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Monday, February 03, 2020, 18:41 (GMT+7)
CPV’s positions on strengthening independence, self-reliance and proactive, active international integration

1. Perception of the Communist Party of Viet Nam of the relationship between upholding independence, self-reliance and proactive, active international integration

The Communist Party of Viet Nam (CPV) understands that independence, self-reliance and international integration are objective matters, which reflect law of development of all nations and peoples in our time. Viet Nam is not an exception. Independence, self-reliance and international integration are two factors in a dialectical relationship or a causal relationship. Firm maintenance of independence and self-reliance serves as a prerequisite for successful international integration, ensuring that Viet Nam carries out international integration without being dissolved, reform without changing its course. Conversely, full-fledged integration and full exploitation of external resources are of significant importance, which, together with the internal resources, brings about new momentums for rapid, sustainable development, contributing to protecting core interests of the nation, namely peace, national independence, democracy, and socialism.

Currently, when globalisation has been developed more than ever and involved all countries in international integration, firm protection of independence, self-reliance, national sovereignty and proactive, active international integration is of special importance and dictates how a nation survives, develops or regresses. This is completely clear because firm maintenance of independence, self-reliance and proactive, active international integration are manifested in a fundamental, multifaceted, multidimensional relationship against the backdrop of rapid, complex developments of the world situation. Viet Nam’s ongoing deep and wide international integration, particularly the signing and implementation of new-generation free trade agreements, requires sound settlement of the relationship between firmly upholding independence, self-reliance and proactive, active integration and more flexible reform, better courage and intellect. If it handles this relationship successfully, Viet Nam will become more adaptable and less vulnerable to changes, thus securing a peaceful, stable environment conducive to socio-economic development, consolidation of national defence and security, enhancement of Viet Nam’s prestige and status in the international arena.

The CPV has affirmed that if the country isolates itself from the world in the new era, it will fail to embark on development and take advantage of external resources and opportunities brought about by the Fourth Industrial Revolution. To continue to reap success in the reform process requires Viet Nam to attach importance to and make the most of support and assistance of international friends to develop the country rapidly and sustainably. It is also to adopt a friendly, open foreign policy. “Viet Nam consistently advocates 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.” Viet Nam wishes to avoid confrontation and tension in international relations and integration, especially when it has become a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council and had a vital voice in the international community.

Strengthening independence, self-reliance and proactive, active international integration results from developments of the CPV’s understanding and theoretical thinking. The CPV’s first use of “proactive integration into the international economy” since the 9th National Party Congress in April 2001 marked a sea change in philosophy of development, open-door policy and integration of Viet Nam. Accordingly, the CPV clearly specified its standpoint on developing an independent, self-reliant economy in the context of globalisation and regionalisation without leaving the economy of Viet Nam being dependent on foreign economies. The 12th Party Congress continued to emphasise the relationship between “independence, self-reliance and international integration” and regarded it as one of 9 major relations, reflecting the law of reform and development of Viet Nam.

2. Initial practices and experience in dealing the relationship between independence, self-reliance and proactive, active international integration

Correct understanding, thorough perception and successful settlement of the relationship between independence, self-reliance and international integration in the course of 30 years of national reform have enabled Viet Nam to record great achievements of historic importance. Viet Nam has reached new heights in its trajectory of international integration. Today, Viet Nam has established diplomatic relations with over 187 countries and economic ties with 223 nations and territories. Its relations with all countries are increasingly developed and enter into substantiveness and effectiveness. Viet Nam has established comprehensive strategic partnership with 10 countries and strategic partnership with 15 countries. This has demonstrated that Viet Nam’s guideline of firm maintenance of independence, self-reliance and proactive, active international integration always accords with global development trends, displays willpower and becomes a core, sacred value of Vietnamese people. The CPV is always steadfast in its position on firmly upholding independence, self-reliance and proactive, active international integration, considering this a matter of principle, consistence, importance, and survival of Vietnamese revolution.

First, independence and self-reliance in political terms and persistence in the political goal during the international integration process serve to prevent Viet Nam from being “dissolved” and dependent. If Viet Nam failed to preserve independence, self-reliance, sovereignty, and right to decide its own domestic and foreign policies, its international integration would not bring about intrinsic benefits for Vietnamese nation in regional and international institutions. Consequently, Viet Nam could become subordinate to foreign countries. In the years of reform, Viet Nam has taken initiative in international integration based on firmly preserving independence and self-reliance. Therefore, it completed building and perfection of the socialist law-governed state, ensured and brought into full play the right to master themselves of people from all walks of life. The key element that plays a pivotal role in maintaining independence, self-reliance and proactive, active international integration in political field is to ceaselessly promote leadership capability of the CPV and management capability of the State of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam and Vietnamese sociopolitical organisations.

Second, firm maintenance of independence, self-reliance and proactive, active international integration in economic aspect is manifested in building an independent, self-reliant economy which has a reasonable, effective economic structure, ensures a necessary safety, especially security in food, energy, finance, money, and environment, facilitates rapid, sustainable development, and has high competitiveness, balance of trade, a reasonable ratio of foreign investment in critical economic sectors. Viet Nam’s guideline on building an independent, self-reliant economy is, first and foremost, shown in its independence and self-reliance in pursuit of the socialist-oriented market economy, enhancement of industrialisation and modernisation, renewal of growth model in connection with economic restructuring, perfection of socialist-oriented market economy institutions on the basis of establishing a modern market economy and international integration, and making Viet Nam an organic part of the global market economy. It is necessary to concentrate on stabilising macroeconomy and addressing existing weaknesses of the economy such as bad debts, public debts, risks and inflation, reform of state-owned enterprises, creation a healthy banking system, and so forth.

Third, firm maintenance of independence, self-reliance and proactive, active international integration in national defence and security is expressed in full exploitation of opportunities offered by international integration to preserve a peaceful, stable environment conducive to reform and development, contributing to safeguarding independence, sovereignty, unity, territorial integrity, the Party, State, people, and socialist regime in the new situation. Our Party believes that successful implementation of goals, requirements and missions of defending the Homeland means undertaking the two strategic missions of Vietnamese revolution, focusing on building Viet Nam People’s Army and People’s Public Security into revolutionary, regular, highly-skilled, and gradually modernised forces with some units and elements advancing straight to modernity, enabling them to respond to emerging challenges, including cyber security, terrorism, riots, acts against the regime, natural disasters, epidemics, industrial disasters, and nontraditional security.

Fourth, firm maintenance of independence, self-reliance and proactive, active international integration in the realms of society, culture and human development is manifested in social progress and justice, cultivation of well-rounded Vietnamese culture and people, dedication to people’s interests, the goal of a prosperous people and a strong, democratic, equitable and advanced country, and human centred approach to development. All people are entitled to material and spiritual values. Constant attention is paid to reforming education and training basically and comprehensively, science and technology, social development management, effective implementation of policies on ethnic minority, religion, preservation of natural resources and environment, building of new-style rural areas, reduction of the gap between rich and poor, establishment of proper social institutions to forecast and prevent risks and conflicts arising from industrialisation, urbanisation, and so on.

3. Solutions to harmonise the relationship between firm maintenance of independence, self-reliance and proactive, active international integration in the time to come

Currently, the global and regional situation is witnessing rapid, complex, unforeseeable changes. Violations of national sovereignty, disputes over territories and resources, ethnic and religious conflicts, interference, terrorism, local warfare, cyber warfare, etc., continue to take place fiercely in many regions. Military build-up, especially the introduction of many new weapons and equipment, including nuclear weapons, and radical policies adopted by some countries in the world lead to the eruption of conflicts and wars at any time. Nevertheless, peace, cooperation and development remain major trends. Globalisation and international integration continue to be promoted. A multipolar, multi-centred world is taking shape rapidly. Major powers’ adjustment of their strategies to cooperate, compete and contain each other has a great influence on the world and regions. Manifestations of extremist nationalism, power politics and pragmatism are on the rise in international relations, which potentially undermine international law, norms and institutions as well as sustainability of globalisation and international integration. This poses many challenges to Viet Nam’s effort to preserve independence, self-reliance and proactive, active international integration.

To firmly maintain its independence, self-reliance and proactive, active international integration in the new situation requires Viet Nam to adopt the following solutions.

First, build-up of national strength, increased resilience in fighting back external pressure and influence, maintenance of internal stability, protection of independence, self-reliance and national interests. To uphold independence and self-reliance necessitates strong real capability. To gain strong real capability necessitates resolutely and patiently pursuing reform guideline and improving the effectiveness of industrialisation and modernisation of the country. The real ability of Viet Nam lies in its integrated strength which comes from politics, economy, culture, national defence, security, and diplomacy. It is the combination of national power and power of the times, national power and international power, and the increased ability to counter external pressure and negative influence. The major determinant is that “the economy must be strong, national defence must be robust, real capability must be enormous, people’s hearts and minds must be won, politics and society must be stable, the whole nation becomes a unified block.” Besides, it is important to vigorously realise the strategic orientation of proactive, active international integration, regarding this as the cause of all people and political system, on the basis of bringing into full play internal power and improving integrated strength and competitiveness of the country.

Second, taking initiative in forecasting and successfully settling the dialectical relationship between objects of cooperation and objects of struggle, flexibly responding to any situations without driving Viet Nam into passivity and confrontation. Against the backdrop of drastic globalisation, wide and deep international integration, Viet Nam must well handle its partnerships while tackling relations with “objects of struggle” sensibly. Its continuation in broadening cooperation must base on successfully upholding independence, sovereignty and national cultural identity. Proactive, active cooperation with foreign countries must go together with resolutely keeping sociopolitical stability and national security. There needs to correctly foresee situations, make lucid decisions, handle relations sensibly, make the most of support and assistance of international friends for development, resolutely maintain national independence and vital interests, respond to negative influence, and bring into full play favourable conditions for socio-economic development, national construction and defence of the socialist Homeland. These are both principles and requirements when dealing with situations and relations with objects of cooperation and objects of struggle of Viet Nam.

Third, strengthening national defence and security, building strong people’s armed forces capable of meeting the requirement of upholding independence, self-reliance and proactive, active international integration. Viet Nam needs to continue to build “people’s heart and mind posture” to provide a solid foundation for building the all-people national defence and people’s public security, building Viet Nam People’s Army and People’s Public Security into revolutionary, regular, highly-skilled, and gradually modernised forces with some services, arms and elements advancing straight to modernity, taking political factor as a basis for ensuring the armed forces’ absolute faithfulness to the Homeland, Party, State and people, thus firmly maintaining independence, self-reliance and proactive, active international integration in the new situation.

Major General, Associate Professor, Doctor Nguyen Ba Duong, Member of the Central Theoretical Council, Former Director General, Institute of Military Social Sciences and Humanities

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