, after sweeping through Thuận Lợi and Thuận Phú.
The epidemic was declared on July 15 after three people died.
The head of the national Preventive Health Department, Trần Đắc Phu last weekend led a Ministry of Health study team to the two communes hit earlier and held discussions with provincial authorities.
He instructed the deployment of all available preventive methods in the affected areas and the monitoring of family members who have been in contact with patients.
Non-epidemic-hit areas should also be surveilled to prevent its spread, he said.
The provincial health department should work closely with the HCM City Pasteur Institute to obtain vaccines and ensure the coverage rate in rural and mountainous areas is more than 95 per cent, he added.
As of yesterday health officials vaccinated nearly 1,200 of 7,700 people aged from a few months to 26 years who have not been immunised. Authorities said all patients are aged 26 or less.
Dr Nguyễn Thành Trương, head of the Bình Phước General Hospital, said the hospital’s quarantine area is filled with patients.
Eight patients were discharged from the hospital last week, Trương said.
If the disease continues to spread, the quarantine area would not have any more vacant beds, and patients might have to be put in a corridor, he said.
Because diphtheria is highly contagious, Trương said people should not transport patients by private vehicle but should instead call for hospital ambulance.
The main areas where the disease has broken out are home to the S’tiêng ethnic minority, many of whom are poor.
Trương told the health ministry delegation that hospital fees should be waived for poor ethnic patients.
Phu said diphtheria used to be common in the country, claiming many lives until the national expanded programme on immunisation helped virtually eliminate it.
But every year a few cases occur in mountainous provinces, he said.
Dr Nguyễn Trung Cấp of the National Hospital of Tropical Diseases in Hà Nội told the meeting that diphtheria could cause complications like nerve damage or lung infection.
The rate of mortality is 10-20 per cent, he said, adding that if the disease is diagnosed in time patients would recover without any after-effects.
Its symptoms are sore throat, high fever and swollen neck glands.
HCM City, Mekong Delta plan tighter links
Mekong Delta’s Long An province and its neighbour, HCM City,  need to have better transportation and communications connections in order to improve their economic development.
The comment was made by the Secretary of HCM City’s Party Committee Đinh La Thăng, who chaired a conference on Saturday about the socio-economic development of the two localities between 2007 and 2015.
Long An has the great advantage of being located near HCM City, the country’s largest economic hub, but the two localities have not taken full advantage of this for better socio-economic development, according to the official.
“Therefore, during the meeting with Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc, HCM City suggested to build a mechanism for coordinating, regional connectivity for the southern economic hub and a deputy prime minister should be assigned to look after this. In fact, HCM cannot steer Long An nor is Long An able to steer HCM City,” Thăng said.  
Implementing regional connectivity well would impact development in other localities, Thăng said, adding that the two localities need to point out specific areas for cooperation.
In transport, Thăng urged speeding up contruction of projects that link HCM City and Long An, in addition to the Trung Lương Express way, National Highway No.1 and Trans-provincial Road No.10.
National Road No.50 and Rạch Dơi Bridge had been in the planning for several years, but hadn’t been completed for various reasons, including insufficient capital, said Bùi Xuân Cường, director of the HCM City Department of Transport.
Between 2007 and 2015, transportation connectivity between HCM City and Long An improved with the Bến Lức–Long Thành Expressway.
The official said after working sessions with the HCM City Department of Planning and Investment and the Long An Province Department of Transport that a new transportation system was needed for better connectivity.
There is a plan to build a Southwestern road linking HCM City’s Bình Chánh Distrrict, Nhà Bè District with Cần Guộc District in Long An and a road linking HCM City and Tân An City, with a total investment of VNĐ7 trillion (US$318 million).
Between 2007 and 2015, 36 enterprises from HCM City invested in Long An to develop infrastructure at 24 industrial parks in a total area of 8,240 hectares, with total investment of VNĐ14.9 trillion (US$677 million).
Another 15 enterprises from HCM City invested in 15 economic clusters in Long An with total investment of VNĐ6.7 trillion (US$304.5 million).
As of the end of 2015, 400 enterprises from HCM City invested in the industrial parks with a total registered capital of VNĐ43.7 trillion (US$1.9 billion), accounting for 62 per cent of the 646 enterprises investing in Long An’s industrial parks.
In order to have more efficient cooperation between the two localities, Phạm Văn Rạnh, secretary of Long An Province’s Party Committee, said the province had priority policy to attract investment in transportation development, industrial parks and urban areas.
Rạnh said Long An would focus on developing 20 routes linking the province and HCM City.
Singer croons for border soldiers
Pop singer Khánh Hòa has launched an album and music video of romantic songs expressing her love for border soldiers, in a new musical production released recently in Hà Nội.
The album, entitled Tình Biên Cương (Love in the borderlands), comprises a CD and a DVD with seven songs, including popular and new ones.
The songs were composed by An Thuyên, Thế Song, Vũ Hiệp Bình and Phó Đức Phương, besides Lưu Hà An.
The DVD is a musical film, telling the love story of a Mông ethnic girl and a border soldier. The local boys are very attracted to the beautiful girl, but she falls in love with a soldier.
“Islands and the borders are the toughest areas that need people’s support and encouragement,” singer Hòa said at a ceremony held to launch the album.
Meritorious Artist Hòa produced an album a few years ago, one of the first to be filmed entirely on the islands of the archipelago.
After that album, Hòa wished to make an album about border soldiers. She visited border posts in the northern mountainous Hà Giang Province to meet troops and sing for them.
“I wanted to familiarise myself with the soldiers and share their problems,” Hòa said. “During the time I met and performed at the border posts, I received a lot of support from the soldiers, which made me determined to produce an album.”
Hòa and her crew went to every corner in Hà Giang, looking for shooting locations. The album was shot with the help of about 30 soldiers.
It took about four years to make the album, including a year to select the songs that suit Hòa’s voice.
“It took a long time to complete the album because I had to get permission to shoot at the border spots,” the singer said. “The most important thing was that the trips to the border were an experience and made me emotional enough to sing.”
The production of the album was directed by veteran Việt Hương, with the script written by poet Nguyễn Trọng Tạo.
The album portrays the life of soldiers, who devote their youth to protecting the country’s borders and helping the people living on the mountains and ethnic people to have a better life.
Coming from Thanh Hóa Province, Hòa joined the Thăng Long Music and Dance Theatre in 2005 after graduating from the Việt Nam National Academy of Music. She has won several awards in national music contests.
National football tourney for teenagers kicks off
The final round of National Football Tournament for teenagers kicked off yesterday in the northern province of Thái Bình.
The event drew 11 teams who were selected from the qualifying round and the hosts Thái Bình. They have been divided into three groups, competing in a round robin format.
The event, which will finish on July 29, aims to seek out young talent for the national youth team.
Sanna Khánh Hòa look to progress: AFC championship
Two debutants, Sanna Khánh Hòa FC and Dibba Al Hissin SCC, will play each other in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Futsal Club Championship’s quarter-finals today.
Both sides are eyeing a place in the last four.
Sanna Khánh Hòa of Việt Nam are the top team in Group D after two wins. They have scored six goals so far and only conceded against Al-Sadd after beating Taipower 3-0 in their opening fixture.
Dibba Al Hissin SCC of the United Arab Emirates are second in Group C, recording two draws in the group stage against Nafit Al-Wasit and Dalian Yuan Dynasty FC.
Despite their first time in the continental event coach Đặng Đình Khang of Khánh Hòa is confident about his players.
“If they could play as well as they have done so far we will have big chance to beat Dibba in the quarter-finals,” Khang said.
“From the time the competition started our target was to reach the next round, so every match for us is a final,” he said.
“Dibba’s game is similar to Al-Sadd but it would be a more difficult match because it is the knock-out stage now,” he said, adding, “Now, my players are confident, so I hope they can play their best match.”
Sanna Khánh Hòa have their best formation, except for Lê Anh Tuấn, who suffers from a twisted ankle.
The other quarter-final match is between Iraqi Nafit Al-Wasat and Al-Sadd.
Iraqi Nafit reached the AFC Futsal Club Championship semi-finals in 2015. Meanwhile, Qatar’s Al-Sadd are no strangers to the tournament, having appeared twice before. They made it all the way to the final in 2010.
Reigning champions Tasisat Daryaei of Iran who sealed their spot in the top of Group B will face Japanese Nagoya Oceans who finished second in Group A.
Host club Chonburi Bluewave will be up against Almalyk FC of Uzbekistan.
The Thais with home advantage are well placed to mount another challenge for the title they won for the first time in 2013.
Meanwhile Almalyk who are playing their AFC debut have a squad packed with players who have major tournament experience, which is believed to be capable of denying the host’s dream.

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