At the same time, the country’s top leader shared the view of the Party’s leadership to promote internal power and multiply the national traditional strength so that the Party is capable of leading the Vietnamese people to develop a more prosperous and powerful country of Vietnam.

Reporter: Your Excellency the Secretary General and State President, 2018 witnessed the efforts of the whole Party, people and army advancing on the path chosen by the Party, Uncle Ho and the entire people. Could you elaborate on the remarkable achievements that the country obtained last year?

Party Secretary and State President: It can be said that 2018 was a year full of hardships and challenges, but the Vietnamese people have surmounted all, making great achievements in many fields, particularly in national construction and development cooperation. These achievements have made up a strong, firm and dynamic Vietnam after 3 years implementing the Resolution of the 12th Party Congress. In economic terms, the 2018 GDP grew 7, 08%, the highest in 11 years. Another big success achieved in 2018 is in Party building. The Party was successful in strengthening its organization by dismissing degraded cadres and members, which was strongly advocated by the people.

Recalling the time when the whole Party started the implementation of the 12th Party Central Committee’s Resolution 4, 7 years ago (on January 16, 2012), quite a few cadres, Party members and people had doubts about the feasibility and practicality of this important resolution. After the whole Party conducted self-criticism and criticism drives at all levels, some still wondered: Where was a “not small” part of degenerate cadres that the Resolution 4 mentioned?

However, the seemingly-tough question has been clearly answered by facts. Since the 12th National Party Congress (January 2016), more than 60 cadres under the management of the Party Central Committee, including five member of the Party Central Committee, have been disciplined for their wrongdoings. Particularly, one member of the Politburo was excluded from the Party membership and sentenced to 30 years in prison. A number of high-ranking officials, including the retired ones and general-rank officers of the armed forces, were penalized while thousands of Party members, State workers and contractors at all levels were punished for their mistakes at work.

In particular, in 2018, the whole political system from the Central level to local united and actively engaged in the struggle against negative phenomena and corruption in a resolute manner, which was strongly advocated by the people. The very great achievements in the struggle against corruption and Party building and reorganization have contributed positively to restoring and strengthening people's confidence in the Party, creating an important premise for the country to develop at a pace higher than many previous terms. These achievements have also improved the position of the country and the prestige of the Party in the international arena and at the same time they also demonstrated the fact that the Vietnamese people have always kept in mind and effectively implemented President Ho Chi Minh's teachings in the Testament half a century ago.

Party General Secretary, State President Nguyen Phu Trong

Reporter: Could you, please, elaborate on the results that we have achieved in Party building work and Party reorganization following Uncle Ho’s Testament?

Party Secretary and State President: 50 springs have passed since our beloved Uncle Ho departed this life. His demise has left an infinite grief to the whole Party, the whole people and international friends, but He managed to pass on us a great cause, an invaluable spiritual asset, including the precious historical Testament. Valuable lessons in this Testament drawn from his revolutionary career full of practical activities have been passed down to our times, our revolutionary cause, our generation and all following generations. Time passes by but whenever we read or recall contents of the Testament, we once again realize the eternal value of his teachings before he passed away. The immortal will contains his aspirations, as well as precious instructions and reminders for the entire Party and the entire people.

The first issue in Uncle Ho’s Testament is about Party building. It reads, “Comrades from the Party central Committee to Party cells should conserve unity and consensus in the Party like preserving the pupil of the eye,” “We should keep our Party clean and worthy of the leader and also the loyal slave of the people.”

Over the past years, particularly the past year, our Party has continued to well perform a number of contents of his Testament. The Party has preserved internal unity and high consensus, and overcome all difficulties and challenges. Thanks to the resolve to build an “absolutely clean Party,” our Party has taken drastic approaches, uncompromisingly struggled against the “internal enemy,” and created a widespread movement and new momentum for the fight against wastefulness, bureaucracy, corruption and other negative phenomena. With its solid unity, the Party Central Committee, the whole political system and all Party members have led the country to reach and surpass many socio-economic objectives while firmly maintaining political security, public order and safety as well as national unity and territorial integrity.      

Thanks to the solid internal solidarity within the Party, the Party Central Committee, National Assembly and Government have issued sound guidelines and policies leading the revolutionary cause to great victories in the new circumstance. This has also contributed positively to making our Party increasingly strong and clean. On the other hand, a strong and clean Party and strong political system result in more solid solidarity, and help us unite in overcoming any difficulty and hardship.   

Reporter: In the current national position and people’s trust, what should we do to promote internal unity within the Party and build on a strong party?

Party General Secretary and State President: First of all, I would like to extend my sentiment, confidence and profound gratitude to the people. President ho Chi Minh reaffirmed: “There is nothing more valuable than the people on earth. There is nothing as powerful as the united force of the people.” Last year, the country attained very valuable achievements in various fields, which served as an important basis for a sustainable development of the revolutionary cause. All of the achievements originated from the power of the unity of the Vietnamese people under the leadership of the Party. Regarding the building and reorganization of the Party, thanks to the “ear and eye” of the people and great support of the people, our Party achieved initial positive results in the process of self-cleaning, self-purifying its apparatus. It was because millions of Vietnamese people had devoted their heart and soul to the Party and joined the Party’s effort to build a strong and solid party so that the Party can successfully fulfill its mission of completing the Vietnamese revolutionary cause and wining the final victory.

On the occasion of the New Year, I hope each of us can comprehensively perceive the position and importance of unity, which includes unity among ethnic groups, unity among localities, unity among social classes as well as unity between the Party and people, and the mass and army of Party members. Each of us should preserve national tradition and culture, and be proud of the Vietnamese origin. Wherever going and whatever doing, Vietnamese people should always be aware of promoting the national unity, contributing to creating more power and resources to build a prosperous and developed Vietnam. Vietnamese people should also heighten their sense of responsibility, their civil duties to join efforts with the Party and political system, make their part to the building of the Party so as to make the Party be a worthier leader of the Vietnamese revolution as well as a loyal slave of the people.    

I extend special sentiment and thanks to the Party members, cadres who have always practiced internal unity, shared with each other hardship and supported each other so as to make progress together, as well as to those who have made no concessions to any obstacles to train, study, work, preserve peaceful life for the people and protect the Fatherland for the sake of prosperity and development of the country. I respect the Party members and cadres who are able to “feel pain,” realize the country’s destiny; distinguish clearly between the good and the bad; recognize and follow quick developments in the reality; strive in life and at work, honor the organization and love the people; and always comprehend people’s aspirations and worries so they would “deal with people’s issues ahead of theirs, enjoy fruits after the mass.” 

I applaud and praise the Party members and cadres who with much energy and bravery have struggled against negative phenomena, resolutely pushing back the dangerous “internal enemy” inside the ranks of our Party. Only those who were full of patriotism and courage could together act strongly, fight resolutely and exclude degraded and degenerate Party members or those unworthy of the title “Party member” and the trust of the people from the ranks of our Party. 

We – Party members and cadres, must maintain our political stance, and join the Party to realize the resolution on building and revamping the Party. Our Party is steadfast in reorganization so as to renew and build itself rather than “decolor” itself or change the nature of a true revolutionary party. This is a long-time, fundamental and crucial mission full of difficulties and complexities. But we have to do it in a restless, persistent and resolute manner as this is the key to success and the final victory of the national revolutionary cause.  

Reporter: On the occasion of the Lunar New Year 2019, what message does the Party General Secretary and State President want to send to all military officers and soldiers?

Party General Secretary and State President: On behalf of the Party, State and the Central Military Commission, I praise military officers and soldiers of all generations for their representative example of how to exercise unity, as well as for their great endeavors to excellently complete their assigned tasks and build a strong military Party organization during the process of building, developing the army and fighting foreign invaders.

Over the past years, as the army has promoted the internal unity, cemented the relationship between the military and people, and contributed to building the great national unity bloc, the comprehensive quality and combat capabilities of the military have continuously been improved.

The Party and State extend complements to all military officers and soldiers, who have constantly kept in mind Uncle Ho’s teachings so they have always promoted unity within the army, treating each other as their own brothers on the basis of comradeship and fellowship, mutually supporting each other in both wartime and peacetime and preserving the oneness of the military.

What is more, as our army comes from the people, it has a close-knit ties with the people and do everything for the sake of the people. In the reality, Uncle Ho’s soldiers take the lead in supporting people. They assist farmers in cultivating, harvesting crops, teach children how to read and write, join people in building new rural areas, mobilize forces for natural disaster relief and rescue missions, and offer gifts to people in need on big national anniversaries and events, including the Lunar New Year. 

On the occasion of the Year of the Pig 2019, I request all military officers and soldiers to constantly maintain the nature of a revolutionary army, be always loyal to the Party, people and the Fatherland, preserve the image of “Uncle Ho’s Soldier,” cement the internal unity, continuously improve knowledge and abilities, and be ready to make sacrifices for the Fatherland and people.

I also extend best wishes to all military officers and soldiers as well as their families. I believe that the Vietnam People’s Army will attain more achievements in the Year of the Pig, contributing significantly to the national construction and defense cause.

Reporter: Thank you very much, the Party General Secretary and State President

Translated by Thu Nguyen