Saturday, March 03, 2018, 11:02 (GMT+7)
Border Guard improves the effectiveness of international cooperation and border defence diplomacy

The Border Guard is assigned to manage and protect the country’s border, while playing an important role in building borders of peace, friendship, cooperation and development. Thus, improving the effectiveness of international cooperation and border defence diplomacy represents a matter of importance.

Comprehending diplomatic line of the Party, Central Military Commission (CMC) and Ministry of National Defence (MND), the Party Committee and High Command of the Border Guard have considered border defence diplomacy as a central task to protect the Homeland from afar, defend national territorial sovereignty and border security, and build borders of peace, friendship, cooperation and development. Over the past years, the Border Guard has conducted border defence external affairs in a synchronous, comprehensive, focalized manner and obtained significant results.

An Agreement on crime and drug prevention and control signed by Vietnam’s Border Guard and Lao Police

Border defence relations with neighbours have been deepened, and cooperation has been encouraged in an effective, regular fashion. Organization and reception of visiting delegations within the Border Guard have achieved good results. Hundreds of joint patrols have been carried out with the participation of thousands of cadres and soldiers in cooperation with neighbours’ border management forces. As a result, the Border Guard has effectively fought against smuggling and illegal immigration; successfully handled the issues of free migration and marriage without certificates in the border areas between Vietnam and Laos; prevented ethnic minorities in the provinces of the Central Highlands from illegally immigrating to Cambodia and hostile activities in the border areas.

The Border Guard has counselled and organized exchanges and twinning activities, such as the 4th Vietnam-China Border Defence Friendship Exchange Program in Lai Chau province (Vietnam) and Yunnan province (China), the 1st Vietnam-Laos Border Defence Friendship Exchange Program at Border Guard High Command level, and the 2nd Program to review exchanges about the political work between 7 Vietnamese border provinces and China’s Border Police. At present, in the whole borderline, there have been 137 out of 265 border posts which have twinned with neighbours’ border posts, companies and police, while 151 border hamlets of the both sides have twinned with each other. Implementing the Program “Helping children go to school”, provincial and municipal border guards have sponsored 2,802 poor students in border areas, including 87 Laotians and 91 Cambodians. Documents and agreements on border defence cooperation have been signed, thereby creating legal corridor for conducting border defence external affairs.

A part from bilateral cooperation, multilateral international cooperation in the field of border defence has been developed both widely and deeply, thereby greatly contributing to successfully implementing the policy of open diplomacy, and multilateralization and diversification of relations under the guideline: Vietnam is a friend and reliable partner of all countries around the globe, gradually integrating the country into the world, creating and encouraging peace and stability for the sake of national construction and protection. In external affairs, the Border Guard has actively taken part in building institutions and mechanisms for defence cooperation with countries, such as Russia, Australia, the U.S., India and Thailand, in accordance with the Party and State’s guidelines and the MND’s directions. Focuses of cooperation have been on collaboration to manage and control immigration, and training courses for improving professional competence and English language. During the process of exchange and cooperation, information security has been ensured absolutely, especially for sensitive partners.

Moreover, the Border Guard has successfully carried out the work of receiving and farewelling military ships to Vietnam procedurally, while effectively organizing training courses and providing support for neigbours’ border protection forces as well as giving free medical examination, treatment and medicine to the people from the two sides of borders. Thanks to border defence external affairs, traditional friendly relations between local authorities and border protection forces from the two sides of borders have been increasingly fostered, thereby achieving a sense of consensus on settling incidents in the border, contributing to maintaining the stability of national border.

However, besides the recorded results, leadership and direction of all-level party committees and commanders have yet to be close and timely, while a section of cadres and soldiers have yet to be fully aware of the task of border defence diplomacy. Capability of a proportion of cadres in charge of external affairs has yet to meet the requirements. Forms of diplomatic ties and collaboration have yet to be diverse, flexible and appropriate to specific situation in each borderline. Meanwhile, the global and regional situations in the years to come continue to witness complicated, unpredictable developments. In border, sea and island areas, in addition to violations of territorial sovereignty and border, crimes of all types have been increasingly cunning. Diplomatic relations with major powers have also led to new complications. That necessitates border defence external affairs being more practical and effective. Therefore, in the coming time, the Border Guard will concentrate on the following points.

First, strengthening direction and leadership of party committees and commanders at all levels over border defence external affairs. This is a determinant to units’ successful implementation of task, ensuring that border defence external affairs are in accordance with the diplomatic line of the Party, CMC and MND, and achieve high efficiency. Border Guard offices and units, first and foremost party committees and commanders at all levels should continue to grasp and strictly implement the Politburo’s Resolution 22-NQ/TW, dated April 10th 2013, on international integration (11th tenure), the CMC’s Resolution 806-NQ/QUTW, dated December 31st 2013, on military international integration and defence diplomacy. Grounded on those documents, party committees and commanders at all levels should concretize those into resolutions, directives, plans, and action plans at their levels, with breakthrough measures and in accordance with particularities of the area and requirements set by border defence diplomacy in each borderline. During the course of performing this task, units should grasp and flexibly apply the diplomatic line of the Party and CMC as well as the MND’s regulations on external affairs. At the same time, it is necessary to perceive and successfully implement the guideline of “both cooperating and combating in order to maintain a peaceful, stable environment, and tap external resources for national development, while resolutely and persistently fighting to safeguard national independence, sovereignty, unification and territorial integrity”. To this end, party committees and commanders of units should attach importance to building pure, strong party organizations and commands according to the Resolution of the Party Central Committee’s 4th Plenum on Party building and rectification in association with the implementation of the Politburo’s Directive 05-CT/TW (12th tenure), dated May 15th 2016, and the CMC Standing Committee’s Directive 87-CT/QUTW, dated July 8th 2016, on acceleration of studying and following Ho Chi Minh’s thought, ethics and lifestyle. Also, it is vital to actively renew working method and style and strictly comply with the principle of democratic centralism and working regulations with a view to making a dramatic change in all-level party committees’ leadership and direction over this important work.

Second, proactively broadening border defence relations and international cooperation. To that end, in the time to come, the Border Guard should be proactive in studying and correctly assessing the situation in borderlines, especially diplomatic mechanisms and policies of relevant countries as a basis for developing action plans. As for neighbours, it is necessary to continue to deepen cooperative relations in an effective manner with a focus on implementing agreements on regulations on border management; on conducting the work of delimitation and demarcation and settling arising complex issues. Simultaneously, it is essential to broaden form and model of terrorism prevention and control exercise, and respond to non-traditional security threats and illegal migration. As for ASEAN member states, it is vital to broaden relations in all fields, particulary in cooperation to deal with climate change, defend natural resources, and search and rescue operations in the sea. As for traditional friends and major powers, such as Russia, the U.S., Australia and France, the Border Guard will continue to promote relations comprehensively in all fields with importance attached to exchanging experience, training English language, providing technical equipment for immigration control, organizing and receiving visiting delegations. For relations and cooperation, it is neccessary to be firm in principle and flexible in strategy and tatics, satisfying the interests of each country and not affecting other countries.

Third, closely cooperating with forces, committees, sectors and organizations in conducting border defence external affairs effectively. The task of border defence diplomacy is diverse in fields and related to sectors, forces and localities. Thus, the Border Guard Party Committee and High Command attaches great importance to leading and directing collaboration between forces on the implementation of this taks. To make border defence external affairs increasingly more effective, the Border Guard should closely cooperate with police force, relevant sectors, local authorities and the people from the two sides of borders in propagation to encourage the masses taking part in protection of national border and maintenance of security and social order in border areas. Border defence external affairs should be combined with bilateral patrols and crime prevention and control. At the same time, it is necessary to regularly exchange information and situation on immigration management and control, and maintain the order of exchanges, meetings, dialogues and twinning activities among border posts and stations as well as hamlets and villages from the two sides of borders. Successful implementation of this work will contribute to building and maintaining borders of peace, stability, cooperation and development, and strengthening traditional friendly relations and mutual trustworthiness.

Fourth, unceasingly improving knowledge and professional competence of border defence staff, especially cadres in charge of external affairs. This is a matter of central importance to enhancing the effectiveness of international integration and border defence diplomacy in both short and long terms. Thus, the work of building the cadre staff in general and cadres in charge of external affairs in particular should be carried out in on a regular, close, comprehensive but focalized basis. First and foremost, it is vital to focus on making them politically strong and clear-headed, absolutely loyal to the Party, Homeland, regime and people, morally pure and capable enough to successfully fulfil the assigned task, deserving to be exemplary border defence cadres, border managers and guards, and diplomats. To this end, significance should be attached to the work of political and ideological education, particularly improvement of theoretical knowledge of Marxism-Leninism, Ho Chi Minh’s thought, the Party’s guidelines, the State’s policy and law, elements related to external affairs and international relations, tradition and culture of the country, the Military and the Border Guard, as well as maintenance of revolutionary vigilance to clearly distinguish between adversaries and partners, thereby arousing and promoting a sense of proactiveness and creativity, willpower, self-reliance and national pride to the fullest in the process of performing the tasks.

Besides, it is essential to regularly equip border defence staff with military, defence, diplomatic knowledge; to enhance their capability of state management of national border as well as their knowlege about the Party’s guildelines, the State’s law, international agreements and conventions and border defence diplomacy; to improve their English language and ethnic languages in their area; to make them knowlegeable about social sciences and humanities as well as natural sciences. During the course of implementing the task, it is important to be firm in principle and flexibly apply the Party and State’s guidelines and countermeasures as well as domestic and international law related to the task. Last but not least, it is crucial to actively improve diplomatic reception skills of the border defence staff in charge of external affairs, select and dispatch cadres in charge of reception and interpreters to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for further training as those play an important role in creating formal and friendly atmosphere, contributing to enhancing the effectiveness of international cooperation and border defence diplomacy.

Lt. Gen., Associate Professor Hoang Xuan Chien, PhD, Member of the Party Central Committee, Member of the CMC, Commander of the Border Guard  

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