Sunday, February 23, 2020, 07:39 (GMT+7)

Wednesday, November 27, 2019, 09:31 (GMT+7)
To make seas and islands an everlasting living and developing space (continued)

III. Solutions to sustainable marine economy development in line with the defence of national sovereignty over seas and islands

Developing a sustainable marine economy associated with defending the Homeland’s sea and island sovereignty is a consistent strategy by our Party. To promote our potential and advantages and overcome difficulties in the marine economy development, there should be a system of solutions, with a focus on the following.

First, enhancing the work of propagation relating to seas, islands, and particularly the importance of combining the development of marine economy with the defence of national sovereignty over seas and islands. This is a long-term, routine important task of the entire political system aimed at raising the awareness and responsibility of cadres, party members, and people from all walks of life for the execution of the Marine Development Strategy in all socio-economic, defence, security, diplomacy, and technology fields. By doing so, we could create a motivation and the synergy for fulfilling the goals and requirements set by the Strategy, accelerate the sustainable marine economic development, build the national defence and security postures and the posture of “people’s hearts and minds” at sea, and maintain peace and stability for the country’s development and international integration. Thus, the work of propagation should be renewed and diversified in accordance with the educational level of the people, particularly the ones working at sea. In addition to providing objective, orientated information relating to sovereign disputes in the East Sea, we should further render the people fully aware of the Party’s guidelines and the State’s policy in order to raise their responsibility in the process. At the same time, it is necessary to unmask the hostile forces’ plots and intention of exploiting the issues on sea and island sovereignty to damage our relations with neighbouring countries, undermine our great unity block, and destroy our national construction and defence cause.

In the process of propagation, it is important to provide historical documents and legal, scientific, and practical evidence to affirm the sovereignty, sovereign right, and jurisdiction over our seas and islands on the basis of the Law of the Sea of Vietnam, the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982 (UNCLOS 1982), the Declaration of the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea, and the Code of the Conduct in the South China Sea when it is ratified. The work of information and propagation should be aimed at arousing the national pride and upholding our ancestors’ resilience and indomitable spirit in the defence of national sovereignty over territory, seas, and islands. Besides, due regard should be paid to improving the people’s awareness and knowledge of sea, ocean, and marine pollution as well as their skills in adapting to climate change and preventing and controlling natural disasters so as to raise their responsibility for the defence of our sacred seas and islands.

Second, continuing to supplement and complete the system of mechanisms, policies, and laws in accordance with the development of reality.

Currently, it is necessary and important to supplement, build, and complete the system of mechanisms and policies in accordance with the country’s international integration. Doing so will help us to take advantage of marine potential, closely combine the marine economic fields with defence and security as a whole across the country and in each locality, and enable localities, particularly the coastal ones to develop the marine economy in line with the defence of seas and islands. The guidelines for executing the Marine Development Strategy should be studied and formulated on the basis of modern scientific foundations and comprehensive assessments of the marine economic development and advantages and difficulties that Vietnam has to face. It is essential to foster economic cooperation with other countries in the region and the world in order to create the interweaving of benefits in the process of marine economic development with our partners, affirm our national sovereignty over seas, opportunely prevent all violations of our marine sovereignty, and settle disputes over sea and island sovereignty with relevant parties by political, peaceful means.

Third, promoting and combining the internal strength with the external strength as the basis for developing the marine economy in line with the defence of national sovereignty over seas and islands. Vietnam has great marine potential. However, to transform our potential into motivations for accelerating the country’s industrialization and modernization cause, we should make considerable investments in key economic sectors, such as petroleum exploitation and production, seaport and marine transport, seafood exploitation and processing, and tourism in the coastal areas and on islands. Priority should be given to building powerful corporations and logistics centres, combing economic development with the mastery over seas and islands, focusing finance, technology, and labour on effectively exploiting marine potential, and developing facilities for socio-economic development and defence-security on Truong Sa Islands and large islands far away from the coast. At the same time, a favourable condition and preferential treatment policy should be created and adopted for the people to keep their mind on their  work at sea as a key element in the building of the “people’s hearts and minds” posture at sea. Besides, it is necessary to take advantage of external resources via international cooperation and integration to develop our marine economy in line with the defence of national sovereignty over seas and islands. In the process, it is essential to grasp the Party’s diplomatic viewpoints, uphold the strategic principles, hold a dialectical view, and avoid absolutizing economic benefit and damaging other ones, particularly the national territorial sovereignty - the country’s supreme benefit.

Fourth, closely managing and sustainably using marine natural resources, protecting marine environment, effectively responding to traditional and non-traditional security challenges. Developing a “green marine economy” is a trend in many coastal countries worldwide. Certainly, our country will have to follow this trend so that we could maintain a balance between development and conservation as well as between economic and natural ecosystems, with technology and human resources playing the core role. As a result, more investments should be made in baseline surveys, scientific researches and the training of marine human resources. Emphasis should be placed on establishing centres for studying and applying marine biological technology, exploiting seabed, and employing space technology in marine supervision. Moreover, it is important to correctly assess the marine natural resources, ecosystems, and economic sectors, such as navigation, aquaculture, seafood exploitation and processing, renewable energy, digital information technology, and marine biopharmacy. Due attention should be paid to developing and effectively executing the key programs, enhancing the effectiveness of international cooperation to survey, manage, use, and conserve marine natural resources and environment, and seriously implementing regional and international agreements on sea and ocean to which Vietnam is a signatory. Besides, we should build and make the high-quality marine human resources capable of meeting the development requirements as a breakthrough step. To that end, we should adopt special policies to attract talents and gradually build a contingent of managers, scientists, and experts with great professional competence in sea and ocean. In addition, it is imperative to mobilize domestic and foreign resources to manage and sustainably exploit marine natural resources, protect marine environment, and effectively respond to traditional and non-traditional security challenges at sea. Due regard should be paid to fulfilling the goal of transforming Vietnam into a maritime powerhouse.

Fifth, promoting the role and responsibility of the entire political system, forces, and people to successfully execute the Marine Development Strategy. To sustainably develop the marine economy in line with the defence of national sovereignty over seas and islands, it is necessary to involve the whole political system, forces, and people. To do so, there should be all-level party committees and authorities’ regular leadership and direction, all sectors and forces’ close coordination, and all people’s active participation. In the process, it is important to thoroughly grasp the Party’s guidelines and viewpoints on closely combining the marine economic development with the consolidation of defence and security and the protection of national sovereignty over seas and islands. We should resolutely, persistently fight against all violations of our sovereignty and territory. Vietnam always affirms its sovereignty over Hoang Sa and Truong Sa Islands. Its consistent standpoint has been mentioned in legal documents, such as the National Assembly’s Resolution of 1994 on ratifying the UNCLOS 1982, and Vietnam’s official statements at international forums. At the same time, significance should be attached to building the force and adjusting and disposing the national defence and security postures at sea in accordance with the new situation. Notably, the law enforcement forces at sea, such as Navy, Coast Guard, Border Guard, and Fisheries Surveillance, should proactively conduct patrols to detect and opportunely settle violations of law in Vietnam’s seas, making great contributions to maintaining security and order at sea, and heightening their role in managing and protecting our country’s seas. The building of logistics and technical establishments should be accelerated so as to effectively exploit the marine natural resources and provide the basis for consolidating and promoting the on-the-spot force to meet the requirements for defence and security at sea. Additionally, there should be a special policy to encourage the people to live on islands and work at sea and build defence-economic zones at seas and on islands.

Our country is endowed with a large sea and great potential in seafood and marine natural resources and tourism. To protect that potential, our ancestors have had to sacrifice their lives for thousands of years. Thus, it is our responsibility to treasure, effectively exploit, defend, and make seas and islands an everlasting living and developing space for our future generations. (The end)

Thanh Phuc - Xuan Cuong - Ba Binh

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