AT the invitation of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV), a five-member CPI(M) Central Committee delegation headed by general secretary, Sitaram Yechury including Jogendra Sharma, member, Central Secretariat, CS Sujatha, Hira Lal Yadav and Deblina Hembram, all members of the Central Committee, visited Vietnam from June 7-10, 2023.
This short visit was packed with very intensive programmes that included five major discussions with Party leaders; paying revolutionary homage to Com Ho Chi Minh at his mausoleum and a visit to an industrial park and discussions with the local leaders.
The highlight of the visit was the meeting with Truong Thi Mai, senior member of the Polit Bureau and permanent member of the secretariat of the Communist Party of Vietnam. She also heads the Central Organization Commission of the Party. She is the first woman to hold this position at the Party’s highest leadership level.
Mai warmly welcomed the delegation speaking highly about the traditional bonding and relations between the CPV and the CPI(M). She particularly hailed the consecutive electoral victory in Kerala and the successful 23rd Party Congress of the CPI(M). She briefly highlighted the achievements of the CPV in the recent period and the milestones set out for further developing the socialist economy in Vietnam. The three specific milestones are:
(a) To establish Vietnam as a developing country with modern industries surpassing the low middle income levels by 2025, the 50th anniversary of the liberation of South Vietnam and the reunification of the country.
(b) To establish Vietnam as a developing country with modern agriculture and industry and high average income levels by 2030, the centenary of the founding of the Communist Party of Vietnam and,
(c) To ensure that Vietnam will become a developed country with high income levels and GDP per capita by 2045, the centenary of the independence of the country.
By mid-21st century they target to make Vietnam a socialist oriented developed country pursuing a path of industrialisation and modernisation.
To achieve these goals, Party’s leadership role was emphasized for building a truly clean and strong party and political system across the board to strengthen peoples trust in the Party, State and Socialism.
Party is seeking three strategic breakthroughs: a) perfecting the Socialist oriented market economic institutions synchronously; b) developing human resources, especially high-quality human resources with suitable mechanism for recruiting and developing talent and c) building harmoniously modern infrastructure systems in the economic, social, environment, national defence and security areas.
PARTY BUILDING: STRENGTHENING LINKS WITH THE PEOPLE
CPV is undertaking continuous activities to further strengthen Party building in all aspects – political, ideological, ethical, organisational and a cadre policy and training to enhance their capabilities.
Mai expressed the desire of the CPV to further strengthen the relations between the CPI(M) and the CPV with further exchanges of delegations. Such strengthening of relations will contribute to improving the relations between both the countries and the peoples.
While wishing the CPV all success in its endeavors in overcoming the formidable challenges, the CPI(M) general secretary recalled the strength of the bonding between two parties that reached new heights during the heroic struggle of the Vietnamese people for liberation. It was suggested that the fraternal relations should be strengthened by including regular interactions and exchanges between both parties on various ideological challenges being mounted against Socialism, Marxism and Leninism in a period of a growing global political rightward shift. Mai immediately agreed that such theoretical exchanges will be useful as new developments are rapidly unfolding globally which need a common approach by the Communists.
Prior to this meeting with Mai, the CPI(M) delegation had useful discussions with the Central Commission for Mass Mobilisation; Vietnam Fatherland Front, the Central Commission for Economic Affairs and the Central Commission for External Relations.
COMMISSION FOR MASS MOBILIZATION
The central focus of the CPV in the current juncture is to strengthen the relations between the party and the people.
The Central Mass Mobilisation Department of the Central Committee is an advisory body to the Central Committee, directly subordinated to the Polit Bureau. Its chief responsibility is for public security and public relations. Since 1980s, from its 6th Congress, the CPV emphasized the need to thoroughly grasp the concept of “taking people as the root” and building people’s confidence in the party. During the 1990s the party took several measures to rectify the decline in the relationship between the party and the people and to correct the situation where a part of the cadre and party members were displaying tendencies that are bureaucratic, dictatorial, being aloof from the people, autocratic, authoritative, embezzling, taking bribes, living extravagantly, reducing the enthusiasm for the revolution and limiting the promotion of people’s great potential in the cause of national socialist construction. CPV declared that “all activities of the party must come from the legitimate interests and aspirations of the people. The party’s strength lies from its close attachment with the people.”
Along with the Commission for Mass Mobilisation, the Central Committee also has a commission for the popularisation of party’s priorities and thrust of its campaigns at any given moment.
The Vietnamese Fatherland Front is a broad group of mass movements aligned with the CPV. After the fall of Saigon and the liberation of south Vietnam, the Fatherland Front of the North merged with Viet Cong groups and the national liberation front of the South. Various other groups and movements that were part of the liberation struggle were all amalgamated into the Fatherland Front described as “the political base of people’s power”.
Many of the government’s social programmes such as poverty reduction and the policy on religion are conducted through the Front. This Front is intended to supervise the activities of the government and government organisations as a representative of the people. Its special role is incorporated in Vietnam’s Constitution and laws.
COMMISSION FOR ECONOMIC AFFAIRS
At the meeting with the CPV Central Commission for Economic Affairs, its vice chairman Nguyen Hong Son explained the efforts being made to achieve the target of three milestones. Since the renewal programme of Doi Moi began 37 years ago, Vietnamese economy has been maintaining an average annual growth rate of 7-8 per cent. The size of the economy has grown by 12 times and the per capita GDP has increased by 8.3 times. Poverty levels have been reduced from 58 per cent in 1993 to 2.75 per cent in 2020. The economy, we were told is recovering from the destruction caused by the pandemic. The main thrust of CPV’s policy appears to be to attract greater foreign investment.
There was a lively discussion over the challenges posed by the following: while Vietnam seeks foreign investments and technology for further strengthening Socialism; foreign capital aims at undermining socialist content in Vietnam and drawing it back to the vortex of global capitalism. Vietnamese leaders assured that they are conscious of such a contradiction and challenges it poses but are confident of further strengthening the socialist oriented market economy advancing towards establishing a developed socialist country by the middle of the 21st century.
FOR EXTERNAL RELATIONS
The head of the Commission for External Relations, Le Hoai Trung, member of the Central Committee, former deputy foreign minister and head of the Vietnam mission in the United Nations explained in detail the development of Vietnam’s relations globally. Vietnam today partakes in both bilateral and multi-lateral arrangements in international relations. It has relations with 247 parties in 111 countries. It actively participates in all international fora.
On specifically asked about the situation in the South China Sea, we were informed that all matters of contention with all other countries are settled in accordance with international law. As far as China is concerned, the dispute over the land border has been totally resolved and the matter is sealed. With regard to the South China Sea, differences in approach exist where Vietnam is seeking a settlement under the international Law of the Seas established by the UN while China wishes to settle the matter through bilateral discussions. We were informed that the relations between the CPC and CPV are excellent and the talks continue to arrive at an agreement.
VISIT TO INDUSTRIAL PARK
Before departing for India on June 10, the CPI(M) delegation was received by the CPV leadership of the Vinh Phuc province which is home to a large developing industrial park. During the period 1997 to 2021, its regional domestic product grew on an average annually by 13.4 per cent totaling in 2021 5.9 billion US dollars with a 4,900 US dollar per capita. By the end of 2021, the province had FDI projects of total registered investments of 7.5 billion US dollars apart from 4.2 billion US dollars of domestic investments.
The strides being made by Vietnam in its economic development along with the concerted efforts to strengthen socialism and construct a modern developed socialist country and economy by the middle of the century are progressing in accordance with the roadmap drawn up by the 13th Congress of the CPV in 2021.
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