Reporter: In 2022, the military comprehensively completed the tasks and was highly appreciated by Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong and Party and State leaders. Could you name some outstanding results, Mr. Minister?

General Phan Van Giang: In 2022, the whole military carried out missions in the context of rapid, complicated, and unpredictable developments of international and regional situation. After two years of being heavily affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, armed conflicts broke out in many places in the world, especially the protracted Russia-Ukraine military conflict that has had a profound and comprehensive impact on all countries.

General Phan Van Giang

Domestically, the COVID-19 pandemic was put under control, the whole country returned to the normal state with many activities and events held; the whole Party, people, and military took advantage of the opportunity, made full use of the time, and exerted efforts to obtain many important achievements in all fields. However, we also faced many difficulties and challenges such as hostile and reactionary forces intensified acts of sabotage against the Party, State, and military with many sophisticated and malicious tricks; natural disasters and diseases were complicated; the prices of some essential commodities increased, affecting all aspects of social life and military and defense tasks.

In that context, the Central Military Commission and the Ministry of National Defense led and directed the whole military to stay united, be pro-active and self-reliant, and strive to comprehensively complete targets and tasks set for 2022. The whole military achieved higher results than that of 2021 with some tasks were excellently completed. 

The whole military closely followed, accurately evaluated and forecast situational developments, made recommendations to the Party and State to deal with circumstances in a timely and effective manner; firmly protected national sovereignty and territory, well coordinated to maintain political security and social order nationwide. All people's national defense, military region defensive, and defensive areas at all levels were paid due attention to, contributing to strengthening the power to protect the Fatherland. The whole military well played its pivotal role in preventing and fighting natural disasters and diseases and conducting search and rescue.

The adjustment of force organization was strictly implemented, meeting the requirements of building an elite, compact, and strong military. The quality of training, exercises, education and training, building of strong, comprehensive, exemplary, and outstanding units was improved; many outstanding achievements were obtained in national and international competitions. The military actively, proactively, flexibly, substantively, and effectively conducted international integration and external defense relations work; successfully organized the first Vietnam International Defense Expo, leaving a good impression in the hearts of international friends; made new progress in logistics, technical, defense industry, legal, scientific research work. Building the Party and military in terms of politics was paid special attention to and achieved many positive results, serving as a decisive factor for the whole military to be ready to undertake and fulfill all assigned tasks.

Speaking at the Central Military Commission’s Conference and the whole military Politico-Military Conference 2022, Party General Secretary and Secretary of the Central Military Commission Nguyen Phu Trong praised the Central Military Commission, the Ministry of National Defense, and the entire military for their sense of responsibility, pro-activeness, and high political determination in carrying out missions; upholding principles, staying united, promoting democracy, heightening responsibility, having new improvements in methods and working styles, daring to think, daring to speak, daring to do, daring to take responsibility, daring to face difficulties and challenges, acting for the common good; resolutely overcoming shortcomings and weaknesses; determining right key and breakthrough tasks; drastically leading and directing task performance with synchronous, comprehensive, practical, and effective measures, creating comprehensive and solid changes in all aspects. The Party General Secretary emphasized that in 2022 the military made great efforts to well perform its functions as a combat military, working military, and production military, comprehensively completing tasks with results which were higher than that of 2021, and many tasks were excellently completed. 

The Party General Secretary and other Party and State leaders affirmed that in any circumstances, troops are always steadfast, stay united, and overcome difficulties to complete all assigned tasks. He highly appreciated the role of the military in providing strategic advice for the Party and State on military and defense, promptly and effectively handling situations, especially at sensitive and complicated time. The Party General Secretary emphasized that those achievements were very precious, because not every country can maintain peace and security in the context of ongoing fierce strategic competition.

Reporter: On the occasion of the New Year, could you share what you find impressive while directing and inspecting the entire military’s task performance in 2022?

General Phan Van Giang: In 2022, the whole military made positive changes in different aspects, contributing to maintaining national independence and sovereignty and creating a peaceful and stable environment for national construction and development. Notably, the military gave recommendations to the Party and State to issue many guidelines and policies on military and defense, including projects on streamlining the Vietnam People's Army; developing defense industry, researching, and manufacturing new equipment and weapons; on civil defense; summarizing 10 year-implementation of the Resolution of the 8th Plenum of the Party Central Committee (11th tenure) on the Strategy on Safeguarding the Fatherland in the new situation and building legal documents for submission to the National Assembly. These are very big and important issues. The dissemination and implementation of the Central Committee’s resolutions and conclusions and the introduction of the work “Some theoretical and practical issues on socialism and the path towards socialism in Vietnam” by Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong were effectively carried out while political meetings on Party and political system building and rectification with the theme of "self-examination and self-correction" created a positive and profound changes in the whole military. Training and exercises were held close to combat reality and in all terrain and weather conditions. Especially, the live-fire exercise in Khanh Hoa ended successfully; joint Vietnam-Laos Commando Exercise and Vietnam-Laos-Cambodia search and rescue drills were safely held;  the ASEAN Armies Rifle Meet and the “Emergency Area” content within the framework of the International Army Games (Army Games) 2022 was successfully hosted.

Troops of Regiment 764 under the Nghe An provincial Military Command helping people in Ta Ca commune, Ky Son district, Nghe An province overcome consequences of flooding in October 2022

Scientific research and defense industry development obtained many achievements with many research projects and defense products honored with the Ho Chi Minh Order and State Order. 2022 was also a successful year of bilateral and multilateral external defense relations and big events. The successful organization of the first Vietnam International Defense Expo opened up many new cooperation opportunities in defense industry. The success of the first “Vietnam Coast Guards and Friends” Exchange Program was highly appreciated by domestic and international public opinion. In the year, the deployment of the Engineering Company Rotation 1 and the Level-2 Field Hospital Rotation 4 to participate in U.N. peacekeeping missions contributed to affirming the position and prestige of Vietnam and its military in the international arena. The Vietnam People’s Army was praised as a spotlight in peacekeeping by the U.N. Secretary General. 

Reporter: What are focal points of the military’s orientations and missions in 2023, Mr. Minister?

General Phan Van Giang: The Central Military Commission’s Conference and the whole military Politico-Military Conference 2022 clearly defined orientations and key missions for 2023.

2023 is a pivotal year in implementing the Resolutions of the 13th National Party Congress and the 11th Military Party Congress. Apart from advantages, there are difficulties and challenges, especially greater non-traditional security ones. The military will continue to adjust its force organization, setting out new requirements on ideological, organizational, and policy work. Therefore, together with striving to successfully carry out regular tasks, such as proactively grasping, accurately evaluating, and forecasting the situational development and promptly giving strategic advice to the Party and State on military and defense to firmly defend the Fatherland in a timely and effective manner, the whole military should focus on implementing a number of key contents  as follows:  

Firstly, the whole military should continue to strictly and effectively carry out guidelines and directives of the Central on Party building and rectification and the Central Military Mission’s thematic resolutions on aspects; uphold and strengthen the Party’s absolute and direct leadership over the military; pay attention to building politically-strong military to serve as a foundation to enhance the combat power and ensure that the military is always absolutely loyal to the Fatherland, the Party, State, people, and socialism and successfully completes all assigned missions; focus on building pure, strong, exemplary, and united Military Party Organization; pay attention to inspection and supervision to prevent derogations; firmly uphold and promote virtues of Uncle Ho’s soldiers in any circumstances and build Military Party Organization as a model as requested by Party General Secretary and Secretary of the Central Military  Commission Nguyen Phu Trong.

Secondly, the military should effectively implement the force organization adjustment; strictly carry out the 13th Politburo’s Resolution 05 and the Central Military Commission’s Resolution 230 on streamlining the military in the 2021-2030 period and the years to come; closely combine ideological, organizational, and policy work during the adjustment; renew to raise the quality of training, education and training, scientific research, build and develop defense industry to meet higher requirements and tasks and create solid changes in regulatory building, discipline observance, and military administrative reform.

Thirdly, the whole military should get prepared and actively and proactively respond to non-traditional challenges, especially natural disasters prevention and mitigation, diseases, incidents, search and rescue; brave all dangers and hardships and help people with the highest sense of responsibility; always be key and vanguard force, and firm in any circumstances; deserve the sentiment and trust of the Party, State, and people.

Reporter: Is that the missions in 2023 have higher requirements and the military is to make greater efforts to complete them?

General Phan Van Giang: That’s right! That is a requirement of reality determined in the Resolutions of the 13th National Party Congress and the 11th Military Party Congress as well as the desire and aspiration of troops in the whole military and people. The goal is basically building an elite, compact, and strong military by 2025, creating a solid premise to build a revolutionary, regular, elite and modernized military by 2030. Since the time is not long, so we must drastically adjust the organization of our forces in 2023, making a breakthrough in all aspects of work to ensure the successful accomplishment of the set goals and tasks. At the same time, it is necessary to ensure that the military is capable of successfully completing tasks in the new situation.

The Vietnam People’s Army is preparing to mark the 80th founding anniversary (December 22, 1944 – 2024), so we must strive to make the military strong, worthy of the 80-year building, fighting, and development, deserving the enthusiasm, wisdom, efforts, and sacrifices of former generations of troops who contributed to the building of the military and the glorious heroic tradition of our military and the noble quality of Uncle Ho's soldiers. Those things motivate us to make great efforts.

Su-30MK2 fighters of the Air Defense – Air Force Service at the opening ceremony of the Vietnam International Defense Expo 2022

Reporter: On the occasion of the lunar New Year, would you like to say anything to troops in the whole military and their families?

General Phan Van Giang: I myself and leaders of the Central Military Commission and Ministry of National Defense are very delighted at the solidarity, bravery, will, and determination and task accomplishment of the whole military last year. 

The main target in the coming time is building revolutionary, regular, elite, and modernized military with human resource as a decisive factor.

It means that each troop must “renew” themselves, including enhancing their political awareness, morality, sense of discipline, physical strength, intelligence, skills, and working style. There is a saying “Practice makes perfect.” The intensity of studying and training must be higher and more effective.  Therefore, troops in the whole military should be deeply aware of their tasks and determined and to consciously strive to "upgrade" themselves. At the same time, the Party committees and chains-of-command of agencies and units must thoroughly grasp and well implement it. 

The more difficult the task is, the more determined we must be. I believe that with the will, bravery, and honor of Uncle Ho’s soldiers, our troops will certainly perform well their missions. The Central Military Commission and the Ministry of National Defense hope that families, whose children are serving the military, will continue to care, share, encourage, and be firm rear for troops to feel secure to work and contribute to building the military, consolidating national defense, protecting the Fatherland, and maintaining a peaceful and stable environment for national development and people’s peaceful and happy life.

On the occasion of the lunar New Year, I sincerely wish officers, troops, non-commissioned officers, and defense workers in the whole military and militia and self-defense forces in the whole country and their families good health, happiness, joy, and success; continue to strive to contribute to building a stronger military, capable of successfully completing all tasks, thus proving that the Vietnam People's Army is always worthy of being a pioneer and exemplary force, deserving the trust and love of the Party, the State, and the people.

Reporter: Thank you very much!

Translated by Tran Hoai