On the occasion of the lunar New Year 2023 festival, and the 93rd founding anniversary of the Communist Party of Vietnam (February 3, 1930 - 2023), the Party chief has given an exclusive interview to the People’s Army Newspaper.

Reporter: Looking back upon 2022, could you review the outstanding milestones that our country achieved, Mr. Party General Secretary?

Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong: I said many times at the 13th National Party Congress and at events, conferences and meetings with voters that with all humility, we can now say that our country has never enjoyed such fortune, potential, international position and prestige as it does today.

Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong

In 2022, in the context that the situation in the country and the world experienced new, rapid and complicated developments, causing greater difficulties and challenges than the forecast, we successfully and quite comprehensively completed such targets and tasks as disease prevention and control and promotion of socio-economic recovery and development, building an independent and self-reliant economy coupled with active and proactive integration into the world in a comprehensive, extensive, and effective manner.

As a result, Vietnam was among few countries enjoying high economic growth rate. The country’s GDP last year reached the highest rate in more than a decade. The macro-economy was basically stable; inflation under control; major balances of the economy secured. In addition, main sectors and fields of the economy recovered and made strong progress.

The fields of culture and society also received due attention. Social security was guaranteed. Social policies, particularly those for national contributors, social protection policies, and policies and measures to support businesses, workers and people affected by the COVID-19 pandemic were implemented in a timely manner. The people’s quality of life was constantly improved materially and spiritually, with many criteria achieved impressively on par with those of developed countries. The stable, peaceful environment and friendly people helped attract many investors, tourists, and drive many foreigners to decide to live and work in Vietnam. Many large-scale diplomatic, cultural, sport and entertainment events such as the 31st Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games 31) were held with great success.

In particular, national defense, security and external affairs were enhanced, contributing to firmly protecting national independence and sovereignty; ensuring political security, social order and safety; maintaining an environment of peace, friendship, cooperation and development, multilateralization and diversification of foreign relations; well performing the duty of safeguarding the Fatherland early and from afar in the face of rapid and complicated developments of situation. Those achievements were importantly contributed by the Vietnam People's Army and the People's Public Security Force.

In the international arena, the United Nations and international friends highly appreciated Vietnam for its peacekeeping and security activities; its active contribution made in the Central African Republic and the Republic of South Sudan; its important initiatives on forest protection, natural disaster prevention and control, and climate change response; its transition to renewable energy; and its support for many countries and territories worldwide. All of these attainments have been affirming the role, prestige, “position" and "power" of Vietnam in the international arena.

With the above-mentioned accomplishments, we are proud to recall the verse in Nguyen Dinh Thi’s "Country" poem that "My forehead is shining with the thinking of a new world / My heart is full of the light of dawn."

Reporter: What are the main causes for these achievements, Mr. Party General Secretary?

Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong: They come from the solidarity of the entire Party, people and military, the proactive engagement of the whole political system under the leadership of the Party, the consensus of the whole nation and the support of international friends.

The solidarity and consensus are shown in the fact that when the Central Party Committee promulgates a policy or a solution, all involved show unanimity, join hands with the highest spirit and responsibility. Of course, those policies must be close to reality, true to the aspirations and the legitimate interests of the nation; effectively serve the cause of national construction and development; and at the same time thoroughly and radically solve issues arising in social life and in the renewal cause. All those who go against the policy and interests of the people are eliminated by the strict discipline of the Party, the laws of the State and the supervision and criticism of the people.

Regarding the causes, the first and decisive one for all victories is to maintain and strengthen the Party's leadership over the revolutionary cause and the whole society. In order to affirm the historical mission, we constantly focus on building and rectifying the Party and political system to be truly healthy, strong, meeting the requirements and tasks of practical revolutionary leadership in the new situation. We realize this important task with high political determination, inheritance through the Party congresses of different tenures, especially in the last three terms. It is also the realization of President Ho Chi Minh’s saying that “our party is great because it leads the whole country, and it is close to the heart of each compatriot."

Moreover, we not only build the Party but also focus on building a compact, effective and efficient political system from the central to the grassroots levels. We build the Party and political system strong in politics, ideology and organization, and really healthy and strong in morality and contingent of personnel. The fact that the 12th National Party Congress added the "building the Party in morality" to the content of Party building, and the 13th National Party Congress added the "building the Party in personnel" demonstrated the inheritance and development with firm, scientific steps in accordance with the development law of the Party and the movement of revolutionary practice. That is why we have the right to affirm that the achievements of renewal and development of the country are the results of the sound and ingenious leadership of our Party!

Reporter: Could you please share more specifically about how we create unity in the Party and consensus in society?

Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong: It is easy to see that recently, the Party Central Committee held conferences to introduce the Party's resolutions nationwide in both direct and online forms, connecting thousands of locations throughout the country. At those conferences, the audiences were central and grassroots-level cadres and instructors were leaders of the Party, State, National Assembly and Government. Important issues and new points that needed attention were introduced first, creating common awareness in the entire Party and the political system. This was an important premise for the next steps and for realization. Thanks to that, the Party's resolutions soon came to life in a substantive and effective way.

Party General Secretary, Secretary of the Central Military Commission Nguyen Phu Trong and delegates to the 10th Military Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union Congress for the 2022-2027 term

Thanks to the good education, understanding and creation of a high consensus, the policy "zero tolerance" to "enemy from inside" over the past time has been reflected in not only the Party, State, the Central Steering Committee’s resolute and persevering leadership and direction on corruption fight and prevention of negative phenomena, but also the synchronous and rhythmic participation, the higher level in revolutionary cause of the Party Committees, the heads, the steering committees at provincial level on prevention against corruption and negative phenomena and especially the confident participation with resolute and strong attitude of the masses. That is why the situation “the higher levels are eager but the lower are indifferent” has gradually been reduced; there are no forbidden areas, no exceptions, non pauses, aiming to higher goals in the direction of prevention and control from early stage and afar to avoid it from developing.

I think that once we unite, have firm beliefs, and soon unify in will and actions, it is inevitable that all revolutionary duties will be completed victoriously.

Reporter: In order to promote the achievements, which key tasks should we focus on in 2023 and the following years, Mr. Party General Secretary?

Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong: We are proud that we firmly went through a year full of difficulties and challenges; optimistic when the renewal cause has reaped many important achievements. The country still has a lot of potential and room for development if we are not subjective, self-satisfied and keep going.

Welcoming the new spring, we remember Uncle Ho's teaching that the whole year’s plans are made in spring. That's true. When spring comes, the sky is mild, the land is nice, and people are happy. Therefore, right from the beginning of spring, if everything is done well, the whole year will develop well and achieve good results.

The immediate important task of the entire Party and each level of party committees, party cells, agencies, units and localities is to continue promoting information dissemination, education and organization of revolutionary and patriotic emulation movements involving the pubic so that the entire political system, the whole people and the whole military can actively surmount difficulties and seize opportunities to lead the country to develop. It is necessary to proactively and clearly define the road-map, steps, and solutions to successfully implement the tasks and goals of socio-economic development in 2023 in particular and in the whole term as stipulated in the Resolution of the 13th National Party Congress.

An important landmark is that the Party Central Committee highly agreed to promulgate and effectively implement the National Master Plan for the 2021-2030 period with a vision to 2050. This is a very important political task that holds strategic, fundamental and long-term significance, but it is also a very broad, new, difficult, sensitive and unprecedented issue. Therefore, on the basis of strictly embracing the Politburo’s resolution on the leadership over socio-economic development of the regions implemented in 2022, the whole Party, whole political system, whole people, and whole military need to promote enthusiasm and wisdom, and promptly give comments to supplement and complete the Master Plan. Each region and locality needs to attach importance to research and specifically identify the roles, positions, advantages, potentials, difficulties and challenges; clearly see the results, achievements, limitations, existing weaknesses and causes, and lessons to take appropriate, right and successful steps.

To this end, each person, each sector, and each locality must strive to fulfill their duties, so that the new year will surely be a year of great success as President Ho Chi Minh  said. Each cadre and party member must have high resolve and right method in embracing and actualizing the Party’s guideline and policies. Each collective and individual should constantly strive, wholeheartedly and creatively work and devote themselves to the common interest while promoting the spirit of great national unity, overcoming challenges, seizing opportunities to bring the country into a new stage of development.

Together with the entire Party and people, the Military Party Organization should continue to strive for more achievements, build an exemplary party organization in Party building and rectification. The military should continue to affirm its position and role as the core force in the fight against corruption, negative phenomena, natural disasters, and diseases. Defense agencies and military units should continue to actively and creatively adjust personnel organization, speed up the progress and quality of military building, and prioritize building some modernized forces and basically build an elite, streamlined, strong military by 2025, creating a strong premise for the building of a revolutionary, standardized, elite, and modernized military by 2030 to deserve to be the key force in firmly safeguarding the Fatherland.

On the occasion of the lunar New Year, on behalf of the leaders of the Party and State, I would like to send best wishes and a happy New Year to every Vietnamese family at home and our compatriots abroad and international friends. I also wish a happy New Year to all officers and soldiers of the heroic Vietnam People's Army, revolutionary troops of a military with the history of more than 78 years of construction, combat, and development, a revolutionary military that is invincible and wholeheartedly serves the Fatherland, and the people.

In the new year, the entire Party, people and military should strive to implement President Ho Chi Minh's teachings which reads, “The future of the Vietnamese nation is as bright as the spring sun. Rejoicing at the spring sun's beauty, we will fight for a brighter future of Vietnam, for the future of democracy, for world peace and for socialism. We are winners at present and in the future."

Reporter: Thank you very much, Mr. Party General Secretary!

By Nguyen Tan Tuan

Translated by Mai Huong