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Wednesday, May 23, 2018, 08:10 (GMT+7)
The relation between Homeland construction and protection in the new situation

Homeland construction and protection, which have become a deep-rooted tradition throughout the country’s millennia-old history, always serves as our revolution’s strategic tasks. Therefore, a full awareness of this relation is a matter of importance and urgency amidst today’s international integration.

In the wake of Doi Moi’s 30 years, reviewing some theoretical and practical issues concerning the relation between socialism building and socialist Homeland safeguarding, our Party pointed out: “National building in parallel with national safeguarding is our nation’s principle of existence and development. Socialism building and socialist Homeland safeguarding is our revolution’s principle of development”. This assertion is completely true which is justified by the theoretical and practical bases of our revolution under the leadership of the Party and over the course of the nation’s history. From a scientific perspective, the relation between Homeland building and safeguarding is not constant, but rather historical, which is contingent on each stage of the revolution. As a result,  for the sake of the continued success of Doi Moi, it is more necessary than ever that the relation between Homeland building and safeguarding be clarified, thereby providing the Party and State with some methodological approaches to policy making in the new situation.

First of all, the relation between Homeland building and safeguarding should be seen through the lens of the unpredictable global and regional situations. The strategic competition among major powers and their influence over small countries with resultant conflicts of interest pose security threats to a lot of countries, particularly ones with geo-strategic importance such as Vietnam. While Vietnam’s status and aggregate strength has been raised, the country is still confronted with difficulties and challenges. The risks that our Party have identified have yet to be eliminated, some of which even have deteriorated, particularly economic backwardness, peaceful evolution, manifestations of “self-evolution” and “self-transformation”, red tape, corruption and wastefulness among a segment of cadres and Party members.

Against this backdrop, the relation between Homeland building and safeguarding should be looked at properly as evidenced by closely combining economy, culture and society with national defense and security and vice versa in the new situation. To this end, this relation should be directed first at guarding against repercussions from a possible compromise reached by major powers over economic, political, defense and security realms to the detriment to our territorial sovereignty and socialist regime. At the same time, it should also be concretized when it comes to the settlement of land and maritime border disputes. Today, the relation between Homeland building and safeguarding should be comprehensive enough to cover every realm, thereby foiling intensified sabotage activities and more fiendish plots by hostile forces, particularly their covert force preparations and financing the establishment of oppositional political groups to wave the flag, which aim to undermine our Party, to spark riots to divide the country and to overthrow our socialist regime.

Second, the relation between Homeland building and safeguarding should be handled within the framework of other significant relations defined in the Platform for National Construction during the Period of Transition toward Socialism (amended in 2011). This results from over 30 years of Doi Moi and is of orientative value for the country throughout the period of transition toward socialism. According to the Platform, “special attention should be devoted to a full understanding and proper handling of significant relations”. As a result, the handling of this relation should be stuck to significant relations like glue, which reflects the loyalty to and creative application of Marxism – Leninism, Ho Chi Minh Thought and national traditions to the Vietnamese revolution in the new situation.

This is also a life-and-death goal to be reached by Doi Moi and the country’s development with socialist orientation amidst deepened international integration. Accordingly, for the sake of the proper handling of the relation between Homeland building and safeguarding, greater cooperation is required on all fronts: economy, politics, culture, society, defense, security and diplomacy. At the same time, the master plan should be quickly put in motion for building strategic regions, particularly in economic, military and security terms. As such, that the handling of the relation between Homeland building and safeguarding within the framework of other significant relations  will have far-reaching implications for the country to reach the goal of socio-economic development, industrialization, modernization, national independence associated with socialism, a prosperous people and a strong, democratic, equitable and civilized country.

Third, the relation between sustainable development as to socialism building and Homeland protection in its infancy and from afar. Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of posterity to meet their own needs on the basis of a close and harmonious combination of economic growth, social  progress and justice and environmental protection. Homeland protection in its infancy and from afar means the flexible employment of strategies for eliminating the risks of war and conflicts in their infancy and from afar and for wiping out disadvantageous elements, particularly domestic ones. In spatial terms, it refers to the protection from the outside of the country’s territory; in temporal terms, it implies all reasonable precautions to be taken to protect the country right in peacetime under the motto “prevention is better than cure”.

In order to properly handle the relation between sustainable development as to socialism building and Homeland protection in its infancy and from afar, it is necessary to accelerate economic growth, to advance culture, education-training, science and technology, and to achieve social progress and justice, thereby enabling the country and the Vietnamese people to develop comprehensively and strongly reflect the superiority of Doi Moi and Vietnam’s socialist-oriented market economy. In the meantime, cultural institutions should be strengthened so that they can serve as the driver of social-economic development, expanded defense and security capabilities and Homeland protection. Homeland protection in its infancy and from afar requires a new strategic vision for national defense and security and the building of armed forces at full strength to not only fight wars but also eliminate the risks of war. Therefore, every cadre, Party member, Party committee and Party organization should be fully aware of this. Amidst Vietnam’s deepened international integration that entails both opportunities and challenges intertwined in traditional and non-traditional terms, it is necessary that sustainable development run parallel to precautionary measures.

Fourth, the relation should be properly handled between international integration and the independence and self-reliance of defense and security. This is a matter of importance, reflecting new development in the Party’s theoretical thinking on the relation between Homeland building and safeguarding in the new situation. It also lays a foundation for our defense-security diplomacy at a new stage of the Vietnamese revolution to be riding high. It is widely known that the independence and self-reliance of defense and security is synonymous with the self-determination of defense/ security - related issues, and a country’s self-defense against violations of its independence, sovereignty, unity, territorial integrity  and national interests as well as against foreign interference into its domestic affairs. Meanwhile, the process of international integration is associated with the expansion of international linkages on all fronts with ensuing opportunities and challenges as to a country’s independence and self-reliance of defense and security. As a result, international integration and the independence and self-reliance of defense and security  are dialectical.  The former facilitates socio-economic development, which serves as a material requisite for increasing defense-security capabilities and Homeland protection. In return, the latter enables international integration to be on the right track, deepened, effective and sustainable. In doing so, Vietnam  promotes strategic trust with other countries, particularly major powers and strategic partners. This also helps to hinder potential violations of Vietnam’s independence and sovereignty as it becomes hard to entice other countries to fight against Vietnam without detriment to their national interests.

However, when it comes to Vietnam’s international integration, hostile forces tend to exploit ethnic, religious, democratic, human rights issues and cultural invasion to sabotage our revolution, to precipitate political upheaval and to incite riots, subversion and separatism in some of the country’s strategic regions. As for the independence and self-reliance of defense and security, lack of a strategic vision, flexibility and creativity tends to create “extreme” trends that inhibit the country’s development. Therefore, in order to properly handle this relation, on the one hand, it is required to proactively integrate into the world in line with the Party’s line, but on the other hand, it is necessary to stay vigilant against the enemy’s sabotage plots to promote “self-evolution” and “self-transformation”. Moreover, defense relations should be deepened bilaterally and multilaterally with emphasis on multilateral defense/security arrangements. In the new situation, defense-security diplomacy is required to facilitate Vietnam’s industrialization, modernization and socio-economic development and to maintain a peaceful environment while better satisfying the more demanding requirements of defense-security cooperation amidst the country’s deepened international and regional integration. Only by doing so can Vietnam achieve more positive results of international integration and maintain its independence and self-reliance.

Socialism building and socialist Homeland safeguarding vividly reflects the principle of national construction associated with national defense, and national independence associated with socialism. This strategic relation has far-reaching implications for every aspect of our social life. It has been thoroughly grasped and properly handled by our Party  throughout the process of their leadership over the Vietnamese revolution. As a result, thanks to the Party’s leadership and the people’s support and sustained efforts, our Doi Moi has gained historic achievements, which bears out Vietnam’s path to socialism with economic development as the centerpiece, Party building as the key, cultural development and enhanced defense-security capabilities as principal and regular tasks. Accordingly, while top priority is given to socialism building, it is essential to set great store by Homeland safeguarding. This squares with the realities of the Vietnamese revolution in the context of the contemporary world’s development trends.

Lt. Gen., Assoc. Prof. Tran Viet Khoa, Ph.D., Member of the Party Central Committee, Member of the Central Military Commission, Commandant of the National Defense Academy

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