Tuesday, September 29, 2020, 06:06 (GMT+7)

Saturday, April 27, 2019, 18:11 (GMT+7)
Firmly maintaining the strategic principle in foreign relations

Over the past years, under the Party’s sound foreign policy, Vietnam’s foreign affairs and international integration have gained significant achievements and actively contributed to building and defending the Homeland, raising the country’s status in the international arena, and maintaining peace, stability, cooperation and development regionally and globally.

To obtain those achievements in the foreign affairs, Vietnam has always grasped and followed the motto of “being firm in the principle, flexible in the strategies and tactics”.

The Party’s foreign policy is formulated on the basis of national tradition of friendly diplomacy, Ho Chi Minh’s diplomatic thinking, and reality in the country and the world. In each period, our foreign policy has been supplemented properly and completed, thereby acting as the determinant to the victory on the “diplomatic front” in terms of Party diplomacy, State diplomacy, and people-to-people exchange.

Being firm in the principle for foreign relations is to maintain independence and self-reliance and prevent other countries from interfering in and controlling our internal affairs, especially our political affairs. This principle has been persistently maintained by our country since the victory of the great August 1945 Revolution. Adhering to the principle of national independence, our military and people bravely fought and suffered extremely tremendous losses in the two wars against the French Colonialists and the US Imperialists (1954-1975) as well as the wars for Homeland protection. With a lot of hands-on experiences, we thoroughly understand the importance and incomparable value of national independence. Without national independence and freedom, we couldn’t do any thing, and we live in the shackles of slavery only. Thus, maintaining independence and self-reliance is the Party’s consistent target, principle and direction for the country’s foreign affairs. Adhering to this principle represents the thorough grasp of Ho Chi Minh’s motto of “pitting the unchangeable against the changeable” and his immortal thought: “nothing is more precious than independence and freedom”.

In the context of globalization and international integration, we need to be more alert and firmer in this strategic principle. Expanding foreign relations and proactively, actively integrating into the world to develop the country and defend the Homeland represent the Party’s consistent guidelines. We pursue the policy on comprehensive integration and cooperation with the economic integration as the centre; however, we will not carry out this policy at any rate or do any thing that is detrimental to the Homeland’s independence, sovereignty, unification, and territorial integrity. We all know that it is not easy for our country to earn such a status and prestige in the international arena. It is a long road with the tireless efforts made by the whole Party, military and people in all areas, especially the diplomatic sector on the basis of the foreign policy of independence, self-reliance, peace, cooperation, development, diversification and multilateralization of relations, under the motto: Vietnam is a friend, reliable partner, and responsible member of the international community. This is also a message Vietnam hopes to deliver to all countries around the world, including the ones which have established and will establish relations with Vietnam in the upcoming time.

Encouraging foreign relations is a demand of all countries, including Vietnam. However, amidst today’s complex developments, particularly the intense strategic competition between major powers, international relations are unpredictable, and it is not easy for us to recognize the nature of international relations. Together with the relations of friendship, equality, and mutual benefit, there are shady relations which are harmful to the international community. There are bilateral relations covered by cooperation but aimed at bargaining behind other countries’ back, sabotaging other political regimes, and violating other countries’ independence, sovereignty, and territory. That said, in today’s international relations, there are not only partners and cooperation, but also opponents and struggle. That necessitates us clearly, correctly indentifying partners and opponents as well as flexible transformation between cooperation and struggle. Against that backdrop, more than ever before, we need to attach greater importance to firmly maintaining the principle of independence and self-reliance and remaining flexible in the strategies and tactics in our foreign relations. In this regard, national independence and self-reliance is the unchangeable principle we need to observe to ensure that the Party and State’s diplomatic activities will not make any serious mistake. Meanwhile, flexibility means smart, clever diplomatic strategies and methods aimed at strengthening and expanding our foreign relations and dealing with each partner and object of struggle, and particularly complex, sensitive issues.

In addition to being firm in the principle for the foreign affairs, it is important that we need to flexibly apply the Party’s viewpoints on partners and objects of struggle: “any one who respects our independence and sovereignty, establishes and expands friendly, equal, and mutually beneficiary relations with Vietnam is our partner; any force that plans and acts against the objectives we hold in the course of national construction and defence is the object of struggle”. With the objects of struggle, we can find areas for cooperation; with the partners, there exist interests that are contradictory and different from those of ours. Fully aware of partners and objects of struggle, we need to adopt proper strategies to have “more friends and fewer enemies” and avoid conflict, confrontation, isolation and independence.

Cooperation and struggle are the two sides which are inseparable from foreign relations. Expanding cooperation with our partners provides the basis for developing our country and gaining the support of the international community for our Party and State’s policy and guidelines on the complex, sensitive issues related to human rights, sovereignty, and territory. While promoting cooperation, we have to put store by struggle, and more importantly we need to resolutely, persistently fight against the force that acts against and violates our independence, sovereignty, territory. In fact, our struggle for protecting national independence, sovereignty, unification, and territorial integrity have been taking place extremely intensely, and it will hardly end soon. Thus, it is necessary to resolutely, persistently carry out our struggle by peaceful means and on the basis of international law and practices and historical facts. In the past and at present, our people’s struggle has always been a struggle of justice and equality supported by the world. Therefore, it will be victorious as the inevitable.

Defence diplomacy is part of the Party and State’s diplomacy and plays an important role in the country’s national renewal, construction and protection. To make defence diplomacy effective, it is imperative to grasp and seriously implement the Party’s foreign policy and adhere to the principle of independence and self-reliance. This work is extremely important as national defence is a highly specialized field with many sensitive factors directly affecting the task of defending national independence, sovereignty, unification, and territorial integrity. In the past years, thanks to the strict adherence to the principle and the proper strategies and methods for relations with partners, defence diplomacy has gained significant achievements and greatly contributed to those in the Party and State’s diplomacy. Notably, we have strengthened cooperation with partners, especially major powers, strategic partners, neighbours and regional partners; consolidated mutual trust and understanding, exchange experiences in building the armed forces, taken part in exercises, search and rescue operations, and settlement of traditional security and non-traditional security threats. Besides, defence diplomacy has contributed to enhancing the effectiveness of the Party and State’s diplomatic activities, deepening our partnerships, proactively promoting Vietnam’s role in defence-security multilateral mechanisms, particularly within the ASEAN and the UN. Vietnam has actively, effectively involved in the international community’s general affairs and the UN peacekeeping operations, while contributing to making peace in the region and the world as evidenced by the organization of the Summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un in February 2019 in Hanoi capital city. Those achievements have confirmed our country’s status and prestige in the international arena.

Maintaining the objective and principle of national independence and self-reliance in line with remaining flexible in the strategies and tactics is a consistent viewpoint by our Party and President Ho Chi Minh. It is also a valuable lesson on foreign affairs drawn from historical practice. It is important that we should grasp and apply this lesson to unceasingly improve the effectiveness of foreign affairs and make contributions to the cause of national construction and defence in the new situation.

Maj. Gen. Nguyen Manh Hung

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Promoting the role of the Military in protecting the Party, State, people and socialist regime
For the past nearly 75 years of establishment, combat and growth, under the leadership, education and training of the Communist Party of Vietnam and President Ho Chi Minh, the VPA has become increasingly strong; achieved various feats of arms and outstanding achievements, making significant contribution to glorious victories of the whole nation in the cause of national liberation, construction and defense.