Vietnam reaches for prosperity
General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam and President Nguyen Phu Trong shares his thoughts with the Vietnam News Agency on the efforts the Party and Vietnamese people have made to bring the country to where it is today.

General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam and President Nguyen Phu Trong shares his thoughts with the Vietnam News Agency on the efforts the Party and Vietnamese people have made to bring the country to where it is today.

In the joyful celebrations of the Lunar New Year and the 90th founding anniversary of the Communist Party of Vietnam (February 3, 1930-2020), would you like to share your thoughts with the Vietnamese people?

The history of Vietnam’s revolution since the birth of the Communist Party has demonstrated that the right, clear-sighted leadership of the Party has been the key factor leading to the country’s great achievements and victories. The Party has always strived to improve itself, becoming much more mature and experienced, to be truly worthy of the people’s trust and its leadership role.

For the last 90 years, under the guidance of the Communist Party, Vietnam’s power and position have been elevated to greater heights, with many international organizations highlighting the country’s political and social stability, and economic and cultural development.

Never before has Vietnam enjoyed such bright prospects and prestige.

From a poor and weak nation, Vietnam is now a middle-income country, the Vietnamese people are enjoying better living conditions, our socio-economic miracles are recognized and lauded the world over and our international relations and international integration are accelerating with ever-growing international co-operation in trade and investment. Vietnam has participated in most multilateral international organizations and forums and its voice has gained more weight in the region and the world at large.

With that being said, the domestic situation and global backdrops present both opportunities and challenges. In building the country, many new unprecedented and complicated issues have emerged, requiring us to solve properly, not to rest complacently on our laurels.

To further develop the country, pursue renewals, consolidate the trust of the people, and build the Party as the people’s “faithful leader and servant", the Party has paid a great deal of attention to the implementation of the Resolution of the 4th Plenum of the 11th and 12th National Congress of the Party (Resolution 4), maintaining the Party’s purity and strength in political ideology, organization, morals, leadership, relations with the people, and enhancing the pioneering nature of the Party.

Amid the strongly developing market economy and deeper international integration, being in close contact with goods and money and facing all sorts of temptations, each Party member and official – more than ever – must nurture their revolutionary spirit and the Party’s spirit. A righteous Party – one with the right leadership, well-planned organization, a cohort of members with integrity and example-leading mentality and close-knit ties with the people, and one receiving the support from the people – will have insurmountable strength for the journey onwards.

One of the most important political tasks of 2020 is organizing Party committees’ congresses at all levels ahead of the 13th National Party Congress in 2021. The public is expecting breakthrough plans for the country’s development path. What can you share with us?

Late President Ho Chi Minh said that the National Party Congress holds “key importance” to the future of the Party and the people and that the Congress unites the Party even further and enhances consensus.

The 13th National Party Congress will review the work of the 2016-21 tenure, the 2011-20 socio-economic development strategy, the 10-year implementation of the platform on national construction in the period of transition to socialism, and 35 years of Doi Moi (renewal).

The congress will also plan orientations for 2021-26, with visions towards 2030 when the Party will celebrate its centennial anniversary, and 2045 when the 100th National Day will be celebrated.

Therefore, thorough preparations for the congress are needed in terms of both documents and personnel, with the building of political reports of special significance that require the wisdom, zeal, responsibility, vision and development path of each locality and the entire country.

The reviews and assessments must be done honestly and truthfully to arrive at lessons and resolutions for the shortcomings.

In reviewing reports, it is important that we include new working models and practical methods, promote renewal and creativity towards sustainable development, properly examine emerging issues such as the balance between economic growth and cultural and human development, environmental protection, or land management problems, traffic safety, corruption and others. The overarching relations include those between economic development and political renewal, between pursuing market economy and ensuring that socialist ideology remains the guiding force, between upholding independence and self-reliance with international integration, between exercising democratic values and enhancing the rule of law.

The reports - which should reflect orientations, tasks, goals and solutions for the next term - must include constructive contributions from senior officials, scientists, the business community and people of all social strata, to foster a concord between the will of the Party and that of the people.

The reports to the National Party Congress are not the usual annual reports, but ones that contain analyses of the current situation and assessments for the future, towards 2030 and 2045, as to what the localities or the country will look like. We frequently mention smart cities or green cities but what exactly are the parameters of these concepts? Or the idea that Vietnam will become a developed, industrialized nation or a developed nation or modernized nation by 2030, what are the stipulations for these ideas? Since 2001, we have targeted becoming an industrialized, modernized country in 2020, but have we actually achieved that target?

The documents adopted in the National Congress will be a political commitment to follow through, not merely words.

It’s important that when the documents are promulgated, the Vietnamese people can feel exhilarated and confident in the path that the Party has laid out.

Personnel work decides the success of the Congress and the development of localities and the country. What issues must be focused on in local congresses?

All eyes are on the personnel matters. What can we do to reduce the risks of corruption and negative phenomena, to promote unity and consensus, to choose worthy people, not only to work at the central level but also in local governments and State agencies?

President Ho Chi Minh used to say “officials are at the root of all work” and “successes or failures are determined by good or bad officials” and the Party has adopted this teaching into its resolutions, directives and regulations on personnel matters, which would be the guidelines for local Party committees to prepare for the coming congress.

Personnel planning at local Party committee levels must ensure that new, arising people with high qualifications and good morals are given chances.

Improving the quality of human resources and ensuring of quotas for young, female and ethnic minority officials must go hand in hand.

Personnel work must be done step by step, surely, scrupulously, and in line with regulations as well as transparency requirements. Violations of democratic centralism, inappropriate promotion or undermining the credence of anyone, or forming cliques and damaging the unity of the local Party committee are absolutely forbidden.

There should be no admittance to the new Party committees of those who are corrupt, conservative, bureaucratic, underperforming, self-interested or who abuse their power to make illegal earnings. Becoming part of the Party committee is not a show of vanity or an opportunity for illicit enrichment, but to assume the responsibility to contribute and devote oneself to the nation and the people.

Many corruption cases have been brought to light and asset recovery has improved in recent times, showcasing the commitment of the Party and the State in the fight against corruption. However, why is the public still uncertain about how long this commitment will be maintained?

The public demand that the anti-corruption drive be as fierce and robust as possible in the coming years, when the country enters a new phase of development. Therefore, we need to build and consolidate our institutions, policies and fully materialize the Party’s orientations; look into and handle ongoing corruption cases, but at the same time, keep our eyes open to new cases, with more attention paid to petty corruption, asset recovery and strict enforcement of judgments.

In recent times, besides cracking down on corruption and violations of the Party’s rules, reviews and corrections of loopholes with regards to personnel work have also been carried out in a well-thought-out and firm manner.

The Party’s Politburo and the Secretariat have issued and implemented many resolutions, directives and regulations aiming at enhancing the building and rectifying of the Party; preventing corruption and moral and ideological degradation, 'self-evolution' and 'self-transformation'; building a contingent of reliable officials at all levels; streamlining operations towards efficiency and effectiveness; upholding the exemplary role of Party officials and members;

inspecting and monitoring personal asset declaration; protecting those who report corruption cases and fight against corruption, losses and other unwanted behaviors; etc.

The National Assembly and the Government have promulgated and enacted several legal documents to better our socio-economic laws to prevent corruption and step by step fix inadequacies and loopholes in laws that could lead to graft and vested interests, contributing to the establishment of a strong foundation and robust motivation for sustainable socio-economic growth.

Looking back on the achievements we have made last year, it is quite clear that the fight against corruption is not merely a part of Party building activities, but it engenders improvements to the country’s investment and business environment and helps promote growth. Anti-corruption and consolidation of institutions need to go hand-in-hand for Vietnam’s economy to develop even further.

As I have stated many times, the anti-corruption fight is a long, complicated one that needs a high level of determination and commitment.

Aside from better policies and institutions, we must also step up the implementation and monitoring of the Party’s guidelines and the State’s policies and legal regulations. Inspection and auditing must be enhanced especially in corruption-prone areas such as land management, extractive industries, public asset transactions and transference, equitization of State-owned enterprises and the contributions of State capitals or assets into enterprises, etc.

At the same time, there should be efforts to discover and handle corruption within the offices and agencies tasked with carrying out anti-corruption work. We are resolute in the removal of corrupted, unscrupulous officials, and in building a contingent of officials with the utmost integrity and courage to stand up for the right and take actions against the wrong.

Spring is approaching, bringing fresh hopes, new aspirations and an uplifting spirit. What message would you like to convey to the Vietnamese people and international friends?

In 2020, we must be more proactive in consolidating our macroeconomic fundamentals, keeping inflation under control, boosting productivity and the overall efficiency and resilience of the economy; push onward with renewal and innovation efforts; and create a free and open investment environment; accelerate economic restructuring in tandem with transforming our growth models towards sustainable development; accelerate the implementation of key national projects; and promote the role of economic zones, urban areas, domestic market and the service-tourism sector. Improving cultural and social conditions for the people is also an important task, with consideration paid to human development tasks and ensuring social welfare and lifting living standards.

The issues of natural resources management, environmental protection, natural disaster preparedness and climate change response and adaptation are also high on the agenda.

Our national defense and security and public order must be consolidated, with the highest commitment to ensuring the nation’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity in line with international law.

2020 is also the year when Vietnam holds the dual role of serving on the United Nations’ Security Council and chairing the ASEAN bloc, so we must do our best to fulfill the expectations for us, to help boost Vietnam’s profile in the region and the world over.

I hope the Vietnamese people, either living in the country or overseas, continue to uphold patriotism, a spirit of resilience and self-reliance, the passion and ambitions and utilize their wisdom and knowledge in our pursuit of progress, for a peaceful, independent and prosperous Vietnam.

I genuinely want international friends and partners to continue working with and supporting Vietnam in its nation-building efforts.

On the occasion of the New Year 2020 and the traditional Tet festival, on behalf of the Party and the State, I would like to send my best wishes to the entire Vietnamese people and armymen, as well as Vietnamese people living overseas. I wish a new year full of strength, joy and prosperity to each Vietnamese person and their families. For international friends and partners, I wish to convey a message of peace, friendship, happiness and success.- (VNS/VLLF)

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