PANO – Against the backdrop of the recent complex regional and global developments, a number of people at home and overseas have shown their views on national defense and security. Of the views and opinions, many advocate the Party’s and State’s defense and security policy as well as the policy on external relations; a few people, who are really political opportunists under the cover of patriotism, show their opposition.

The opponents are outspoken about their “loyalty to the nation” and criticize the Party’s and State’s policy, saying that Vietnam “is tying itself” when it pursues the policy “No allying with one country to oppose a third country.” They also say that the policy “is not appropriate to the reality” and should therefore be changed. At first glance their suggestions and opinions seem constructive, but in fact they serve the overall scheme of hostile forces, in an attempt to steer Vietnam away from its consistent policy of being independent and self-reliant in the struggle for national sovereignty over seas and islands.

Firmly safeguarding the national maritime sovereignty. Photo:

For the Vietnamese Party, State and entire people, national sovereignty is sacred and inviolable. Therefore, the Party and State have mobilized the entire Party, political system, people and army in support of national sovereignty and territorial integrity over the past years. That is to say, in implementing this core mission, the Party constantly pursues the policy of independence and self-reliance in foreign relations. This also means that Vietnam mainly relies on national power rather than foreign forces to preserve national sovereignty over its seas and islands and maintain its territorial integrity. In fact, the foreign policy has incorporated valuable lessons and experiences learnt from the nation’s 4,000 year history of national construction and defense. The nation’s history shows that, when the nation follows this policy of independence and self-reliance, the national struggle against foreign invaders is successful; on the contrary, when the nation heavily depended on foreign forces and could not mobilize the power of the population, the nation’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity was in danger or the country was even lost.

What is more, the lessons in the national liberation struggles in the 20th century demonstrate the argument. In the resistance war against French colonists, the nation defeated the French on the battlefield but failed to gain true national independence and territorial integrity as the superpowers with their negative plots at the Geneva negotiations controlled the nation, sacrificed its independence and territorial integrity for their national interests. As a result, the nation had to fight for national independence and territorial integrity for 21 more years. Drawing painful lessons from the past war, the Party decided to pursue the policy of independence and self-reliance in foreign relations. Under the leadership of the Party, the nation was determined to decide its destiny in all battles, diplomacy and peace negotiations. On one hand, the Party mobilized all the national strength, while on the other hand, it effectively used up international support and assistance in the war for national independence and territorial integrity. Thanks to the persistent implementation of the policy of independence and self-reliance in foreign relations, the struggle was completely successful. The nation gained complete independence and the country was entirely liberated.

Since the end of the war, Vietnam has been starting its national construction and defense cause and it has still remained consistent with the foreign policy of independence and self-reliance. The achievements in socio-economic development, defense and security over the past years have proved the policy to be correct. Today, Vietnam under the leadership of the Party remains on the same path although it actively expands its relations and cooperation with other countries and international organizations, as well as integrates with the international community. In fact, Vietnam with the foreign policy has still reaped many fruits in external relations, which has contributed much to the national construction and defense cause over the past years. 

Facts from recent wars in Southern Europe, Southern Asia, the Middle East and Northern Africa show that the governments’ lacking in foreign policies of independence and self-reliance have been one of the major causes or the “fuse” of the wars. Particularly, as the governments of Syria and Ukraine have failed to consistently pursue a foreign policy of independence and self-reliance, the national cohesiveness has been broken up, and violence and conflict is spreading over the two countries. These governments have relied too much on foreign countries, hoping that foreign forces would save their nations, national sovereignty and territorial integrity. They have been wrong so far. Leaders of these countries should have understood that foreign countries, especially big powers, always place their national interests as the first and foremost priority. Without any tangible or/and intangible gains, few countries would render support to others.

This is seen as the unspoken principle in foreign relations, which is universally understood. Surprisingly, some still do not comprehend that simple principle. As a result, they keep daydreaming, waiting and hoping for a foreign force to protect their national independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity. They even “advised” that the Vietnamese Government should form an alliance with a super power in order to protect its national independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity from a third country. At first glance, they seem to be patriotic even though their advice is not applicable. But they then continue to argue that, for a military alliance with a big power, Vietnam “should change its policy of human rights and democracy,” “dismiss the Party leadership over the nation and army,” and “give up its revolutionary cause of building socialism.”

It is clear that they have finally shown their true colors. In fact, what they really want is to remove the leading role of the Party in Vietnam, who has led the nation to defeat foreign invaders in past wars, as well as attaining great socio-economic achievements, and achievements in defense and security, during peacetime. Over the past 70 years, the Party has proven to be the single leader and decisive factor in all Vietnamese victories and achievements. Next, their arguments go against the national traditional principle for the foreign policy of independence and self-reliance. Surely, no patriotic Vietnamese with common sense could ever want to hand the national destiny over to a foreign country. In its history, Vietnam has seen at least one case when a king invited a foreign power to the country in an effort to keep domestic security and order, but national sovereignty was then lost and Vietnamese people had to live in misery and deprivation.

In the current protection of national sovereignty and territorial integrity, patriotic Vietnamese people appreciate all support from other nations but are also alert to the attempts of hostile forces to realize their strategy of “peaceful evolution” in Vietnam, leading the country into chaos and disturbance and undermining the national unity, power and defense capacity.

In studies of the Party’s defense policy, all Vietnamese people at home and overseas should understand that the national strength to firmly protect the Fatherland is the combination of all the domestic factors, such as culture, economics, defense, security and diplomacy. In other words, Vietnam consistently relies on its national strength and takes its defense force as the core role in combination with other domestic factors in the protection of national independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity. Nevertheless, Vietnam actively expands its relationship with other nations and appreciates support from other countries for its national construction and defense.

Vietnam is now facing challenges in protecting its sovereignty over national seas and islands. In the struggle, it needs and appreciates international support and support from foreign countries. But that does not mean Vietnam should stop following its foreign policy of independence and self-reliance; on the contrary, it should be consistent with its principles in foreign relations and national defense in order to firmly protect its national independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity while avoiding being pushed into a proxy bloody war. By now, who with common sense could not comprehend the Party’s foreign and defense policy?

Written by Nguyen Van Quang

Translated by Thu Nguyen