Wednesday, November 13, 2019, 14:36 (GMT+7)

Friday, April 12, 2019, 09:37 (GMT+7)
The Military Region 5 and the movement of all people’s involvement in border, sea, island sovereignty protection

The Military Region 5 is a strategic area, sharing a 715.7-km-long border with Laos and Cambodia, having an 894-km-long coastline, nearly 100 inshore islands, and the Spratlys and the Paracels. This is the great potential for localities to boost socio-economic development and international integration while posing challenges to the protection of border, sea, island sovereignty and security. To fulfil the assigned task, the Military Region 5’s armed forces always rely on the people and actively step up the movement of all people’s involvement in border, sea, island sovereignty protection with various effective, practical measures.

The Military Region’s armed forces helping the people with resettlement

Leadership and direction resolve

Grounded on higher echelons’ directives and guidance, particularly the Prime Minister’s Directive 01/CT-TTg, dated January 9th 2015, on organizing the movement of all people’s participation in national territorial sovereignty and border security protection in the new situation and the Guidance 7210/HD-BQP, dated August 13th 2015, by the Ministry of National Defence, the Military Region’s Party Committee and Command issued many documents and plans on directing offices and units to closely cooperate with forces and localities in encouraging the people to take part in border, sea, island protection. At the same time, the Military Region established steering committees and released the decisions on mobilizing manpower, vessels, and civilian means in the protection of sea, island sovereignty in accordance each locality. Offices and units’ party committees and commands set out and strictly implemented measures for leadership and direction, actively formulated regulations, signed the programs for cooperation with localities, the Border Guard, the Navy, the Coast Guard, and the Fisheries Surveillance as the legal basis for the movement to be put in order.

To make the movement effective, the Military Region assigned specific tasks to each office and unit properly; promoted cadres and party members’ vanguard, exemplary role; allocated the responsibility of heads of offices and units to their task performance; inspected, supervised, and assessed the task performance to opportunely draw lessons. As a result, a sense of unity and responsibility for the process of leadership and direction were created and promoted.

Arousing the pride and responsibility for the sacred territorial sovereignty

The movement turns effective only when each person is self-aware to join it. To that end, it is necessary to arouse each citizen’s pride and responsibility for the Homeland’s sacred territorial sovereignty. Fully aware of it, the Military Region conducted the work of border and sea-related propagation and education among cadres and soldiers with new, creative approaches, such as knowledge contests, forums, integration of border and sea-related propagation into political education. Typical examples included the contests, namely “the armed forces’ youth and the Homeland’s seas and islands”, “Green  Spratlys”, “the youth and sea and island border”, “the Homeland’s seas and islands and Naval soldiers”, the knowledge contest on Vietnam’s relations with Laos and Cambodia.

Under the motto of using “multiple subjects and multimedia” to disseminate the Party and State’s guidelines to the people from all walks of life, the Military Region directed offices and units to cooperate with the Mass Mobilization and Propaganda and Education Committees, Border Guard, and Veterans Associations of provinces and municipalities in building and realizing the propagation plans to raise the awareness and responsibility of the people, especially students, fishermen, and ethnic minority people. This work was conducted via various channels and forms, such as mobile propagation for each border, sea, island village and commune, integration of propagation into exchange and twinning activities, meeting with the people, visits to heads of villages, promotion of the close-knit bond between the people and the military in an effort to improve the persuasiveness of propagation. At the same time, the Military Region encouraged the role of local press agencies and its Newspaper-Television in the work of propagation.

Propagation was centred on the legal basis and history evidence for Vietnam’s sovereignty over the seas; the Party’s guidelines and the State’s law on border, sea, and island; Vietnam’s consistent viewpoints on settling disputes by peaceful means and its determination to safeguard the Homeland’s border, sea, island sovereignty; patriotism and national pride; our friendly relations with the neighbours. The work of propagation was also aimed at resolutely unmasking the hostile forces’ wrong viewpoints and distortions. As a result, it could make contributions to raising the cadres, soldiers, and people’s awareness of the role and significance of border, sea, island sovereignty in the cause of national construction and protection, arousing the patriotism and national pride, and promoting the self-awareness and responsibility towards the management and protection of border, sea, island sovereignty and security.

The people’s faith in the military’s practical deeds

To match words with action, the Military Region directed offices and units in the border, sea, island areas to combine propagation with mass mobilization, to take part in building strong local political bases, facilitating socio-economic and cultural development, removing hunger and reducing poverty; to well perform the work of defence diplomacy and people-to-people exchange. As its area was large and the political system in the border, sea, island areas were not capable of handling the complex issues, the Military Region directed offices and units to cooperate with localities in making local political system strong as a routine, urgent task. With various forms of mass mobilization, offices and units helped local party committees and authorities consolidate over 340 local party committees and cells, nearly 610 village-level leaderships, and over 920 organizations. Thus, up to now, in the Military Region’s area, there was no village devoid of party members. Thanks to twining and cooperation activities, the Military Region proactively took part in inspecting and controlling the areas, while counselling and helping localities to completely settle the complex issues. Its Youth Unions at all levels cooperated with local Youth Unions in improving youth union cadres’ working skills and sponsored the Ho Chi Minh Children’s Organizations in schools and twinning localities, thereby encouraging the movements of Ho Chi Minh Youth Union and Children’s Organizations within localities.

Working groups deployed to grass-roots units under the Directive 123/CT-BQP well performed their advisory role in building the political system and cooperated with local functional forces in detecting and preventing many cases of illegal border crossing, disturbances, and illegal religious activities. At the same time, they cooperated with the Naval Zone 3 in holding refresher courses for leaders and commanders of departments, committees and military commands of coastal districts and communes, providing defence-security education for captains, chief engineers, and helmsmen, organizing training courses for the forces volunteering for the protection of sea, island sovereignty. Due regard was paid to taking part in consolidating military party cells and militia youth branches as well as building the militia and self-defence force in border communes and the coastal militia force, making them capable of playing the core role and maintaining the posture of “people’s hearts and minds” in the border, sea, island areas.

To maintain peace and stability in the border areas, the Military Region combined defence diplomacy with people-to-people exchange, while promoting cooperation with the people and armed forces of Northeastern Cambodian and Southern Lao provinces under the motto of “grasping the situation, sharing the information, giving sound advice, and opportunely handing the issues” in order to cement solidarity, understanding, and consensus on the settlement of border-related issues.

Following the direction by the Ministry of National Defence on the Military’s participation in socio-economic development in the strategic areas in line with defence-security consolidation, aligning the planning work of each sector and region with the building of defensive zones, the Military Region completed the work of survey, assessment and classification and advised localities to effectively execute the projects on combining economic development with national defence in their areas, thereby preventing them from affecting the posture of local defensive zones. Offices and units stayed close to local socio-economic development, opportunely advised localities on proper policies, and mobilized local forces and their troops in conducting mass mobilization work, taking part in constructing public works, helping the people with settlement, production, and sustainable hunger eradication and poverty reduction. There were many effective movements and approaches, such as “Supporting the youth’s career establishment”, “the youth joins hands in building new rural area”, “green marches”, “field training combined with mass mobilization”, “summer youth volunteer campaign”, “piggy banks for the border, sea, and island areas”, and “houses for the border, sea, and island areas” as well as visits and presentation of gifts to “Spratly Mothers” whose children sacrificed their lives for protecting seas and islands as well as to families of cadres and soldiers on duty on the Spratly Islands. Those movements and activities practically contributed to socio-economic development, hunger eradication and poverty reduction in the Military Region’s border, sea, island areas. Besides, offices and units actively took part in preserving and promoting Vietnam’s traditional and maritime cultural values in various forms, such as “Green Chưng Cake Festive Day”, traditional games, folk music programs, Feast and Commemoration Festival for Hoang Sa Soldiers in Ly Son, Quang Ngai, and Sea Festival in Nha Trang, Khanh Hoa. Those practical operations brought the Military Region’s armed forces closer to the people and helped consolidate the close-knit bond between the military and the people and build up a stronghold from the people’s hearts and minds in the frontier, sea, island areas.

The Military Region’s achievements in the movement of all people’s involvement in border, sea, island sovereignty and protection have contributed to “grasping and securing the people”, which could be seen as a measure of the Military Region to “protect the country from afar”.

Sr. Col. Truong Thien To, Director of the Military Region’s Political Department

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