Monday, April 20, 2020, 14:56 (GMT+7)
Not joining any military alliances – A sound policy of Vietnam national defence

Vietnam’s policy of not joining any military alliances has been manifested clearly in the “2019 Vietnam National Defence” White Paper. This further proves the sound and consistent national defence policy of our Party and State.

Military alliance is a rather popular political – military phenomenon throughout the history of mankind which is a joint military operation between two or more countries basing on the agreement of goals and interests. Depending on the political aims, a military alliance can be progressive and negative, self-defensive or invasive. Therefore, joining a military alliance can be both positive and negative, directing affecting peace, stability of a nation, region or the globe. At present, peace, independence, democracy, cooperation and development are still the main trend and common aspiration of the international community. However, the world and regional situations still entail complicated and unpredictable evolutions; sovereignty infringement, territorial and natural resource disputes, racial and religious conflicts, disruptive intervention, terrorism, partial war, cyberwarfare and non-traditional security challenges are threatening the world as a whole. The manifestations of extreme nationalism, power politics, pragmatism, protectionism are on the rise in international relations. A number of countries, especially major powers, are adjusting their strategies in favour of their national interests, making international relations complicated. Such situations are posing both opportunities and challenges for the protection of territorial sovereignty, political regime, and national security, peaceful and stable environment of each nation.

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As for Vietnam, since the regaining of independence and the beginning of renewal and international integration, we have gained significant achievements; the country’s overall strength has been strengthened; external relations have been deepened and widened; the country’s status and prestige on international arena have been enhanced. These have brought about important conditions for the mission of Fatherland construction and protection. To reaffirm its consistent defence viewpoints and policies and help facilitate mutual understanding and confidence building between Vietnam and other countries in the world, in 2019, the Ministry of National Defence released the Vietnam National Defence White Paper emphasizing its “Not joining any military alliances” policy. The appropriateness and suitability of this policy are as follow:

First, Vietnam national defence is peaceful and self-defensive in nature. During our history of national construction and defence, our country has been occupied by foreign invaders many times. However, our people always stayed united and persistently struggled with the utmost goal of regaining independence and freedom for the nation and building and developing the country. At present, the world and regional situations are evolving with complications. Disruptive forces are fostering their sabotage against Vietnam’s revolution with a number of sophisticate and cunning plots and schemes. Against such backdrop, our Party and State have been implementing a number of measures for mobilising all resources of the country and leveraging the favourable international conditions for the cause of Fatherland construction and protection. Persistent and consistent with peaceful and self-defence policy; not to invade or threaten to invade any country, not to use force or threaten to use force in international relations; Vietnam’s military modernization and consolidation serve no other purpose but for self-defence, maintaining peace and stability of the country. Even if we have to take up arms for self-defence, our goal is for peace and national independence. Implementing that goal, our Party advocates that “to resolutely and persistently struggle and protect the independence, sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity, firmly protect the border and the country’s sovereignty over seas, islands and airspace”; “to settle the disagreements and disputes by peaceful means in accordance with international laws”. This affirms that Vietnam’s defence policy is of peace and self-defence and clearly manifests the revolutionary, progressive, legitimate nature and our good will for peaceful coexistence, cooperation, development and prosperity. At the same time, it helps unify awareness of all people, generate a consensus on the duties and responsibilities; mobilise resources for the cause of defence struggle, especially in the condition of a socialist-oriented market economy. The publication of our defence policy also helps building and consolidating strategic trust between Vietnam and foreign countries and creating a premise for the widening and enhancement of relations, cooperation for the creation of favourable conditions for the cause of Fatherland protection and defence in the new situation.

Second, consistently implementing the defence line of independence, self-reliance, and resilience. According to the Law on National Defence 2018, defence potential are built on political, spiritual, human resources, material, financial grounds which is all-people, comprehensive, independent, self-reliant , resilient and increasingly modern. In particular, the Party’s leadership by sound political and military lines; the State’s centralized, unified, effective management; the strength of the political system and the national unity bloc are the key factors to the success of our defence cause. Vietnam aims to build its defence capability with its own resources and intellect, not to depend on external factors. The consolidation and strengthening of defence is a crucial and regular task with a view to mobilising the synergy of the entire nation and political system in which the armed forces being the core. With its all people’s national defence line, all defence works are for national interest and the benefit of its people. This has attracted the participation of a large number of people, creating a synergy from the entire nation for preventing, repelling the risk of riot, overthrowing, armed conflict and invasive war.

Third, facilitating international integration and defence cooperation for peace and development. Over the past years, our Party and State have implement our foreign policy in general and defence diplomacy policies in particular of independence, self-reliance, peace, friendship, and cooperation. With this viewpoint, Vietnam is ready to be a friend and a trustworthy partner, a responsible member of international community; actively integrate and widen international cooperation, strengthen defence diplomacy in the guideline of “proactive, active, steady, flexible, effective” basing on equal and mutual beneficial principles. As a result, our status on international arena has been enhanced; the combination between national strength with that of time has been promoted; strategic trust and peaceful environment have been ceaselessly strengthened, creating favourable conditions for firmly protecting independence, territorial sovereignty, national interest, and peaceful environment for the country’s development as stipulated in the 2019 Vietnam National Defence White Paper: “strengthen cooperation with countries both inside and outside the region to cope with common security challenges”. With those sound guidelines, by the end of 2019, Vietnam has established defence relations with over 80 countries and international organisations. It has also set up defence attaché offices in 37 countries and to the United Nations. 49 foreign countries have set up their defence, military attaché offices in Vietnam. Vietnam has shown its active participation in the common issues of the world, such as: hosting the U.S – North Korea Summit, the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting, participating in the UN peacekeeping operations in the Central African Republic and South Sudan which were highly appreciated by international communities.

The above mentioned facts and figures prove that our defence policy is completely appropriate and suitable ensuring the firm protection of our independence while maintaining a "dynamic balance" of relations. With this policy we are not driven into the competition and rivalry for influence of major powers which badly affects our relations and international integration. At the same time, it enables us to earn support of international communities for the cause of national construction and protection.

Colonel UONG THIEN HOANG and Colonel NGUYEN MINH THANH

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