Tuesday, September 22, 2020, 15:17 (GMT+7)

Friday, May 08, 2020, 13:29 (GMT+7)
The Naval Zone 5 improves propagation of military diplomacy

In order to firmly protect the national sovereignty over seas and islands, apart from training and combat readiness, the Naval Zone 5’s Party Committee and Command have determined to enhance the propagation of military diplomacy and view it as one of its central political missions, thus making contributions to maintaining peace and stability at sea and on islands in southwestern Vietnam.

The Naval Zone 5, whose forerunner was the Coastal Zone 5, was founded under the Decision 141-QĐ/BQP, dated October 26th, 1975 by the then Minister of National Defence. It is assigned to manage the sea and islands in the Southwest, stretching from the estuary of Ganh Hao, Bac Lieu province to Ha Tien, Kien Giang province. This sea holds a position of paramount importance in the economic, political, defence and security terms to the southwestern provinces, bordering the waters of Cambodia, Thailand and Malaysia, consisting of 130 big and small islands, including 5 clusters of islands, namely An Thoi, Tho Chu, Nam Du, Ba Lua, and Hai Tac.

Fully aware of the assigned tasks, the Zone’s Party Committee and Command have always introduced the Party’s foreign policy to cadres and soldiers and made them capable of overcoming difficulties to successfully fulfil all assigned missions. In addition to performing the training work and improving its synergy and combat strength, the Zone has frequently conducted joint patrols and exchange programmes with the Royal Thai Navy and the Royal Cambodian Navy. It has been seen as a role model in the field of military diplomacy by the Navy. Notably, the Zone has regularly effectively maintained the hot lines for opportunely exchanging information and well settling the arising issues at sea, particularly in the adjoining and historical waters. During the joint patrols, cadres and soldiers of the Zone have always heightened a sense of responsibility, proactively, creatively dealt with difficulties, and strictly adhered to the plans. Up to now, the Zone has conducted 58 joint patrols (4 per annum) and held 29 conferences to review joint patrols with the Royal Cambodian Navy. It has also taken part in 40 joint patrols and exchange programmes with the Royal Thai Navy (2 per annum). In the process, the two sides have trained their troops in search and rescue, fire and sinking prevention, formation manoeuvre, radio-based communication, and signs-based communication. Moreover, the Zone has provided free medical examination, medicine, and medical equipment for Cambodian officers, soldiers, and locals, while organising visits to the First Naval Area and the Second Naval Area under the Royal Thai Navy. Doing so has helped cement solidarity, friendships, trustworthiness, and mutual understanding for building a sea of peace, stability, and development.

The 28th conference to review joint patrols between the Naval Zone 5 and the Royal Cambodian Navy

Due regard has been paid to raising the quality of external propagation relating to the defence of national sovereignty over seas and islands as one of the determinants to the success of military diplomacy. To that end, the Zone has directed its competent offices to formulate and complete propagation programmes, ensuring that they will be in accordance with the Party’s guidelines, profound in terms of argumentation, extensive, flexible in forms, and diverse in receivers of propagation. In this regard, consideration has been given to confirming legal foundation and historical evidence for Vietnam’s sovereignty over seas and islands and vividly, opportunely expressing our entire Party, Military, and people’s will, aspirations, and determination to defend the Homeland. In the process, units within the Zone have focused on introducing the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, legal documents of Vietnam and other countries on exploiting fisheries resources, sea areas of countries, and the agreements signed by Vietnam and regional countries to fishers of Vietnam and other countries. Doing so has enabled the Zone to prevent Vietnamese fishers from illegally exploiting foreign seas and other countries’ fishers from violating Vietnam’s maritime sovereignty.

At present and in the upcoming time, the global and regional situation will continue to have rapid changes. The situation in the East Sea will be more complex and unpredictable. The situation in the southwestern sea of Vietnam will be basically stable. However, smuggling and illegal exploitation of fisheries resources will continue to happen, while climate and weather conditions will be complex. Besides, the hostile forces will step up their acts of sabotage in the economic, political, cultural, social, defence, and security fields, distort Vietnam’s history, and undermine the great national unity block. To effectively carry out the work of external propagation relating to the defence of national sovereignty over seas and islands, grounded on its function and task, the Zone adopts several basic measures as follows.

First, it continues to grasp the Party’s foreign policy and create a solid positive change in cadres and soldiers’ awareness and responsibility for the work of external propagation. To do so, the Zone concentrates on introducing the viewpoints, principles, and mottos on international integration and military diplomacy under the 11th Party Central Committee’s Resolution No.8 on “the Strategy for the Homeland defence in the new situation,” the Central Military Commission’s Resolution 806-NQ/QUTW, dated December 31st, 2013 on “international integration and military diplomacy towards 2020 and beyond,” the Zone Party Committee’s Resolution 17-NQ/ĐU, dated February 15th, 2019 on “leadership over military diplomacy and joint patrols” and higher echelons’ resolutions, directives, and commands to cadres and soldiers. Doing so will enable cadres and soldiers to comprehend the Party’s guidelines and resolutely implement its foreign policy on multilateralising and diversifying international relations and turning Vietnam into a friend, a reliable partner and a responsible member of the international community, thereby maintaining peace and stability for national development and defending the Homeland from afar. In addition to raising troops’ awareness, the Zone promotes the role of organisations and forces in external propagation relating to the defence of seas and islands and heightens the responsibility of party committees, party organisations, commanders, and offices in charge of propagation. According to the Zone’s Party Committee, the work of external propagation must be placed under the leadership of all-level party committees and commands. This work must be frequently, continuously, actively, proactively carried out and renewed. It must be in line with our Party and State’s guidelines and policy while the defence of national sovereignty and benefits must be its primary target. Besides, it is essential to respect international law and practices and work with relevant forces to maintain peace and stability of the southwestern sea, islands, and continental shelf.

Second, the Zone frequently grasps the demand for information to prepare propagation programmes properly. In this regard, importance should be attached to renewing and diversifying forms and methods of propagation and combining oral propagation with other types of propagation for people from all walks of life, particularly fishers on vessels and residents on islands. Moreover, due attention should be paid to grasping groups of receivers of propagation in order to prepare and make propagation programmes easy to remember and understand. In the process, it is vital to both employ concentrated propagation and use vessels, high-powered loudspeakers, and waterproof leaflets to conduct propagation for fishers and residents on islands. Besides, due regard should be paid to enhancing cultural and historical education and updating troops on relevant countries’ navies and militaries, improving the observance of host countries’ law, and preserving the image of Vietnamese nation, people, Military, and Navy in the eyes of international friends. Consideration should be given to stepping up exchange programmes, strengthening solidarity, mutual understanding, trust, and respect and demonstrating the noble, pure internationalism with relevant countries’ navies when units within the Zone perform the work of military diplomacy and conduct joint patrols. At the same time, it is important to encourage fishers not to violate other countries’ waters and turn them into “living sovereign milestones” at sea.

Third, the Zone will build a contingent of cadres in charge of external propagation relating to the defence of seas and islands and raise the quality of this contingent. It can’t be denied that cadres and employees in charge of propagation act as a determinant to the quality of propagation. Hence, in the upcoming time, the Zone continues to consolidate a contingent of cadres and employees in charge of external propagation both qualitatively and qualitatively, with great political zeal, professional competence, high responsibility, and scientific working method to meet the requirements set by external propagation relating to the defence of seas and islands in the new situation. In the medium term, the Zone focuses on improving those cadres and employees’ professional competence, working method and style as well as their capacity to conduct propagation in Vietnamese, English, and languages of regional countries. It will also train them to have deep knowledge of countries’ tradition and history and increase their skills to deal with situations.

Fourth, it closely combines our Party and State’s foreign affairs with military diplomacy. To raise the quality of external propagation, the Zone closely cooperates with Central and local press agencies in providing and disseminating information about the defence of sacred seas and islands and naval troops’ operations, particularly the training and combat readiness tasks, the reception and training of new, modern weapons and technical equipment, search and rescue operations. In addition, the Zone will focus its propagation on natural disaster forecast, prevention, combat and warning, maritime smuggling prevention and control, and the fight against overfishing, destruction of marine ecosystem, violations by foreign vessels, and distortions of Vietnam’s national sovereignty over seas and islands by the hostile forces. The work of propagation will be centred on introducing and multiplying typical examples and new elements, particularly those regarding economic development, social security, protection of sea and island security and sovereignty, opportunely reflecting naval troops’ performance of their tasks, thereby making contributions to encouraging cadres and soldiers to remain firm in the “between-wind-and-water” region and successfully fulfil their assigned missions, strengthening solidarity, friendship and mutual understanding, trustworthiness, and respect for building the southwestern sea of peace, stability, and development.

Captain NGUYEN DANG TIEN, Commissar of the Naval Zone 5

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