Political Headlines December 23

Cambodia Prime Minister to visit Viet Nam

The Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen will visit Viet Nam from December 26-28.

Prime Minister Hun Sen. — Photo THX


The official visit is being made at the invitation of Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung.

Visits to salute upcoming Christmas

The front and government senior officials have in recent days made visits to Catholic and Protestant dignitaries and followers amid the jubilant atmosphere of the upcoming Christmas which is overwhelming various corners of the country.

President of the Vietnam Fatherland Front (VFF) Central Committee Nguyen Thien Nhan on December 21 visited the dignitaries of the Hue Archdiocese and Catholic followers in the imperial capital city of Hue on the occasion.

He spoke of local Catholic followers’ contributions to the country’s wide-ranging accomplishments, as well as their active coordination with local authorities to such activities as healthcare, education, charity and poverty reduction.

The VFF leader affirmed the Party and State have pursued a consistent policy of respecting the freedom of belief and religions and creating every possible condition to enable religious people to contribute to national development.

Archbishop Le Van Hong pledged to encourage Catholic followers to take part in joint efforts to make their locality and the nation prosperous.

The same day, Nhan presented gifts to several outstanding Catholic families, orphans and children with disabilities in Hue city.

Also on December 21, Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc visited Catholic dignitaries and followers in Xuan Loc diocese, the southern province of Dong Nai.

Wishing local Catholic dignitaries and followers a merry and happy Christmas, the Deputy PM hailed their contributions to the country’s steady economic growth, development goal accomplishment, social welfare activities, as well as national defence and security.

Bishop Nguyen Chu Trinh committed to continuing to encourage Catholic dignitaries and followers to engage in strengthening the national great unity bloc and national construction, for a civilised and wealthy country.

On December 22, Secretary of the Hanoi Party’s Committee Pham Quang Nghi visited Ham Long diocese in Hoan Kiem District and Cua Bac diocese in Ba Dinh District on the occasion of the festive season.

He said over the past years, Catholic followers in Hanoi, including those in Ham Long and Cua Bac dioceses, have accompanied the city in efforts to weather various difficulties and challenges.

Nghi expressed his hope that Catholic dignitaries and followers in the two dioceses will bring into full play the national great unity and act to oppose attempts to undermine the bloc.

From December 20-22, representatives of the Steering Committee for the Southwestern region, and authorities of the Mekong Delta province of An Giang visited dioceses, churches and Catholic and Protestant families in the locality.

An Giang is home to over 60,000 Catholics and Protestants.

On this occasion, the authorities of the central province of Phu Yen paid Christmas visits to Catholic and Protestant dignitaries and followers in the locality.

Secretary of the Phu Yen Party’s Committee Dao Tan Loc affirmed that the local administration has always paid attention to helping religions operate in line with law and contribute to the locality’s socio-economic development.

There are 30 Catholic and Protestant dioceses with about 17,000 followers in Phu Yen.

British destroyer ends Da Nang visit

The British Royal Navy ship HMS Daring left Tien Sa port in the central city of Da Nang on December 21, ending its four-day visit to Vietnam.

This was part of activities to mark the 40th anniversary of the Vietnam-UK diplomatic relations.

While in the city, the crew engaged in a range of activities such as a volleyball game and visits to orphanages. The Royal Marines Band accompanying the crew performed traditional and modern works in the city’s downtown.

The two sides discussed emerging regional issues and security challenges as well as sought measures for closer cooperation.

The UK pledged to continue training programmes for the Defence Ministry, including English skills improvement.

People’s Army Day marked in India

The Defence Attaché Office (DAO) of the Vietnamese Embassy in India on December 21 held a ceremony to mark the 69 th founding anniversary of the Vietnam People’s Army.

Attaché Pham Thanh Luong briefed participants on the significance of the event, and noted that defence is one of the five important pillars of the strategic partnership between Vietnam and India.

The Colonel added that that the two countries have this year boosted their military cooperation such as training for young officers.

HCM City further ties with Chinese localities

Ho Chi Minh City places importance to cooperating and promoting ties with Chinese localities and investors, Le Thanh Hai, Secretary of the municipal Party Committee, has said.

Hai, who is also a Politburo member of the Communist Party of Vietnam Central Committee, made the statement in HCM City on December 21 while receiving a delegation of the Communist Party of China (CPC) delegation, led by Wang Jiarui, member of the CPC Central Committee, Vice Chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Consultative Conference and head of the CPC Central Committee’s International Department.

He described Wang’s current visit to Vietnam, which was started on December 18, as helping realise and deepen the two countries’ bilateral ties.

Hai briefed the guest on the city’s socio-economic development, adding that more than 300 Chinese businesses have invested nearly 300 million USD in HCM City. In trade, the city exported to China 1 billion USD and imported from the country over 2.6 billion USD.

He said he hopes Wang, in his post, will help further promote friendship between the two Parties and facilitate localities and businesses of both sides in economics, and front and organisation affairs.

For his part, Wang said he was impressed by the city’s rapid development.

He highly valued the city’s contribution to Vietnam’s development in the context of the global economic crisis, and wished the city further successes in the coming time.

ASEAN nations rise to the challenge

Delegates attending a high-level forum (on Dec 20) called on Southeast Asian nations to improve opportunities for their vulnerable populations, as these countries are coping with dramatic changes in society.

The forum was organised by the Government of Viet Nam, in coordination with the Viet Nam Academy of Social Sciences and UNESCO.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Vo Khanh Vinh, vice president of the Viet Nam Academy, said countries were coping with challenges in making sure residents have the right to live in a safe environment, especially under the increased threat of climate change.

“The ASEAN countries are quite vulnerable to climate change threats, due to large populations and economic activities concentrated largely in coastal areas, while relying heavily on agriculture,” he said.

“Each country is facing the problem that some groups in the population are being pushed out of the edge.”

According to the delegates, the role of social science is important in assessing the social consequences that climate change has on vulnerable people, who might lose their livelihoods and rights to basic necessities.

The delegates also suggested that social science researchers in the region must be connected together and create a network that consults policy-makers on dealing with the social consequences of climate change threats.

Diplomatic conference concludes in Hanoi

The 28th Diplomatic Conference was wrapped up in Hanoi on December 20 after five days of reviewing the sector’s performance and devising measures to carry out its tasks in the coming time.

Speaking at the event, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh urged the diplomatic sector to thoroughly grasp strategic orientations for foreign affairs specified by the 11th National Party Congress and implement the diplomatic work in a more active and effective manner, thus contributing to national construction and defence.

Participants defined the sector’s upcoming tasks as continuing to follow the foreign policy of independence and self-reliance; contributing to the firm protection of the country’s independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and strategic interests.

They also said the sector will effectively take part in multilateral regional and international forums, among others.

The participants also adopted a resolution and action programme for the sector.

The conference was attended by and heard the opinions of Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong, President Truong Tan Sang and Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung.

National Assembly Chairman Nguyen Sinh Hung met with the heads of Vietnamese representative agencies abroad who attended the conference.

Constitution affirms Party’s leadership

The amended Constitution, recently approved by the National Assembly, strongly affirms the leadership of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) towards the State and society.

In an article analysing the Party’s role, Assoc. Prof. Nguyen Viet Thong, General Secretary of the Party Central Committee’s Theory Council, said the affirmation, mentioned in Article 4, is based on an accurate and strong foundation both theoretically and practically.

In terms of theory, the affirmation of the Party’s leadership is crucial and obvious, while objective and suitable to the popular trend in the world currently.

Today, political parties have become popular across the globe, playing an important role in social life and an indispensable factor in the political life of almost all countries around the world, he pointed out.

In their constitutions, many countries also define political party matter. For instance, the constitutions of Turkey, Ukraine and Poland gave two articles to clarify the issue. Those of Switzerland, the Republic of Korea , Germany and China also give space to the subject, he added.

Particularly, the constitutions of Switzerland, the Republic of Korea and Germany highlight that the establishment of political parties is vital in showing the opinions, aspirations and political awareness of the people.

The documents also promulgate principles, regulations and methods of setting up political parties, as well as their organisation and operation. Applying a single-party or multi-party system totally depends on the real situation and development period of each country, he said.

Regarding its practical basis, Thong said the leadership role of the CPV has been shown in the country’s revolution and is widely recognised by the people.

The CPV is the only party that guided the revolution against all invaders for national independence, driving the country to a complete victory. The Party has also successfully led the country during national development since Liberation Day on April 30, 1975.

Thong underscored that the CPV has initiated and directed the country’s comprehensive renewal cause.

It helped the country successfully overcome the socio-economic recession during the 1980s to take stable steps on its path of national industrialisation and modernisation and international integration, with a view to basically becoming an industrial country by 2020 and a modern socialist-orientated country by the middle of the 21 st century, he cited.

The CPV’s political will and capacity are recognised by Vietnamese people who acknowledge that it is the only ruling party and do not accept pluralism or a multi-party regime.

The overwhelming majority of Vietnamese put their trust in the Party and hope that it can reshuffle itself, overcoming all shortcomings and weaknesses to fulfil its historic mission of leading the State and society.

The Party has also determined to restructure itself, improving its purity and strength to become “a Party of morality and civilisation” following the guidance of President Ho Chi Minh, thus consolidating the belief of people, Thong said.

He commented that the 2013 Constitution has been added with proper contents on the Party, especially those defining that the Party’s organisations and members act in accordance with the Constitution and the law.

The amended Constitution, approved on November 28, consists of 120 articles and will take effect from January 1, 2014.