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Applying our Party and State’s viewpoints on border defence work to protecting our territorial sovereignty and national border security nowadays

National border is sacred and inviolable; border management and protection are of paramount importance to our country’s territorial integrity and sovereignty. Thus, grasping and realising our Party and State’s viewpoints on border defence work represent a matter of urgency to the entire Party, Military, and people in general, the Border Guard Force (BGF) in particular for the Homeland protection in the new situation.

Border management and protection constitute a crucial part of the Homeland construction and defence under the Party’s absolute, direct leadership, the State’s focalised, uniform management, and especially the direct leadership, management, and command from the Central Military Commission (CMC) and the Ministry of National Defence (MND). That has been stipulated in the 12th Politburo’s Resolution 33-NQ/TW, dated September 28th, 2018 on the Strategy for National Border Protection.

According to Resolution 33-NQ/TW, in the new situation, the BGF as the core, specialised force in managing and defending national border has to perform comprehensive, complex missions. More specifically, it is tasked with “safeguarding national independence, sovereignty, unification, and border integrity, protecting the Party, the State, the People, and the socialist regime, maintaining peace, security, culture, law, and national majesty and symbol at the border and border gates, building a border of peace, friendship, stability, and cooperation, firmly defending national border, and making contributions to boosting socio-economic development associated with defence-security consolidation and diplomacy at the border and nationwide.” To fulfil those missions, the BGF should comprehensively, synchronously implement measures for national border management and protection. Emphasis should be placed on promoting all people’s synergy, closely combining armed measures with non-armed measures, aligning direct, on-the-spot protection with basic, long-term protection from afar, and settling all differences and disputes by peaceful means on the basis of international law and practices. It is necessary to be fully aware of the Party’s viewpoints on Vietnam’s partners and opponents during the border management and protection process, fight against the rigidity in the formulation of measures for settling specific situations at the border and sea, associate territorial sovereignty and national border security management and protection with “open door” and international integration policies, and build a border of peace, friendship, cooperation, and development with our neighbours.

During the process of national border management and protection, it is important to grasp and realise the goal of building a strong, efficient, and effective political system, a firm “posture of people’s hearts and minds,” and a solid national great unity block as the basis for defence-security consolidation and national border management and protection, making more investments in border residential clusters, fostering socio-economic development, improving the people’s life, effectively executing national target programmes on rapid, robust, and sustainable development, and combining socio-economic development with defence-security consolidation and diplomacy within border areas. Due attention should be paid to appointing cadres from border guard posts to district-level party committees within border districts, consolidating and constructing defensive zones within border provinces and municipalities, and building a firm posture of all-people border defence within the all-people national defence posture associated with the people’s security posture in border areas.

Members of the BGF, the Public Security Force, and the Militia and Self-Defence Force join hands in border protection (photo: bienphong.com.vn)

The building of a core, specialised force to manage and protect national border is a matter of principle to all countries around the world. Notably, the complex developments of the situation on a global and regional scale and the 4th industrial revolution are posing challenges and creating opportunities for national border management and protection. Therefore, according to Resolution 33-NQ/TW, it is vital to build a revolutionary, regular, elite, and gradually modern BGF; some of its components will move straight to modernity, with a high level of synergy, political zeal, professional competence, and a good command of law, foreign languages, and ethnic minority languages. The BGF should “have meals with, live with, work with, and speak same languages with ethnic minority groups,” protect the people, and defend the border. At the same time, significance should be attached to ensuring modern weapons and equipment for national border management and protection in any situation.

Currently, disputes over sovereignty, territories, sovereign rights, and jurisdiction, particularly in the East Sea between countries are increasingly complex and unpredictable. There have been new methods and artifices of violating our sovereignty, territory, and security along the border. Issues relating to border, territory, ethnicity, and religion are put at the forefront of hostile forces’ sabotage strategy. There is an increase in organised, armed, or cross-border crime. Meanwhile, non-traditional security challenges tend to be more complex. All those things are imposing more demanding, comprehensive requirements on border defence work. Grasping and executing the Party’s guidelines and the State’s laws and policies on border defence work, the BGF’s Party Committee and Command will focus on well implementing several fundamental tasks and measures as follows.

1. The BGF will continue thoroughly grasping the guidelines and policies set by the Party, the State, the CMC, and the MND on military-defence task and border defence work. It will proactively cooperate with other forces in better grasping, evaluating, and forecasting situations to give advice to the Party, the State, the CMC, and the MND on performing border defence work and building the all-people border defence and a firm posture of all-people border defence. Coordination will be maintained to implement the Vietnam Border Defence Law and other relevant legal documents. The BGF will advise our Party and State to concentrate resources on accomplishing constructions for border management and protection, search and rescue, and socio-economic development in border areas as well as work towards measures to fight against acts of changing our border status quo.

2. The BGF will comprehensively, synchronously implement measures for national border management and protection. Emphasis will be placed on maintaining coordination to well execute border-related legal documents and taking part in negotiations about overlapping border areas and the border between Vietnam and Cambodia. Consideration will be given to strictly maintaining combat readiness to defend national sovereignty over seas and islands, settle the consequences of natural disasters, and conduct search and rescue operations. The BGF will grasp the situation, opportunely detect, prevent, and foil all plots and artifices by the hostile and reactionary forces, and combat crime of various types, especially drug and human trafficking to guarantee security and order within border areas. At the same time, it will improve the effectiveness of border gate and immigration management in accordance with the 4th industrial revolution and the requirements set by international integration in the new situation.

3. The BGF will well implement our Party’s foreign policy of independence, self-reliance, multilateralisation and diversification of international relations, and active international integration. There will be a close combination of the Party’s diplomacy, the State’s diplomacy, military diplomacy, border defence diplomacy, and people-to-people diplomacy in border areas. The BGF will enhance and bring into play border defence friendship exchange programmes, and multiply twinning projects between localities and the peoples from two sides of the border. Due attention will be paid to executing coordination programmes between border guard forces of Vietnam, our neighbours, and relevant countries in order to build and cement strategic trust towards peace and stability in the region and the world. Besides, the BGF will promote cooperation with international organisations and other countries’ competent forces in search and rescue as well as in epidemic, free migration, and trans-national and cross-border crime prevention and combat.

4. The BGF will enhance the work of propagation and education to raise the people’s awareness of the Party’s guidelines, the State’s laws and policies, and relevant international agreements. Great value will be attached to taking part in building a strong, efficient, and effective political system, fostering socio-economic development associated with defence-security consolidation and national border protection, and strengthening the national great unity block as the basis for the construction of defensive zones within border provinces and municipalities. The BGF will promote the role of its cadres as members of party committees in border districts, communes, and villages. In addition, it will keep well implementing Prime Minister’s Directive 01/CT-TTg, dated January 9th, 2015 on “organising the movement of all people’s participation in protecting territorial sovereignty and national border security in the new situation.”

5. Importance will be attached to giving sound advice on building an extensive, synchronous all-people BGF and making it strong in terms of politics, ideology, morality, organisation, and personnel. Great weight will be added to bettering the effectiveness and efficiency of state management of national sovereignty and border security. The Project on “organising the BGF in the period of 2017-2021 and beyond” will be well executed. Last but not least, emphasis will be placed on providing the BGF with modern equipment, improving the BGF’s synergy, combat power, and task performance, and building a compact, strong, efficient, effective BGF as the basis for a modernised BGF in 2030 under the Resolution of the 13th National Party Congress.

Lt. Gen. LE DUC THAI, Member of the Party Central Committee

Member of the CMC, Commander of the BGF  

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