Thursday, September 19, 2019, 23:31 (GMT+7)

Saturday, June 08, 2019, 14:19 (GMT+7)
Forming a protective shield in the “between-wind-and-water” region (continued)

III. Significance and issues

For ages, our people have stayed close to the sea, relied on the sea, exploited the sea’s huge natural resources for the national development, exercised the national sovereignty, and established a “protective shield” against the invaders from the sea. As the core force in safeguarding the territorial integrity, including the national sovereignty over seas and islands in the Southwest, the Party Committee and Command of the Border Guard Force (BGF) have always directed units to actively take part in building and consolidating political bases and boosting socio-economic development, while closely cooperating with local party committees and authorities and other forces in building a firm posture of all-people border defence associated with the development of marine economy and the protection of environment in the sea and island areas. This is a routine, long-term task of the BGF and represents the nature and tradition of a revolutionary army. By means of specific, practical approaches, the BGF in the Southwestern coastal provinces have maintained political security and contributed to building “the people’s hearts and minds posture” in the border area, which has demonstrated the close-knit bond and cooperation between the BGF and fishers and locals to forge the “protective shield” and successfully perform the defence, security, and Homeland protection tasks in the new situation.

The defence of the national sovereignty over seas and islands in general, Southwestern seas and islands in particular is of paramount importance to the country’s task of safeguarding national sovereignty and territorial integrity, thereby requiring the close coordination between the forces to promote the synergy in the process. However, the capability of the forces in charge of seas and islands have yet to meet the requirements for defending the sea and island sovereignty in the Southwest while the legal awareness of fishers and locals in the border area has yet to be sufficient. Against that backdrop, it is necessary to adopt the following measures for consolidating the “people’s hearts and minds posture” and “protective shield” in the Southwestern sea and island area.

First, maintaining the close coordination between organizations and forces within the political system in the work of propagation and education to raise cadres, soldiers and locals’ awareness towards the importance of defending the Homeland in general, seas and islands in the Southwest in particular. Forming the “protective shield” is a central task of the entire Party, people, Military, and political system, with the BGF playing the core role and the people acting as the powerful, regular, direct force. Thus, it is important to believe and rely on the people and promote the patriotic tradition and a sense of unity between the peoples and religions as the basis for building a firm “posture of people’s hearts and minds” and encouraging the synergy in the task of managing and defending the Homeland’s seas and islands. To do so, the BGF in the Southwestern coastal provinces should actively advise party committees, authorities, committees, ministries, and socio-political organizations from Central to local levels on stepping up the work of propagation and education to render cadres, soldiers and people fully aware of the Party’s guidelines, the State’s law and policy, legal basis and historical evidence for Vietnam’s sea and island sovereignty as well as the nation’s tradition of clinging to the sea and fighting the enemy to confirm the national sovereignty. Doing so will help build up their awareness, responsibility and determination to overcome hardships and successfully fulfil the task of defending the Homeland’s sea and island sovereignty.

The work of education and propagation must be frequently renewed and adhere to the Party’s guidelines on combining marine economy development with defence-security consolidation and building the all-people border defence posture at sea, its viewpoints and solutions to handling the issues on sea border sovereignty and security, Law of the Sea of Vietnam, National Border Law, local regulations, military staff and fishers’ rights, obligations, and responsibilities towards the border sovereignty and security management and protection, and the hostile forces’ plots and artifices. At the same time, it must stay close to reality of the area and ensure the comprehensiveness to attract the attention of a large number of fishers. In the process, it is essential to frequently, persistently, continuously carry out the work of propagation for fishers; to cooperate with local party committees and authorities, forces and organizations in the areas in employing proper contents of propagation and education; to combine regular education with education based on topics and groups of objects; to diversify forms of propagation. Doing so will help stimulate the love for the country and the sea, national pride, and public awareness of the national border so that each fisher will become a “living border marker” at sea, devote themselves to and even sacrifice their lives for sea and island peace and sovereignty.

Second, the BGF should cooperate closely with localities and forces operating at sea and in the coastal areas in building the all-people border defence posture, promoting marine economy development, and protecting the environment in the sea and island areas. This is a central point of the building and protection of sea and island sovereignty. However, it is a must to focus investments on socio-economic development projects/programs, particularly the key ones to give an impetus to the development of the Southwestern sea and island line and the improvement in fishers and coastal locals’ life. The BGF should counsel local party committees and authorities to make plans for developing industrial zones, sea ports, border gates, marine economy zones, defence-economic zones, and seafood processing establishments; to promote their potential to integrate into the world’s economy. At the same time, the BGF should cooperate with local party committees, authorities, sectors, and other forces in building models to help the people with socio-economic development. Besides, local party committees and authorities should improve the quality of Fisheries Trade Unions, assist fishers in upgrading vessels, and make more investments in defence-economic zones, coastal economic zones, and maritime service and logistics establishments on islands in order to support fishers’ operations.

To combine economic development with national defence and defensive zone posture consolidation, units of the BGF should enhance the mass mobilization work, proactively join local party committees and authorities in building strong political systems; take part in organizing literacy programs and building cultural villages; help fishers apply technology to developing aquaculture and traditional products of high economic value. It is essential to well implement the approved projects to build and develop defence-economic zones and military-civilian medical establishments so that locals could live and enrich themselves at sea and on islands. While directly taking part in the projects to bring the people to islands to live on, the BGF in provinces should proactively propose policies to encourage fishers to work at sea far from the coast and provide assistance for building new models, such as “United group of fishing vessels at sea”, “Security team support fisher at sea”, and “Self-management team in the fishing ground”. Groups of fishing vessels must include the militia and self-defence force in order to both exploit marine natural resources and counter pirates, vessels violating our waters, or armed vessels threatening our fishers at sea; these groups of vessels will provide information and directly take part in defending sea and island sovereignty opportunely and effectively.

Third, enhancing the effectiveness of the border defence work, stepping up the movement of the people’s participation in protecting border, sea and island sovereignty and security, and building up fishers and locals’ legal awareness in the border area. The Southwestern fishing ground is a large area with thousands of vessels of all types and tens of thousands of labourers, including many high-powered fishing vessels. This force is always present in the “between-wind-and-water” region and directly confirms our national sovereignty at sea. Meanwhile, the region witnesses many complex developments; the hostile forces take advantage of the issues on environment pollution, ethnicity, and religion to destabilize its security and order; smuggling, trade frauds, piracy, and disputes over the fishing ground often occur. Thus, the BGF in provinces should cooperate with the law enforcement forces at sea in carrying out the work of patrol and reconnaissance, staying close to the area, opportunely protecting and supporting fishers. Besides, the BGF should improve the capability in making forecasts and prepare preventive measures and projects to deal with the situations effectives and avoid falling into passivity in any circumstance. At the same time, it is important to frequently raise the efficiency of state management of the border defence work, particularly at border gates and sea ports; to proactively cooperate with other forces in organizing patrols to opportunely detect, drive away, and handle foreign vessels with violations; to establish the system of communications on fishing vessels to grasp the situation at sea.

While attaching significance to providing defence-security education for cadres, party members, and locals, the BGF should step up the Project entitled “furthering legal dissemination and education for cadres and locals in the sea, island border area”; cooperate with other forces in disseminating the agreements on the sea border, the Law of the Sea of Vietnam, new legal documents on national border, sea, and island sovereignty, fisheries management, protection and exploitation, the system of national border markers, and the regulations on trade in the sea border and fishing vessels’ registration and technical safety. At the same time, the BGF should cooperate with other forces in giving instructions to fishers on protecting our legitimate rights and interests at sea and fighting against smuggling, destructive exploitation of marine resources.

With a sense of responsibility and great sentiment, the BGF in the Southwestern coastal provinces has been adopting the measures synchronously to build the all-people national defence and the posture of all-people national defence associated with the postures of people’s security and all-people border defence effectively, thereby contributing to forming a “protective shield” in the “between-wind-and-water” region and defending the national sovereignty over the Homeland’s sacred territory. (The end)

Dinh Khang - Ho Dang - Dang Bay

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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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