Thursday, January 07, 2021, 17:59 (GMT+7)
16th Corps builds strong border areas in South Central Highlands

Thoroughly grasping and implementing the Party's strategic policy on combining economic development with strengthening and enhancing national defence and security, in recent years, the 16th Corps Party Committee and Command have deployed drastically and synchronously several solutions to help people eradicate hunger and reduce poverty, promote the mass mobilisation work, and participate in building a strong local political base to contribute to building a peaceful and developed South Central Highlands border area.

Stationing in the strategic areas of the South Central Highlands, the 16th Corps is tasked with socio-economic development in combination with strengthening national defence and security and building economic-defence zones in the provinces of Binh Phuoc, Dak Nong, and Dak Lak. These are remote and border areas where there are a large number of ethnic minorities with a high rate of poor households. The people's intellectual level is unequal; meanwhile, backward and customary practices still exist. Moreover, the situation of political security, social order, and safety has hidden factors that cause instability, especially sabotage activities of hostile forces, free migration, illegal evangelisation, illegal border crossing, etc. Those are major challenges for the Corps.

Officers of the Corps instruct labourers to harvest latex

Grapping the characteristics, situation, functions, and assigned tasks, the Corps’ Party Committee and Command have focused on leading and directing to promote economic development and improve the lives of people and laborers in the Project areas towards the goal of “people stabilisation” and building of solid “hedges” to protect the Fatherland. To create a push to promote socio-economic development and consolidate and strengthen defence and security potentials and posture in the areas, the Corps has actively coordinated with localities in investigating and supplementing the Planning for expansion of the Economic-defence Zone Project to 2020 with a vision to 2030 in line with regional and local planning for socio-economic development and defence and security assurance. On that basis, resources have been invested in building socio-economic infrastructure systems, such as transportation, irrigation, power grids, schools, clinics, and essential works to serve the tasks of population migration and relocation and production development. Due to large areas and investment needs, while budget is limited, to achieve the set objectives and requirements, during the implementation process, the Corps has focused on key projects, especially important localities and crucial works. The Unit’s programs and projects have been integrated with the central and local socio-economic development projects to create close coordination, linkage, and support to improve investment efficiency. So far, the Corps has built four economic-defence zones, including 56 population clusters along the border belts; more than 400 km of roads; 200 km of medium and low-voltage power lines; nearly 40 lakes, dams, and irrigation works; 80 classrooms; 42 kindergartens; 4 clinics, one military-civilian hospital; and one rubber latex processing plant with a capacity of 5,000 tons/year. The Corps has also received, stabilised, and created jobs for more than 5,500 households with about 25,000 people, including multiple ethnic minority households to build “life milestones” in the all-people defence posture to protect the national border sovereignty and security.

Along with that, the Corps has focused on leading and directing to accelerate the implementation of the Scheme on restructuring One-member Limited Liability Company No. 16; investing in material foundations and equipment to improve the quality and efficiency of production and business; renovating the production management and administration and consolidating and developing economic-defence projects towards sustainability and effectiveness; strengthening cooperation in investment and application of science and technology to production and processing; selecting and converting to high yield crops. Additionally, the Corps has effectively deployed movements, including “The Army join forces to build new rural areas”, “the Army joining hands for the poor”, construction of houses of gratitude and house of great unity, comradeship gratitude, donation of plants and seedlings, ... aiming at households in difficult circumstances to contribute to hunger eradication and poverty reduction, strengthening of the people's confidence, and creating conditions for them to produce and adhere to gardens, forests, and land of the country “hedges”.

Besides economic development, the Corps has actively participated in building strong local political foundations in the Project region. Implementing Directive No.36/2005/CT-TTg issued on October 17, 2005 by the Prime Minister on “Continuing directing the building of a comprehensively strong base to meet the requirements and tasks of defence and security in the new situation”, the Corps Party Committee and Command have led and directed subordinate agencies and units to actively coordinate with the local party committees, authorities, departments, agencies, and mass organisations in signing the mass mobilisation coordination regulations and programs and combine the performance of economic-defence tasks with local construction, especially in remote and difficult areas. The plantations and factories have regularly organised working groups and teams to propagate and mobilise people to strictly abide by the Party's lines and undertakings and the State’s policies and laws, be wary of evil and strange religions, and build a hygienic and scientific lifestyle without social evils and corrupt traditions. The Corps has often paid attention to advising and supporting the localities to build and consolidate the Party committees and authorities at all levels, strengthen and improve the quality of activities of mass organisations. It has also actively coordinated in organising training of defence and security knowledge for objects, village elders and heads, and household in border areas and fostering of professional knowledge of area management and state management for the cadres of communes, villages, and hamlets to practically improve the quality of political bases and strengthen the defence and security posture of the Project region.

Under its assigned functions and tasks, the Corps has focused on well implementing the defence and military work. Its Party Committee and Command have always taken care of leading and directing the building of a comprehensively strong standing force, improving the overall quality of the self-defence and reserve forces, and strictly maintaining the regime of combat readiness training and practice from agencies to production teams and groups. They have also regularly reviewed and developed combat plans and options for prevention and reduction of consequences of natural disasters and invested in constructing dual-use infrastructure and defensive works, especially those in key directions and areas. Military and police agencies and the Border Guards in the area have been closely coordinated with in performing defence and security tasks in accordance with Decree No.03/2019/ND-CP of the Government. Over the past years, the Corps and its subordinate forces have always actively exchanged information and coordinated in preventing and accurately and promptly handling situations to maintain political security, social order, and safety in the areas, especially complicated and sensitive elements on the borderlines, to defeat the hostile forces’ conspiracies and tricks of sabotage. Besides, the Corps has strengthened foreign defence relations with two provinces of Karatie and Mundunkiri, Kingdom of Cambodia, including periodically participating in briefings to exchange information with the local Party committees, authorities, and armed forces at the provincial and district levels on both sides of the border; coordinating in organising medical examination, providing free medicines, presenting gifts to the people, ... to contribute to building peaceful, friendly, and developed border areas.

Through synchronous positive solutions and efforts of cadres, soldiers, workers, and employees, over 20 years of performing economic-defence tasks in the South Central Highlands, the Corps has achieved several important results to fulfill the goals on politics, economy, society, defence, and security.

Promoting the achieved results to fulfill the assigned functions and tasks and contribute to building the South Central Highlands border areas that are “rich in economy, strong in defence”, in the coming time, the Corps will continue thoroughly grasping and effectively implementing the Party and State’s lines and undertakings and resolutions and directives of the Central Military Party Commission, Ministry of National Defence, on building economic-defence zones and strengthening the leadership and direction of the Party committees and commanders at all levels in working aspects. In the immediate future, importance will be attached to well implementing the “three breakthroughs” and building politically, ideologically, and organisationally strong agencies and units. The local Party committees and authorities will be coordinated with in the building of production support models, hunger eradication, and poverty reduction in association with the strengthening of defence and security in the Project region. It will focus on building infrastructure, organising agricultural and forestry extension, supporting agricultural supplies, guiding and training on cultivation technical process, and consuming products to help people rise to reduce poverty themselves. It will also strengthen the mass mobilisation work and strengthen the coordination with the local Party committees, authorities, and forces in effectively implementing the movements entitled “The Army join forces to build new countryside”,... to make synchronous and steady changes in terms of economy, politics, society, defence, and security in the border areas to meet the requirements of the task of building and protecting the Fatherland in the new situation.

Major General PHAM NGOC TUAN, Commander of the Corps

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