Reporter: Mr. Party General Secretary, there is an opinion that due to the serious impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, this year's lunar New Year will be different from other years’?

Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong: Saying goodbye to 2021, the year of difficulties, new and bigger challenges than forecast, Vietnam in particular, and mankind in general has to experience numerous heavy losses in terms of lives, health and economy caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong

However, with the joint efforts and consensus of the entire Party, people and military, we have step by step overcome difficulties, maintained stability, and developed the country. So, this year, we still celebrate Tet (lunar New Year) but in a more economical manner. We have to spend more resources on taking care of national contributors, families of wounded and fallen soldiers, the poor, and families severely affected by the pandemic.

Therefore, welcoming New Year, we must adapt safely, effectively control the pandemic and successfully realize the socio-economic recovery and development program approved at the newly-concluded extraordinary session of the 15th National Assembly.

On the occasion of the coming lunar New Year, on behalf of the Party and State leaders, I acknowledge the people’s courage, overcoming difficulties, joint efforts, consensus, promotion of the great unity power and joining hands with the entire Party and political system to gradually push back the COVID-19 pandemic and to stand steadfast to the glorious revolutionary path chosen by the Party, Uncle Ho and people.

I would like to thank each Vietnamese, and send my best wishes for a happy, peaceful, and prosperous new year to every Vietnamese family throughout the country, our expatriates, and international friends.

Also on this occasion, I cordially send New Year greetings to all officers and soldiers of the Vietnam People's Army - the revolutionary troops of a military with more than 77 years of construction, combat, and development - a revolutionary military which always wholeheartedly serves the Fatherland and the people.

Reporter: The year of 2021 has passed. Though we faced many difficulties and challenges, our Party and nation  still achieved certain achievements. Can you elaborate more on that Mr. Party General Secretary.

Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong: It is fair to say that in 2021, despite numerous difficulties and challenges, we still obtained remarkable achievements in many aspects and areas of social life.

Although the economy developed unfavorably, the macro-economy was still basically stable; major balances of the economy continued to be secured and improved; state budget-financial discipline was strengthened. The investment and business environment, the potential, scale and competitiveness of the economy continued to be maintained in the new condition.

In 2021, remarkable changes were also recorded in consolidating and fostering the foundation of social morality and national culture to deserve to light up the nation’s way, and in the fields of social welfare, health, education and training, science and technology, environmental protection, adaptation to climate change, cultural development, and Vietnamese people-building. Notable, we gained many important achievements in implementing defense and security affairs, safeguarding the Fatherland from afar in the face of the rapid and complicated developments of the situation.

The most obvious landmark was the Party building and rectification received due attention and was carried out comprehensively, synchronously and effectively in terms of politics, ideology, morality, organization, and personnel. Many complicated issues raised and implemented in previous years with low efficiency saw positive changes last year, winning high recognition, agreement, and support of the people with high sense of responsibility.

Under the leadership of the Party, officials and party members heightened sense of responsibility of "self-examination and self-correction", pro-actively fought against corruption and negative phenomena, drove back degradation, signs of “self-evolution”, and “self-transformation”. This contributed to building healthier party cells and contingent of party members, who deserve to be the leaders and faithful servants of the people. Right in the difficult circumstances, many officials and party members set exemplary examples, raised revolutionary morality, made devotion and dedication to and were willing to sacrifice for the common goal. Their examples and dedication received great admiration from the people.

As a result, our people have more confidence in the Party, State, chains-of-command who put the interests of the nation, lives and health of the people at first and foremost, made proposals to restore people’s heath and gather people’s hearts and minds, and engaged in the COVID-19 fight. We have realized more fully the superiority and good nature of our regime, our Party and people.

Facing challenges, and difficulties, people stayed more united. Amid the COVID-19, they raised responsibilities, contributed to the top political task of “fighting the pandemic is like fighting an enemy,” boosted production, made contributions to national socio-economic development, maintenance of political security and social order and safety, and strengthening of renewal process.

Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong attends a ceremony to celebrate the 70th founding anniversary of Central Military Hospital 108 (April 1, 1951-2021)

In the very difficult times amid complicated developments of the COVID-9 pandemic, no one was left behind, as clearly expressed in our tradition of “loving people is like loving yourself,” “the good leaves take care of the torn ones, the less torn take care of the more torn ones.” A nation which always know how to bring into play the power of the great unity will surely win every battle and claim every victory!

The outcomes achieved have been crystallized from our tradition, culture and thousand years of building and defending the country; the result of our Party's wise leadership during the past 92 years, just as poet To Huu wrote in “The song of Spring 1961" that "The Party gives us a rich heart/ Straight back to walk, head up to fly."

Reporter: This year marks a turning point after more than 35 years of implementing national renewal. So far, which obvious landmarks have we achieved, Mr. Party General Secretary?

Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong: Our country has achieved comprehensive results in all aspects of life. The 13th National Party Congress assessed that “looking back 35 years of implementing the renewal process, our country has never had the fortune, potential, position, and international prestige before.”

The reason for saying that is that before carrying out the renewal process, our country had faced many difficulties and challenges in all socio-economic aspects. However, after more than 35 years of implementing the renewal process, the country’s economy has not only stood firm but also developed rapidly and sustainably; economic potential and synergy have been enhanced; the prestige and international position of the country and the Communist Party of Vietnam have significantly improved.

We have accumulated a large amount of material facilities and invested a great deal of resources in building the infrastructure, the superstructure of socialism, creating a solid foundation for the whole country to stand firm on, be confident, and strive to realize the goals set out in the Resolution of the 13th National Party Congress.

Over the past years, under the leadership of the Party and with the all-out efforts of the entire people, and the engagement of the whole political system, the socio-political stability has been maintained, national defense and security have been strengthened, social order and safety have been guaranteed, foreign relations have continued to be deepened and expanded; a peaceful environment for national construction and development has been upheld.

So far, Vietnam has become a rendezvous for peace, secured a high position, and stayed ready to be a friend and reliable partner of all countries. Vietnam used to be a country under embargoes from the outside and experiencing the socio-economic crisis inside. However, after more than 35 years of implementing the renewal process, Vietnam has diplomatic relationships with 189 countries, including 17 strategic and 13 comprehensive partner countries. The country has economic relations with more than 230 economies, has signed 15 free trade agreements (FTAs), including newly updated ones. These facts demonstrate that Vietnam has promoted intensive and extensive integration, had influences and gained international prestige.

Reporter: In order to bring into play what we have achieved, which major tasks should we focus on this year and the years to come, 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 and optimistic about a number of important achievements gained in the renewal process. The country still has a lot of potentials and room for development provided we don't satisfy and stop.

Entering the new year, the important task of the entire Party and each party committee, organization, agency, unit and locality is to speed up information dissemination and education to make the whole political system, people, and military proactive in overcoming difficulties, safely adapting and effectively controlling COVID-19, developing the country in the new normal state. In particular, it needs to actively define a clear roadmap, steps and solutions to successfully realize the socio-economic development goals for this year in particular and for the entire term set out in the Resolution of the 13th National Party Congress.

To this end, both the political system and the entire society, especially each official and party member must have full awareness, clear thinking, high resolve, and the right method in embracement and implementation. Each collective and individual must constantly exert all-out efforts, work creatively, and make contribution to the common interests. In addition, they have to heighten the spirit of great national unity, surmount challenges, seize opportunities, promoting patriotic emulation movements, creating new momentum for the new stage of national development.

Looking back at the past, the Party building and rectification work has been applauded and highly praised by the public. However, to achieve higher results in the work, it requires each party committee and cell to continue to raise the spirit of responsibility, focus on leadership, frankly point out weaknesses, shortcomings, and draw theoretically and practically-valuable lessons.

Party committees at all levels should regularly pay attention to the personnel work; strictly and effectively implement resolutions, conclusions and regulations on personnel work issued in 2021 by the Party Central Committee, the Politburo and the Secretariat of the Party Central Committee. They should also focus on managing the contingent of officials in a democratic, public and transparent manner, and adopt policies to encourage and protect officials who dare to think, do, and take responsibility for the common good.

It needs to enhance decentralization associated with inspection, supervision and effective control of power in organizational and personnel work. More than ever, each official, party member and the masses need to have a resolute attitude to prevent, purify, and strictly handle those who are opportunistic, degraded, and show signs of "self-evolution", "self-transformation" internally to clean up the organizational apparatus of the Party, the State and the political system.

Together with the entire Party and people, the Military Party Organization should strive to achieve more results in Party building and rectification. The military should continue to clearly affirm its position as the core force in the fight against corruption, negative phenomena, natural disasters and diseases.

Military agencies and units should proactively and creatively adjust force organization, speed up the process and improve the quality of military building with priority given to building several modernized military forces; by 2025, basically build an elite, compact and strong military, laying a firm foundation to build a revolutionary, standardized, elite and modernized Vietnam People’s Army by 2030; and accomplish the Fatherland construction and protection tasks in the new situation.

On the occasion of the founding anniversary of glorious Communist Party of Vietnam (February 3), and the new year, on behalf of the Central Military Commission and Ministry of National Defense, I wish all officers and soldiers in the whole military health, happiness, and outstanding fulfillment of all duties assigned by the Party, State, and people.

New year, new victories!

Reporter: Thank you, Mr. Party General Secretary.

Translated by Mai Huong