Friday, February 18, 2022, 13:46 (GMT+7)
Fighting against one-sided and misleading viewpoints on Viet Nam's Defence Policy

Both the Party's documents and the State's legal documents consistently affirm that the nature of Viet Nam's defence policy is of justice, peace and self-defence. Any misrepresentation that goes against the legitimate interests and aspirations of the country and the Vietnamese people should be condemned and rejected.

The Article 4 of the National Defence Law clearly states: “…neither joining any military alliances, siding with one country against another, giving any other countries permission to set up military bases or use its territory to carry out military activities against other countries nor using force or threatening to use force in international relations; settling all disputes and differences through peaceful means on the basis of respecting independence, sovereignty, territorial unity and integrity, equality and mutual interests"1. The 2019 Viet Nam National Defence reaffirmed: “Viet Nam's national defence policy is peaceful and self-defensive in nature. Viet Nam resolutely and consistently settles all disputes and divergences through peaceful means on the basis of international law…”2. In fact, Viet Nam always strives to properly implement its defence policy with the line of independent and self-reliant defence guideline, building an all-people defence, and a national defence posture in association with a solid people's security posture, creating strength to firmly safeguard the Fatherland. At the same time, Viet Nam is a responsible member of the international community, fulfilling its duties, contributing to the protection of peace and stability in the region and the world. Thus, both its theory and practice consistently affirm the viewpoints and guidelines of the Party, policies and laws of the State of Viet Nam on defence policy in accordance with its history of building and safeguarding the Fatherland, bearing profound nature of humanity; publicity and transparency in order to enhance understanding and build trust with other countries.

However, with malicious intentions and sinister plots, the hostile forces, reactionaries, and political opportunists have taken all possible tricks to oppose and distort Viet Nam's defence policy. They have applied different forms and means, such as: delivering news, articles, and comments, and distributing video clips on YouTube and livestream on social networks; hiding under the guise of so-called "patriots", " fighters for democracy and human rights", criticizing the "National Defence White Paper", etc., aiming to infer, fabricate and distort Viet Nam National Defence policy. They said that Viet Nam's defence policy is outdated and inappropriate; the policy of "not using force or threatening to use force in international relations" means that Viet Nam has "abandoned the use of force in defending the country", "fastening its own hands and feet", "self-isolated", depriving its opportunities to cooperate with major powers to defend its Fatherland. It is also incompatible with the situations, going against the trend of globalization and international integration. They have taken new points in the 2019 Viet Nam National Defence to make comments and baseless accusations on the "Four No's" principle; giving advice, suggestions and recommendations that Viet Nam should establish and join a military alliance. Even more dangerous and blatant, they have also attributed the strengthening of Viet Nam's defence and security potential as initiating an arms race in the region, aiming to fight against a third country. In particular, in the face of complicated developments in the East Sea that have affected the task of protecting sovereignty and security of the sea and islands, the hostile and reactionary forces misrepresented that, with the current defence policy, Viet Nam is unable to maintain its sovereignty, sovereign rights, unity and territorial integrity, etc. Then, they exhort and promote wrong ideas, calling for relying on foreign countries, especially the major powers, and joining military alliances to protect the sovereignty of the sea and islands, and safeguard the Fatherland.

Sr. Lt. Gen. Nguyen Chi Vinh introducing the Viet Nam National Defence White Paper of 2019 (photo: qdnd.vn)

So, what is the fact behind these wrong and one-sided viewpoints of the hostile and reactionary forces that fiercely opposed Viet Nam's defence policy? First of all, it should be affirmed that the nature and purpose of opposing the Vietnamese revolution of hostile and reactionary forces have not changed, but the plots, tricks and tactics are more and more sophisticated and cunning. Secondly, hostile and reactionary forces have looked for ways to lead Viet Nam to join military alliances, gradually falling into the orbit of dependence, then changing the political and social regime. Thirdly, they continue to promote the strategy of "peaceful evolution", "self-evolution", and "self-transformation" internally; "depoliticizing" the Military, moving towards abolishing the leadership role of the Communist Party of Viet Nam and the socialist regime, changing the political system in Viet Nam. Fourthly, they have incited and sowed the skepticism among the people, deceiving, leading public opinion, dividing and destroying the great unity bloc of the whole nation.

In order to fight against these distortions of the hostile and reactionary forces on Viet Nam's defence policy, to firmly defend the Fatherland, it is necessary to successfully implement the following solutions.

Firstly, promoting propaganda activities, clarifying the necessity and scientific nature of Viet Nam's defence policy in the cause of national construction and protection. It is the responsibility of the entire Party, the people, the Military, and the political system to breakdown conspiracies and tricks distorting and opposing Viet Nam's defence policy. All levels, branches, agencies and units should focus on promoting propaganda with diverse and flexible forms and methods suitable to the country's reality and the international context in order to raise awareness and understanding of the people, the overseas Vietnamese, and the international community on Viet Nam's defence policy. Attention should be paid to explaining and clarifying the scientific basis and basic content, affirming that Viet Nam's defence policy is bearing the just, peaceful and self-defence nature, built on the basis of the strength of the great national unity bloc. Viet Nam has always "consistently implemented the foreign policy of independence, self-reliance, peace, cooperation, development, diversification and multilateralization of its foreign relations; ensuring the highest interests of the nation on the basis of basic principles of the United Nations Charter and international law, equality, cooperation and mutual benefit"3. Thereby, it further consolidates the trust of other countries on the peace-loving country and people of Viet Nam. At the same time, emphasis should be placed on actively and proactively propagating, providing official information, guiding public opinion, clearly distinguishing right from wrong, creating significant changes in the people’s awareness, resistance, and immunity to distorted information and wrong and hostile viewpoints.

Secondly, strengthening the Party's leadership and the State's management role in defence work in the new situation. This is a principled issue stated by our Party in the National Construction Platform in 1991, supplemented and developed in 2011; the Resolution No. 28-NQ/TW, dated October 25, 2013 of the 8th Plenum of the Central Committee (tenure XI) on the Strategy for National Defence in the New Situation, and the Resolution of the 13th National Congress. These documents clearly state that in any conditions and circumstances, the Party always upholds its absolute and direct leadership in all aspects for defence tasks and Fatherland protection; raising vigilance, and actively struggling to defeat the hostile forces’ plots and tricks demanding pluralism, multi-party, and "de-politicization" of the Military. The State institutionalizes the Party's guidelines and policies on national defence and Fatherland protection in the Constitution and laws, creating a legal corridor for the performance of national defence and defence tasks. It is necessary to clearly define the operational mechanism, functions and tasks of agencies and officers in charge of national defence in ministries and agencies; coordinated responsibility for each level, branch and locality in defence-related activities. Importance should be attached to stepping up administrative reform and improving the operational efficiency of the State apparatus in the field of national defence; building a contingent of qualified cadres on national defence who are capable of giving advice on the performance of state management on national defence; and promoting the synergy of forces in building a strong all-people national defence.

Thirdly, to build a revolutionary, regular, highly-skilled, and gradually modernized Viet Nam People's Army, meeting requirements of the Fatherland protection. Historical reality has proven that the strength to defend the Fatherland does not come from joining a military alliance but from the internal strength of the Vietnamese people. That is the power of independence, self-control self-reliance and resilience; closely combining the strength of the nation with the strength of the times. The 13th National Congress clearly stated: "Consolidating national defence and security, and firmly defending the Fatherland of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam are important and regular tasks of the Party, the State, the political system, and the whole people, of which the People's Army and the People's Public Security are the core ones."4 Therefore, building a revolutionary, regular, highly-skilled, and gradually modernized Viet Nam People's Army, with some forces advancing straight to modernity, meeting the requirements of national defence in the new situation is a necessarily objective.

The history of thousand years of national construction and defence, as well as the international practices, shows that it is necessary to defend the Fatherland from afar, when it  is not in danger; preparing synchronously in all aspects, right from peacetime, ready to fight and win any forms of aggressive war. Attention should be paid to building a politically, ideologically, morally and organizationally strong Military, being a political force, a fighting force, absolutely loyal to the Fatherland, the Party, the State and the People; steadfast in the goal of national independence and socialism; proactively and effectively handling unexpected situations. In the coming time, importance should be attached to strengthening the implementation of solutions to adjust the Military organization in the direction of "compact and high-skilled" forces, creating a solid premise to build a modern Military by 2030.

Fourthly, effectively implementing international integration and defence diplomacy, contributing to the maintenance of a peaceful and stable environment for national development. The 2021 National Foreign Affairs Conference affirmed the Party and State's stance on foreign affairs in the new situation, and pointed out conspiracies and tricks to deteriorate the revolution cause and deliberately distort the Viet Nam's foreign policy and defence policy of hostile and reactionary forces. Therefore, it is important to promote defence diplomacy, fostering cooperative relations with all countries, making contribution to protecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Fatherland. Emphasis should be placed on consistently implementing the foreign policy of independence, self-reliance, peace, cooperation and development; being ready to expand defence relations and cooperation regardless of differences in political regimes and levels of development and does not accept defence cooperation relations under pressure or any coercive conditions; resolutely and persistently struggle to settle all disputes and disagreements by peaceful means on the basis of international laws and practices; continuing to contribute substantively and further expand the scale and scope of participation in UN peacekeeping operations; willing to participate in defence and security cooperation mechanisms in accordance to the country's capabilities.

Emphasis should also be placed on strengthening cooperation, building and consolidating trust among countries, contributing to maintaining a peaceful and sustainable environment in the region and the world.

The fight to defeat plots and tricks of hostile forces and political opportunists that sabotage and distort Viet Nam's defence policy is an important task that should be carried out regularly and continuously, so as to make contribution to building and consolidating trust, taking advantage of the consensus and support of international community for the cause of national defence and construction.

Senior Colonel Doctor HOANG VAN PHAI, Deputy Director of the Military Institute of Social Sciences and Humanities

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1- National Assembly of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam, Law on National Defence, The Military Publishing House, Ha Noi, 2018, p.11.

2- Ministry of National Defence, The 2019 Viet Nam National Defence, The National Political Publishing House, Ha Noi, 2019, p.25.

3- The Communist Party of Viet Nam, Documents of the 13th National Party Congress, Volume 1, National Political Publishing House, Ha Noi, 2021, p.161-162.

4- Ibid, p.156.

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