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Thursday, October 29, 2020, 09:10 (GMT+7)
Identify and fight against poisonous information on the threshold of the 13th National Party Congress

Combating the plots to defame and smear cadres prior to the Party’s 13th National Congress represents a task of importance at present. Thus, each citizen and especially each cadre and party member should remain vigilance and selectively receive information, while proactively fighting against and pushing back distortions and fabrications, and resolutely preventing the hostile forces and political opportunists from undermining internal unity or sabotaging the success of our Congress.

The 13th National Party Congress is scheduled for the first quarter of 2021. This is a political event of paramount importance to our country. In addition to formulating the guidelines on the country’s comprehensive development, the Congress will elect a new Party Central Committee for the 2021-2026 tenure as an item of special importance on its agenda. Personnel preparation has been made in a synchronous, close, serious, open, and transparent manner under the 12th Politburo’s Resolution 26-NQ/TW, dated May 19th, 2018 and criteria for cadres set by the 12th Politburo’s Regulations 89-QĐ/TW and 90-QĐ/TW, dated August 4th, 2017. Besides, with its political resolve, the Party has continued to enhance the fight against corruption so as to “purify” its contingent of cadres and make best personnel preparations for the new tenure under the spirit of “no restricted area, no exception, no stopping and no slackening”; this fight must be “more drastic, well-organised and effective.”

However, the hostile forces have taken advantage of our personnel preparation to enhance their sabotage stratagem via many cunning artifices. They have attached special importance to using mass media and social networks to lower the prestige of our leaders, undermine internal unity, cause doubts amongst cadres and party members, and shake the people’s faith in our Party and State. Recently, in the name of freedom and in-depth comment, Vietnamese BBC, RFI, online TV Weekly, People’s Voice and KTV have spread information about the personnel work of the 13th National Party Congress, with a series of questions, such as “Who will be Vietnam’s key leaders after the upcoming Congress” and “Who will retire after the upcoming Congress.” According to them, “On the threshold of the 13th National Congress of the Communist Party of Vietnam, an oppressive atmosphere spreads all over the country,” “Whenever a Party Congress is about to take place, the Communist Party of Vietnam increases arrests and persecutions.” Although the fight against corruption and the Party building and rectification initiated and led by our Party is always serious, open, and transparent, they believe that the Party have taken advantage of “self-evolution” and “self-evolution” combat to arrest, oppress, and expel party members “belonging to no group” or followers of radicalism, adding that “factions within the Party are purging one another,” “Party Congress is like a cut-throat competition among individuals, factions and interest groups.”

In addition, due to their limited awareness and political immaturity, several cadres and party members have used Facebook and Zalo to release wrong information and comments. Some of them have expressed their one-sided viewpoints, unknowingly changing the nature of the incidents. A typical example is a cadre from a school of politics in Ha Tinh province posted incorrect information about physical condition of Party and State senior leaders on Facebook. Moreover, a number of online newspapers and magazines have carried “sensational” headlines to boost “likes” and “views,” thereby negatively impacting on public opinion and raising doubts about the Party’s guidelines and its personnel work.

Furthermore, via “tea meetings” or “street meetings,” some people have made destructive and inaccurate statements. They have speculated on posts within the Party Central Committee, the Government and the Politburo. They have also formed subjective judgements about the knowledge, capacity, morality and lifestyle of senior cadres, particularly the nominees for the Party Central Committee and the Politburo.

Vietnam always ensures its citizens’ right to freedom of speech; however, this right must be within the confines of the law like other countries. There will be no place for excessive freedom. Exploitation of freedom of speech to violate ones’ legitimate rights and benefits or smear leaders by the hostile forces and some people must be strictly handled under our law. To make contributions to combating such evil artifices and conspiracies on the threshold of the 13th National Party Congress, it is necessary to well implement a number of measures as follows.

First, focus on making personnel preparations comprehensively and carefully. This measure is of special importance to ensuring the success of the Congress and consolidating the Party’s prestige against the hostile forces’ sabotage plan. On August 15th, 2019 the Party Central Committee’s Secretariat issued the Conclusion 55-KL/TW on continuing rectifying the personnel work to carefully make personnel preparations for all-level party congress and the 13th National Party Congress. In this document, it has required all-level party committees and organisations to proactively prevent personnel preparations from being influenced by false, unofficial information or distortions on the Internet and social networks.

It is vital that all-level party committees should comprehend the criteria, principles and procedures for the personnel work to ensure democracy, openness, objectivity, and transparency. Due attention should be paid to fighting against the signs of “impartiality,” “group interest,” unfairness, “bribery” and “lobby” in the personnel work. There is a fact at few party congresses, some party members have taken advantage of loopholes in the procedures for the personnel work to give leadership posts to their relatives or those who are on their side. Immediately, the hostile forces have exploited this weakness to enhance their sabotage strategy. Besides, we must resolutely prevent cadres with a lack of political zeal, limited capacity, and low prestige or those who show ambition for power or the signs of impartiality, opportunism, degradation in political ideology, morality, and lifestyle as well as “self-evolution” and “self-transformation” from being elected to new party committees.

Second, renew and improve the work of propagation and education to raise cadres, party members and citizens’ “immunity” against poisonous information, fabrications, and distortions. By doing so, all people will provide themselves with good knowledge to detect and proactively fight against poisonous information released by the hostile forces. To that end, it is necessary to promote the role of competent offices, especially press agencies in propagating and disseminating the Party’s guidelines and the State’s law and policy. It is important to opportunely provide official information to orientate public opinion against complex, sensitive issues and matters of public concern. We should even impart information on the Party’s personnel work under the regulations to our cadres, party members and people in order to meet their demand and avoid false, unofficial information being spread on social networks. Competent and press agencies should strictly adhere to the regulations on press management and speech, while quickly, accurately providing official information to take the initiative in combating fake news on the Internet and social networks. Significance should be attached to diversifying methods of combating false information, establishing and using online forums to post articles that disseminate official viewpoints, orientate public opinion, directly fight against “evil” and hostile websites, and prevent them from distorting the nature of issues and negatively impacting on public opinion.

Third, frequently train and build a contingent of “both red and expert” leaders and managerial cadres with political zeal. The hostile forces will not be able to create distortions unless our cadres violate the regulations on things that party members are not allowed to do, or commit corruption, wastefulness and moral degeneration. Thus, in addition to the training of leaders and managerial cadres, they must be self-aware to improve revolutionary morality so that each of them will have pure morality, political zeal and great capacity to meet their task requirements and play a vanguard, exemplary role in all activities. In the personnel work, it is necessary to publicise the assessment of cadres under the Government’s Resolution 90/2020/NĐ-CP, dated August 13th, 2020 on evaluating and rating cadres and public servants.

Fourth, enhance the adoption of technical measures for managing and preventing “evil” websites and access to them. Grounded on Vietnam’s law and international law, functional offices should proactively cooperate with both domestic and foreign service suppliers in employing technical and technological solutions to manage and control social networking sites, proactively detect, prevent, take down, and neutralise fake, poisonous news. In addition, great value should be attached to managing and opportunely preventing political opportunists and discontented elements within our country from disseminating distortions and false information that will negatively impact on our Party leaders’ reputation and undermine our socio-political stability.

As the 13th National Party Congress is approaching, the hostile forces and political opportunists are enhancing their attack and sabotage strategy against the personnel work of the Congress. Hence, more than ever before, we must remain vigilance and resolutely fight to thwart their plots to distort information and undermine the national great unity block in order to make contributions to the success of the Congress.

Sr. Col. NGUYEN MANH DUNG, MA

Sr. Col. NGUYEN DUC THANH, MA

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