Saturday, April 27, 2019, 18:11 (GMT+7)
Vietnam’s status negates all distortions

One of the acts of sabotage by the hostile forces is to distort and negate the achievements in the renewal cause led by the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV). However, Vietnam’s increasingly high status in the international arena disproves all those distortions.

Distortion of the facts is a trick frequently used by the hostile forces to sabotage Vietnam’s revolution. They often focus their sabotage on the CPV’s status, saying that “the single-party system will lead the Vietnam to a dead end only”. They have recently advertised their distortion on some social networks that under the leadership of the CPV, over the past 70-plus years, Vietnam has fallen into ruin without control”. They describe the CPV’s guidelines on developing the socialist-oriented market economy as the communists’ deadlock and “a flash in the pan”. Concerning Vietnam’s foreign policy of independence and self-reliance, its guidelines on multilateralization and diversification of foreign relations as well as its policy: no military alliances, no foreign military bases on Vietnamese territory, and no reliance on any country to combat others, they believe that Vietnam’s foreign policies will isolate itself from the outside and deprive itself of chances to cooperate with major countries in building and defending the Homeland. Speaking about the country’s achievements in its renewal cause, they deliberately invent stories about a comprehensive crisis in Vietnam.

Those examples reveal that the hostile forces make every effort to distort the facts, cause panic, and undermine our cadres, party members, and people’s faith in the CPV’s leadership and our political regime, thereby sabotaging the cause of socialist building in our country. However, Vietnam’s increasingly high status in the international arena nullifies all those distortions.

Politically and diplomatically, Vietnam transformed from a colony into an independent state; it now has diplomatic ties with 189 out of 193 member states of the UN, being an active member of over 70 international and regional organizations, establishing strategic partnerships with 16 countries and comprehensive partnerships with 11 countries, including 5 permanent members of the UN Security Council. Vietnam was a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for the 2008-2009 tenure, and it is running for a non-permanent seat at the UN Security Council for the 2020-2021 tenure as the only candidate of the Asia-Pacific region. Vietnam was member of the UN Human Rights Council for the 2014-2016 tenure; Vietnamese diplomat Le Luong Minh was the Secretary-General of the ASEAN for the 2013-2017 tenure; in 2020, Vietnam will take over the ASEAN Chairmanship for the second time. Vietnam was elected as a member of the International Law Commission in 2016 and a member of the UN Commission on International Trade Law for the 2019-2015 tenure. Those examples prove that Vietnam has transformed from “active contribution” to “proactive contribution to shaping the common rules of the game”. Those positions of Vietnam at the UN’s organizations also proved its status and the international community’s increasingly greater faith in our country.

When holding the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit for the second time in 2017, Vietnam became the destination for all leaders of the member states of the APEC, including America, China, Russia, and Japan. Amidst the rise of populism and protectionism, as the host country, Vietnam well played its role in resolving differences and encouraging similarities among APEC members, thereby bolstering its contributions to the APEC’s process. Also at that event, with a flexible approach by Vietnam and Japan, 11 countries signed the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTTP), which proved Vietnam’s role and capacity to deal with international issues and expressed its proactiveness in shaping regional and global structures.

Since the APEC 2017, Vietnam has become a reliable destination for multilateral international events. In 2018, Vietnam successfully hosted many significant international conferences, such as the 26th Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum, the 6th Greater Mekong Subregion Summit, the 10th Cambodia-Laos-Vietnam Development Triangle Summit, and the World Economic Forum on ASEAN (WEF on ASEAN). It should be noted that the WEF on ASEAN held by Vietnam in 2018 was seen as the most successful WEF over the past 27 years when it engaged many heads of ASEAN member states, leaders of partners, and about 1,000 representatives of multinational, ASEAN and international companies. Next May, the UN Day of Vesak 2019 will be held in Vietnam. It will be the third time Vietnam hosts the Vesak Day (2008 and 2014 previously). That proves Vietnam’s status and responsibility for the UN activities in all areas.

It is also worth noting that in early 2019, Vietnam was picked as the venue for the 2nd US-North Korea Summit on the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and the establishment of long-term peace on this peninsula. It reveals that Vietnam is not only a reliable destination in terms of security, but also greatly contributes to the common operations of the world and the region for the sake of peace, stability and development. After the Summit, Prof. Lee Woong-hyeon, the President of the Korean Geopolitical Research Institute, stated that Vietnam was among the world’s top countries with great diplomacy. Besides, a series of official visits by leaders of our Party and State (Party General Secretary, State President, Prime Minister, National Assembly Chairwoman) to ASEAN countries, China, Russia, America, Japan, Australia, India, South Korea, Western European and Northern European countries as well as the visits paid by heads of those states to our countries recently have confirmed the increasingly high status of Vietnam and the CPV in the international arena.

Economically, under the guidelines on developing a socialist-oriented market economy, Vietnam has integrated into the world economy more widely and deeply and become a developing country with rather high economic growth rate and per capita income for many years. In 1989, Vietnam’s GDP was only 6.3 billion USD; however, its GDP reached over 240 billion USD in 2018. Peter Vanham, Media Lead at the US and Industries of the World Economic Forum in 2018 ever said that “…Vietnam’s economy was one of the poorest in the world (30 years ago)… Today, Vietnam is one of the stars of the emerging markets universe”. According to the WEF President Borge Brende, “the WEF has witnessed great achievements made by Vietnam since 2010. Specifically, the country’s GDP has doubled, export turnover has nearly tripled, the value of the stock market has almost doubled”. “More importantly, Vietnam’s poverty rate has dramatically reduced, from over 50 per cent in the 1990s to only 3 per cent now. These figures are a clear testament to Vietnam’s success in the process of steady development”, he said. Vietnam has risen from a poor country which had to import food to one of the largest exporters of food, textiles, footwear, wooden furniture, and electronic components. So far, Vietnam has established trade relations with 230 countries and territories, being a member of the World Trade Organizations. 71 countries have recognized Vietnam’s market economy. Our country has also signed 14 new-generation free trade agreements with other countries. It is now actively cooperating with other countries in accelerating the negotiation of Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and urging the European Union to quickly sign and ratify the Vietnam-EU Free Trade Agreement.

While successfully hosting various international conferences on economic development, Vietnam has been invited to attend many major international forums, such as the G20 Summit in Germany (July 2017), G7 Summit in Canada (June 2018), the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland (January 2019). It proves that other countries all respect Vietnam’s increasingly greater role and status, and Vietnam has really become an active member of the international community bilaterally, regionally, and globally.

Vietnam has also gained significant achievements in social, cultural, defence and security terms. Education and training, science-technology, culture, social affairs, and health have made progress. Due attention has been paid to ensuring social welfare while the people’s life has basically improved. Politics and society have been stabilized. Defence and security have been strengthened. Many natural landscapes and cultural values across the country have been recognized as the World Heritage Site, the World Intangible Cultural Heritage, and the World Tangible Cultural Heritage. Vietnam’s per capita income has increased by 20 times compared to before the Doi Moi, up to 2,590 USD in 2018 as the top one in the group of developing countries with lower-middle income. According to Victoria Kwakwa, former World Bank Country Director in Vietnam, “Today Vietnam is an emerging middle income country. Indicators of social welfare are now better than most other countries at similar levels of per capita income and comparable even to some countries with higher incomes”. She also cited the better education available for the majority of locals, adding that Vietnam’s maternal mortality rate was much lower than other countries in the region.

Vietnam’s defence and security have integrated into the world deeply and widely. Our country has established official defence relations with nearly 70 countries and defence attaché offices in over 30 countries while 40 countries has established their defence attaché offices in Vietnam. In addition to setting store by defence-security cooperation with our neighbours (Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, the Philippines, and Singapore), Vietnam has expanded cooperation with Japan, Australia, Israel, Cuba, India, Italia, and the European Union. It should be noted that Vietnam has attached greater importance to cooperating with major powers, such as Russia, China, and America. Vietnam has also given priority to multilateral defence-security cooperation and particularly joined the cooperation mechanisms, such as the ASEAN Regional Forum on Security, Shangri-La Dialogue, ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM), and the ADMM-Plus. Vietnam has successfully co-organized many exercises, such as the Humanitarian Mine Action Exercise in India (March 2016), the ADDM Plus Exercise on Maritime Security and Counter Terrorism in Brunei and Singapore (May 2016), the Exercise on Humanitarian Aid, Disaster Relief and Military Medicine in Thailand (September 2016). On a global scale, Vietnam has been a member of the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) since 1991. In 2014, Vietnam participated in the UN Peacekeeping operations. Initially, we just deployed a few military officers, but in 2018, we deployed a military unit (the level-2 field hospital) to join the UN peacekeeping mission in South Sudan. Those activities have expressed Vietnam’s responsibility for building trust and maintaining peace in the region and the world, while contributing to raising the status of our country and military in the international arena.

That said, Vietnam’s position and status have been increasingly raised regionally and globally. That status is attributed to the efforts of the whole people and military under the CPV’s leadership. Vietnam’s achievements prove that the CPV’s diplomatic policy of independence, self-reliance, peace, cooperation and development and its guidelines on diversification and multileralization of foreign relations have been totally sound. Last but not least, Vietnam’s status is the most persuasive evidence for negating all distortions by the hostile forces.

Nguyen Ngoc Hoi

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