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Wednesday, February 27, 2019, 13:39 (GMT+7)
Implementing the Party’s viewpoints in the National Border Protection Strategy

After over 30 years of the national renewal, to meet the increasingly high requirements set by the Homeland construction and protection as well as to strengthen the Party’s leadership over border sovereignty and security management and protection, on September 28th 2018, the 12th Politburo issued the Resolution 33-NQ/TW on “the Strategy for defending national territorial sovereignty and border security”. In this Resolution, there are 5 viewpoints which should be grasped and effectively executed.

After over 30 years of Doi Moi, under the Party’s leadership and the State’s management, our country has gained impressive achievements of historic significance. However, Vietnam is confronted with a lot challenges and threats. The task of building, managing and safeguarding the national border, particularly at sea and in the air, faces a great deal of difficulties and challenges; some border localities’ socio-economic development is slow; the grass-roots political system has yet to be effective; the people’s life slowly improves; free migration, environmental pollution and crime of all types are on the rise. The hostile forces have been stepping up their “peaceful evolution” strategy and “self-evolution” and “self-transformation” from within, with many cunning artifices. Meanwhile, territorial disputes between countries in the world and the region have witnessed complex developments and posed a risk of armed conflicts and local wars. Major powers continue adjusting their strategies, competing with one another drastically, placing comprehensive pressure on other countries, and even plotting to “re-draw up” the border lines around the world.

Against that backdrop, the 12th Politburo passed the Resolution 33-NQ/TW on “the Strategy for defending national territorial sovereignty and border security” (hereafter the Strategy) with a view to avoiding strategic passivity and directing the task of defending national territorial sovereignty and border security effectively. This is a national specialized strategy which specifies the strategic environment, overall goal, 6 specific goals, 5 viewpoints, 5 principles, 5 mottos, and 8 groups of measures for the entire Party, Military and people’s task of safeguarding the national border. The Strategy elaborates the Party’s guidelines and the State’s law and policy on enhancing defence-security and defending the Homeland in the new situation. Grasping and effectively realizing the Strategy represent the political responsibility and sacred affection of the whole Party, Military and people, particularly the Central Military Commission (CMC), the Ministry of National Defence (MND) and the Border Guard High Command and its Party Committee towards the country’s frontier areas.

The Strategy stipulates 5 viewpoints of the Party as follows. (1) It is important to enhance the Party’s leadership, the State’s management efficiency, and the strength of the national great unity block and build a firm posture of “people’s hearts and minds” as the determinant to the success of the cause of national border protection. (2). National border management and defence is the central, routine task of the entire Party, Military, people and political system; the people are at the root and the subject of this work; each border citizen is a living border marker; the people’s armed forces play the core role, the Border Guard Force (BGF) is the specialized force and the first combat force in firmly protecting the national border. (3). National border management and defence is part of the two strategic missions, namely the Homeland construction and protection. The building and management of national border must be combined with the protection of national border; “the building” of national border must be the centre while the management and protection of national border should be a key, routine task. Socio-economic development must be associated with strengthening defence-security and diplomacy while the integrated strength should be encouraged to manage and defend the national border. (4). It is necessary to resolutely, persistently fight to safeguard the national territorial sovereignty, unification and integrity in the border area; to solve all differences and disputes over territory by peaceful means on the basis of international law and practices, pursue the “both cooperating and combating” policy, and readily take various measures to foil all plots, artifices and violations of national border. (5) It is essential to combine the strength of the entire nation with that of the times, mainly rely on the internal strength, expand international cooperation, build the national border of peace, friendship, cooperation, development, civilization, and modernity. Grasping those five viewpoints in the Strategy will ensure the effective implementation of the stated groups of measures to defend the national territorial sovereignty and border security.

To successfully realize the Strategy, sectors, organizations, and forces, particularly the BGF and all-level party committee and commanders within itself should strictly grasp and execute those viewpoints comprehensively in the Strategy. Special attention should be paid to the viewpoint: “National border management and defence is the central, routine task of the entire Party, Military, people and political system; the people are at the root and the subject of this work; each border citizen is a living border marker; the people’s armed forces play the core role, the BGF is the specialized force and the first combat force in firmly protecting the national border”. This viewpoint sets a task which is extremely sacred, noble but also very onerous and requires the due regard from the Party and the State as well as a sense of responsibility of Central and local committees, sectors and ministries and the people across the country for making the frontier areas strong and stable and safeguarding the country’s eternity.

To play a key role, the BGF should actively advise the Party and the State, particularly the CMC and the MND on promoting propagation and education to achieve a consensus on awareness and action between organizations, forces and all people towards territorial sovereignty and border protection; on building the movement entitled “the whole nation turn their hearts and minds to the border, sea and island areas” and effectively implementing the “All-people border defence day”. At the same time, the BGF should concentrate resources on accelerating the construction projects in the border area, meeting the requirements for consolidating political bases, boosting socio-economic development, and strengthening defence-security and diplomacy in the border area. Besides, it should grasp and effectively carry out the Party’s foreign policy, diversify and multilateralize forms of cooperation, well perform the tasks of defence diplomacy, border defence diplomacy and people-to-people exchange, and properly deal with the remaining differences in the border relations with each country and border-related issues arising from reality. It is necessary to enhance the Party’s leadership, complete the system of legal documents on border and border defence, improve the State’s management and operation as well as the coordination between sectors and forces from Central to grass-roots level in the process of implementing the Strategy.

The cause of national border protection is “by the people, of the people, and for the people”. Thus, “the people are at the root and the subject of this work; each border citizen is a living border marker” is the viewpoint, principle and direction of our Party. President Ho Chi Minh said: ““A lack of the people’s support makes everything impossible and the other way round”. To encourage the people’s strength, it is extremely important that the BGF coordinate, counsel and formulate synchronous measures to conduct the work of mass mobilization. Over the past years, the BGF has cooperated with central and local committees, sectors, and ministries in organizing many movements, campaigns and models1 for the border people, which have been wholeheartedly supported by local party committees and authorities and the people, especially those in the border area. The mass mobilization work has contributed to consolidating the people’s faith in the Party, State, Military and BGF, building the firm postures of “people’s hearts and minds” and all-people border defence within the postures of all-people national defence and people’s security; the people have been active in building, managing and protecting the national border. Promoting the recorded results, the BGF should proactively develop measures and forms of mass mobilization in accordance with reality to make it more effective. To do so, the BGF’s staff must frequently stay close to the area, “live, work, and speak the same language with the ethnic minority people”, and actively take part in improving the quality of operation of political bases, facilitating the socio-economic development, enhancing the people’s material and mental life, thereby laying a solid foundation for the task of national border protection.

To well fulfil its function and task, the BGF should focus on building a revolutionary, regular, seasoned, and gradually modern force, particularly making itself politically, ideologically, morally, and organizationally strong as the basis for building other factors. It should grasp and stringently execute the Project on “the BGF’s organizational structure in the 2017-2021 period and beyond” and the Project on “the planning of the system of border guard posts and stations until 2021 and beyond”. At the same time, it should advise the Party, State, CMC and MND on proper measures to stabilize its organizational structure and invest in modern equipment, ensuring that the BGF is compact, strong, and mobile and performs its mission effectively. Its staff members must grasp the Party’s guidelines and the State’s law and policy, and improve their political will, morality, professional competence, a sense of discipline, fitness, and working method. Moreover, the BGF should cooperate with functional offices in advising the Party and the State on measures to promote the policies for its staff members and the border people, particularly those regarding military families in order to attract the families of its staff members to the border area and opportunely encourage the border people to cling to the border area, bring the people to the frontier areas, establish “living border markers”, and safeguard the national territorial sovereignty and border security.

Maj. Gen. Do Danh Vuong, Political Commissar of the BGF

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1- The movements, namely “All-people border defence day”, “All people take part in protecting the national territorial sovereignty and border security”, “The BGF joins hands in building new-style rural area and takes parts in hunger eradication and poverty reduction in the border area”. The models, namely “Border guard cadres work for communes”, “Doctors with green rank badges”, “Twinning the two sides of the border with each other”, “Building posts and stations of friendship and peaceful borders”, “Let’s clean the sea”. The programs, namely “Homes and breeding cows for the poor in the border, sea, and island areas”, “Friendship border exchange”, and “Preserving and developing ethnic minorities”.

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