Thursday, September 19, 2019, 23:28 (GMT+7)

Wednesday, May 22, 2019, 22:26 (GMT+7)
Forming a protective shield in the “between-wind-and-water” region (continued)

II. The “protective shield” built on the people

The Border Guard Force (BGF) in the coastal Southwestern provinces has always defied all the odds, “stayed close to the locals and local administrations” and  properly and opportunely advised local administrations on measures for managing and defending sovereignty and security in maritime border areas as it plays a core role in this regard. The BGF has made considerable contributions  to the building of a posture of “the people’s hearts and minds”, the preservation of political stability, the fight against sabotage activities by hostile forces and crimes,  the local socio-economic development, hunger eradication, poverty reduction, disaster preparedness and response, as well as maritime search and rescue, thereby contributing to facilitating localities’ socio-economic development in general and sustainable maritime economic development in particular.

Monitoring fishing vessels’ operation from the Surveillance Centre based in the Ca Mau Provincial Border Guard Command (photo: Dang Bay)

Based on their assigned tasks, the BGF in the coastal Southwestern provinces has popularized the Party’s line, the State’s policies and laws and localities’ tasks for the locals. Mass mobilization has been carried out on an active and regular basis by the whole BGF, particularly cadres based in border communes and specialized teams. The BGF has closely cooperated with other forces in advising local administrations on measures for making the locals better aware of the Party’s line, the State’s policies and laws as well as legal and historical evidence proving Vietnam’s sovereignty over its seas and islands. Doing so helps to promote the locals’ sense of responsibility and political will to build the posture of “the people’s hearts and minds”, thus forming the “protective shield” for the country’s sovereignty over its seas and islands. For the sake of high effectiveness, the BGF has adopted various measures, including oral propagation, posters and leaflets, contests and roundtable discussions on borders, seas and islands while closely cooperating with commissions for publicity and education as well as media outlets at both central and local levels with regard to propagation. The target audience is the people from all social strata, particularly those in coastal areas, fishermen and Vietnamese expatriates while the content of propagation is focused on the importance of Vietnam’s seas, islands, and sovereignty and its sovereign rights and jurisdiction in accordance with international laws and norms. At the same time, the BGF has accelerated the implementation of the project on “promoting legal education among cadres and residents in border, sea and island areas” while having proactively advised local administrations  on legal counselling clubs and over 150 legally-themed bookshelves in border, sea and island communes. Moreover, the BGF has paid due attention to encouraging local fishermen to properly conduct people-to-people’s diplomacy, to respect other countries’ sovereignty over their waters and to strictly observe international treaties. For example, for the past two years, the BGF in Soc Trang province has hosted 5,452 gatherings that have a participant arrival of 420,940; the BGF in Ca Mau province has helped 206 local residents to make a complete break with the so-called World Mission Society Church of God and encouraged 1,541 local fishing vessel owners to make firm commitments to avoid violating foreign waters; the BGF in Bac Lieu province has encouraged 969 local households to make firm commitments to the project “All the people join hands in defending national sovereignty and border security”. Those have contributed to raising a sense of awareness of and responsibility for the task of border defense among the locals, thus building up their trust in the Party leadership and the State management in general, local administrations’ capacities in particular.

The history of our millennia-old national construction and defense suggests that the management and defense of national borders depends on the all-out consolidation of the grassroots political system. Therefore, in addition to propagation and education for the sake of heightened awareness among cadres and the locals, the BGF in the coastal Southwestern provinces has counselled local administrations to comprehensively strengthen border, sea and island areas. Importance has been attached to consolidating the grassroots political system, expanding Party membership, building a contingent of local cadres and strengthening the organizational structure of local administrations and mass organizations. Thanks to effective and practical measures, over the past years, the BGF in the coastal Southwestern provinces has helped local administrations to establish 18 grassroots Party organizations, to consolidate 96 Party cells, 890 women’s associations, peasants’ associations and youth unions, to retrain 212 Party members, as well as to strengthen the organizational structure of 158 vigilante groups, 108 maritime self-management teams and 804 self-management security teams. At the same time, the BGF in coastal Southwestern provinces has attached much importance to sending cadres and officers to border communes. Those cadres and officers possess true political zeal, great virtue, a high level of professional competence, deep knowledge of local customs and great personal charisma. High approval ratings have enabled many of them to be appointed to key positions, truly serving as bridges between local Party committees, administrations, mass organizations and local fishermen and ethnics. Under the motto of “turning heart to the grassroots, respecting the grassroots”, the BGF in coastal Southwestern provinces has actively cooperated with relevant ministries and sectors in improving the performance of the grass-roots political system and local cadres, enabling them to effectively handle security incidents at grass-roots level. For instance, the BGF in Soc Trang province has helped local administrations to neutralize hundreds of reactionary elements as well as to handle 122 land-related complaints and denunciations going directly to the central level without going through the lower levels, contributing to maintaining local public order.

Successfully fulfilling its functions as “an army ready for fighting and work”, the BGF in the coastal Southern provinces has always actively participated in local socio-economic development. Accordingly, the BGF has proactively participated in appraising socio-economic development projects undertaken in seaports and border gates, including the fishing logistics centre, storm shelters for ships and boats, seaside defensive facilities, coastal transport systems. At the same time, the BGF has actively participated in local socio-economic development by means of practical and effective measures. Notably, the BGF has closely cooperated with local administrations, mass organizations and businesses in adopting policies to support fishermen, as well as implementing plans for socio-economic development, hunger eradication, poverty reduction and building new-style agricultural areas. Moreover, the BGF has helped fishermen with access to loans to build high-capacity ships for offshore fishing in combination with  sovereignty defense while spearheading movements aimed at local economic development such as “effective mass mobilization”, “units help difficult communes – cadres, Party members and civil servants help poor households”, “solidarity houses”, “supporting children’s schooling”, “clean up the ocean”, etc. The BGF has also offered free-of-charge medical examination, treatment, medicine and immunization to local policy beneficiaries and poor households, joined hands with 37 border communes and wards in building new-style agricultural areas, sponsored over 400 disadvantaged students through schooling (including 10 Cambodian students), helped to lift nearly 500 member households of women’s associations out of sustainable poverty. For example, the BGF in Ca Mau province participated in designing 3 clean water projects worth VND 3.2 bn providing clean water for cadres, soldiers and thousands of households in Rach Goc Town (Ngoc Hien District), Cai Doi Vam Town (Phu Tan District) and Khanh Binh Tay Commune (Tran Van Thoi District); carrying out 22 projects totaling VND 1.6 bn for hunger eradication, poverty reduction and job creations; and presenting 10 bn VND’s worth of 268 houses to the locals. The BGF in Soc Trang province counselled local administrations to implement multiple electricity, transport and school projects and to build hundreds of facilities worth trillions of VND. The BGF in Bac Lieu province brought 28 electricity works into use serving the locals’ production activities and life, presented 260 houses costing hundreds of billions of VND to families of policy beneficiaries. The BGF in Kien Giang province presented 173 “Solidarity houses” and hundreds of breeding cows to the locals. All of these have contributed to increasing public intellectual standards and improving the locals’ living standards, thereby driving local socio-economic development.

The BGF has played a core role in advising local administrations on the effective implementation of Prime Minister’s Directive 01/CT-TTg, dated 1 September, 2015 “on mobilizing all the people in defending territorial sovereignty and border security in the new situation”. The BGF has also promoted its cooperation with other relevant forces in the management and defense of the country’s maritime sovereignty and borders. The BGF in the coastal Southwestern provinces has fostered cooperation with public security, customs, naval and Coast Guard forces in making regulations on defending the country’s maritime sovereignty and borders, managing inland waterway vehicles and the entry to and exit from the country’s maritime borders. The BGF has adopted synchronous measures for the enhanced quality of assessing and predicting situations, thereby opportunely identifying and preventing violations of national sovereignty, smuggling and illegal fishing within our territorial waters. At the same time, the BGF has always stayed close to the locals, thus opportunely counselling local administrations to effectively handle internal disagreement and prevent the emergence of hot spots.

The above-mentioned doings by the BGF in the coastal Southwestern provinces have contributed to bolstering the image of “Uncle Ho’s soldiers”, cultivating the close-knit relations between the people and the military, fostering the locals’ trust in the Party leadership and the socialist regime as well as strengthening the posture of “the people’s hearts and  minds” right from the grassroots level. These are also decisive factors in the successful implementation of the BGF’s political tasks, the formation of the “protective shield” and the defense of the country’s sovereignty over its seas and islands. (To be continued)

Dinh Khang, Ho Dang & Dang Bay

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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.
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