Thursday, May 14, 2020, 15:39 (GMT+7)
Viet Nam National Defence White Paper clearly expresses the nature of peace and self-defence

After the release of the 2019 Viet Nam National Defence White Paper, hostile forces and political opportunists have distorted and deduced groundlessly the nature of national defence of our country. Thus, it is necessary to be continually vigilant against this plot.

The 2019 Viet Nam National Defence White Paper aims to make its defence policy public to the whole world, contributing to promoting understanding and confidence building with other countries. It is also an important document to raise Vietnamese people’s awareness of national defence and enable all citizens, agencies, units, and social organisations to better understand their rights and responsibilities to the cause of national construction and defence.

Sr. Lt. Gen. Nguyen Chi Vinh, Deputy Minister of National Defence annouces the release of 2019 Vietnam National Defence White Paper (Photo: qdnd.vn)

The 2019 Viet Nam National Defence White Paper affirms that Viet Nam aspires and resolves to develop equal, friendship, cooperation relations with all countries on the basis of mutual respect for peace, national independence, democracy, and social progress. It also continues to affirm and elucidate the fundamental nature of peace and self-defence of Viet Nam’s national defence and clearly specifies challenges and adjustments in defence policy, defence leadership and management mechanism, consolidation of national defence potential, transparency in national defence policy and capabilities. However, hostile forces, reactionaries, political opportunists, and people discontent with the regime use subtle, cunning tricks, under the cover of reviewing the National Defence White Paper, to cheat and guide public opinion at home and abroad. Their fabrication aims to undermine people’s belief in the Party, the military, and the great national unity; remove the Party’s leadership over the military; and carry out the scheme of “depoliticising” the armed forces.

First, the hostile forces base on new points in the 2019 Viet Nam National Defence White Paper to make groundless allegations and distort the “four-no” principle. They believe that Viet Nam mentions the fourth “no” when it is in passivity and will rely on another country if necessary, and that “refraining from the threat or use of force in international relations” is “to tie their own feet and hands,” which goes against the real situation and globalisation trend. “No use of force” means that Viet Nam gives up the use of force to safeguard the country. On the ground of complex situation in the East Sea, they argue that Viet Nam will not be able to uphold its sovereignty and territorial integrity. They call for reliance and dependence on major powers, especially the U.S. or NATO.

We should deeply perceive that Viet Nam’s introduction of the “four-no” policy in its National Defence White Paper demonstrates the true humanity of our Party and State’s guiding standpoint in peacetime. It also expresses our aspiration for promoting defence cooperation with countries in the world to enhance national defence and response to common security challenges. Depending on circumstances and specific conditions, Viet Nam will consider developing necessary, appropriate defence and military relations with other countries on the basis of respecting each other's independence, sovereignty, territorial unity and integrity as well as fundamental principles of international law. Our Party and State have consistently pursued the “three-no” defence policy, which reads Viet Nam advocates neither joining any military alliances, siding with one country against another, nor giving any other countries permission to set up military bases or use its territory to carry out military activities against other countries. The 2019 National Defence White Paper is now supplemented with the fourth “no,” which states that Viet Nam will not use force or threaten to use force in international relations. This view is in conformity with the guidelines for foreign relations of our country in the new situation and the thousand-year history of national construction and defence of our people. Internal strength and resilience have been constantly the greatest and firmest sources of power to safeguard the Homeland. We cannot rely on any forces to protect our country because they always put their own interests first in any international relations, after all. Economy remains the key issue so countries are often at odds with each other over military costs. Strains in the relationship between allies, which turn their militaries into “businesses” and collect protection money, are burning issues for many countries.

Given its “four-no” policy in defence relations, Viet Nam can timely prevent acts of infringement of sovereignty without being passive and surprised in any situations. Nonparticipation in military alliances does not mean we isolate ourselves from the outside world. Our country is still a responsible member of international community, always conducts exchange and shares experience, and realises commitments to peace, prosperity, and development in the military field. This is clearly proved in the fact that our military personnel have participated in UN peacekeeping missions in South Sudan, Central African Republic, and so on.

In fact, all military alliances emanate from the sharing of interests. No country is ready to sacrifice its own interests for the sake of others. The aim of calling for Viet Nam to join military alliances, especially Western countries, is to make Viet Nam dependent on foreign countries, thus changing the political regime and the nature of our society. If we did not follow a self-reliant, independent national defence guideline, we ourselves would be transformed and become dependent. The incorrect information is disseminated with a view to calling for Viet Nam to join military alliances, especially with another country, and gradually mispresent the national defence policy of peace and self-defence of Viet Nam. These allegations also aim to incite “self-evolution” and “self-transformation” within the Party, State, and military.

In today’s multipolar world, international relations have become extremely complex. The lines between subjects of cooperation and subjects of struggle always exist and intertwine. The same actor can be a subject of cooperation in some areas and a subject of struggle in other areas. Siding with any alliances or countries is not an appropriate option. Bringing into play the strength of independence and self-reliance is the best solution to defend the Homeland. Consequently, we need to deeply comprehend the nature of the so-called “suggestions,” “critical struggle,” etc., on forums full of distortion, to have a thorough outlook.

Second, they falsely claim that Viet Nam strengthens national defence and security potential to aim at another country, thus triggering a regional arms race. This is a cunning allegation because our expenditure on national defence as a percentage of national GDP is always much smaller than that of regional countries. The National Defence White Paper also affirms that Viet Nam neither falls into arms race nor makes the national defence budget an economic burden. “Viet Nam is not afraid of disclosing information about its traditional and modern weapons in the 2019 National Defence White Paper, which makes it transparent as part of Viet Nam’s national defence policy and capability and contributes to promoting better understanding and confidence building between Viet Nam and other countries in the international community,” said Deputy Minister of National Defence Nguyen Chi Vinh. The percentage of home-made and upgraded weapons is on the rise, which proves the independence and self-reliance of Viet Nam.

Over the course of thousand-year history of national construction and defence, our country has undergone a great deal of struggle against foreign aggression. On the basis of summing up realities of national defence and prediction about security and political situations in the world, region and the country, our Party continually affirms “development of stratagem to prevent the risks of war and conflict from afar; proactive prevention, early detection and eradication of adverse elements, especially the internal ones, which potentially lead to sudden change.” “It is necessary to act flexibly while maintaining firmly our own principles, in which national interests are immutable; remain steadfast in strategic goals and principles; apply stratagem in a flexible manner; preserve peace at home and abroad; and defend the country from afar.” Thus, the ideology of safeguarding the Homeland from afar of our Party has witnessed a new development. National defence means not only maintenance of peace beyond the national boundaries, but also preservation of internal stability; not only fight in case of foreign aggression, but also forward defence and preparation in every aspect (politics, economy, national defence, security, diplomacy, etc.,) right in peacetime. Realities of national construction and defence prove that our Party and State have adopted many measures to prevent and repulse the risk of wars of aggression; effectively deal with internal matters potentially resulting in political, security instability such as corruption, “self-evolution,” “self-transformation,” overemphasis on economic development, and disregard for national defence and security missions. The build-up of national defence capability aims to safeguard the country and maintain peace and stability for national construction and development. The 2019 Defence White Paper also affirms that Viet Nam’s National Defence Strategy is a national defensive strategy to protect the country from afar and prepare to win wars of foreign invasion. Therefore, the strengthening of national defence and security capabilities is achieved not only through upgrade (or acquisition) of weapons and equipment, but also through human factor – the core content of the national defence strategy. Viet Nam’s sufficient investment in national defence based on its socio-economic growth rate while resolutely refraining from participating in an arms race cannot be regarded as a pretext for accusing us for triggering an arm race!

Our Party and State always attach importance to developing strong all-people national defence and posture for safeguarding the Homeland without detriment to any nations. In fact, hostile forces, reactionaries, and political opportunists are trying their best to distort the 2019 National Defence White Paper with a view to destroying the foreign policy of our Party and State, which exerts a negative influence on awareness and viewpoints of our cadres, party members and people and undermines their confidence in the cause of national construction and defence. Consequently, we cannot allow anyone to do deliberate damage to standpoints and policies specified in the 2019 Viet Nam National Defence White Paper. Vigilance and recognition of the hostile forces’ plots to distort the nature of Viet Nam’s national defence policy are precisely the ways to protect and preserve the status and prestige of our country in the international arena.

PHAM VAN DANG

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