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Theoretical thinking in the national development vision and orientation in the new period

(PTOJ) - Editorial Board: To realize the Agreement between the Communist Party of Vietnam and the Lao People's Revolutionary Party; the program of cooperation in theoretical research and practical summary between the two parties, on December 16, 2021, the 8th Theoretical Workshop between the Communist Party of Vietnam and the Lao People's Revolutionary Party took place online with the theme “New theoretical and practical issues in the Documents of the 13th National Congress of the Communist Party of Vietnam and the Documents of the 11th National Congress of the Lao People's Revolutionary Party”. Political Theory Journal would like to introduce the speech by Prof., Dr. NGUYEN XUAN THANG, Member of the Politburo, Chairman of the Central Theoretical Council, President of the Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics, Head of the Delegation of the Communist Party of Vietnam at the Workshop.

Prof., Dr. Nguyen Xuan Thang spoke at the Workshop - Source: hcma.vn

The 13th National Congress of the Communist Party of Vietnam is a great success. The Congress represents the unity of will, new thinking and strong determination of the Vietnamese Party and people to build a strong, prosperous and happy country, which by the middle of the twenty-first century, will become a high-income, developed, socialist oriented country.

The Documents of the 13th National Congress are a crystallization of the intellect and creativity of the entire Party and people of Vietnam, demonstrating theoretical and practical thinking with a strategic vision for the development of the country. The system of documents presents many new and outstanding points in all aspects: from the organization and preparation of draft documents to the approach to document development, the identification of the congress’s theme, summary of learned lessons, establishment of guiding viewpoints, forecast of domestic and international context, determination of goals, orientations, key tasks and strategic breakthroughs for national development.

Adhering to the principle of inheritance and development and a systematic approach, the Documents evaluate the 5-year results of implementing the Resolution of the 12th Party Congress in association with summarizing 35 years of implementing doi moi (renewal) and 30 years of implementing the Platform for National Construction in the Transitional Period to Socialism (1991), 10 years of implementation of this Platform (supplemented and developed in 2011) and 10 years of implementation of the Socio-Economic Development Strategy in the period 2011-2020. It affirms: the achievements obtained in the 12th National Congress are the result of the continuous and persistent efforts over many preceding congresses of the Party and people of Vietnam which contribute to the great achievements of historical significance of the Vietnamese revolution over the past 35 years of doi moi (renewal)(1). Vietnam has never had such stature, potential, position and prestige in the international arena as it does today(2).

Through vivid practical summaries, the Documents draw five great lessons which can also be considered as five fundamental theoretical issues of the Vietnamese revolution in the renewal period. These are: i) to comprehensively, synchronously and regularly implement the Party building and rectification work, improving the Party’s leadership, ruling and fighting capacity; ii) to thoroughly grasp, strictly implement the concept of “people is the root”, the people are the subject and center of the cause of renovation, national construction and development and national defense; iii) to have high political determination, to make great efforts, to take vigorous, creative and positive actions, appropriate steps in leading, directing, operating and organizing the implementation of policies and guidelines; iv) to prioritize the synchronous building of institutions for rapid and sustainable development; v) to actively research, grasp and forecast the situation correctly, not to be passive.

Determining the orientations, goals and tasks for the period 2021-2025 in association with goals and strategic orientations to 2030, with a vision to 2045, the documents of the 13th Congress show a roadmap for national development in the short term, medium and long term, with the inheritance and creative development for each and every milestones. Among them include the 50th anniversary of the liberation of the South and national reunification, the centenary of the Party, and the centenary of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (the present-day Socialist Republic of Vietnam). The Resolution of the 13th National Congress affirms that the Party’s renewal policy is correct and creative; Vietnam’s path to socialism is in line with the country’s reality and development trends of the times. The Resolution also arouses the aspiration to develop a prosperous country, a powerful nation and set a goal to strive for - by the middle of the century, Vietnam will become a high-income, developed, socialist-oriented country. That is Vietnam’s vision and aspiration which reflects the mettle, intelligence, creativity, will and determination of the Vietnamese people, and done by the Vietnamese people themselves; it well demonstrates deep theoretical thinking, strong inspiration, arouses patriotism, self-reliance, and the strength of national unity so that Vietnam can establish a new development miracle and move forward together, to be on a par with the great powers of the five continents.

In order to realize this vision and aspiration, for the first time, the Documents of the 13th Congress set forth a guiding viewpoint on the principle issues of comprehensive and synchronous promotion of the renovation work; on the overall strategy for rapid and sustainable development of the country; on development motivation and resources; and on the determining factors to the success of the cause of building and defending the socialist Vietnamese Fatherland.

Building socialism is the great creative cause of the Party and people of Vietnam. In the article Some theoretical and practical issues about socialism and the path to socialism in Vietnam, General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong emphasized that if socialism is to be built in Vietnam, it is essential to be steadfast and firm in the theoretical foundation of Marxism - Leninism and Ho Chi Minh Thought. This is an important principle from which no one is allowed to be wavered or fluctuated. As a theory of development, the theory of Marxism - Leninism clearly shows that the way to socialism is both universal and peculiar; countries will advance to socialism not in the same way, and along that road, specific characteristics of each country as well as the international situation must be taken into account; new perceptions in approaches, action modes and concrete steps to successfully build socialism must be continuously supplemented and developed.

Over the past 35 years, the national renewal has really been a creative product of the Communist Party of Vietnam, of the Vietnamese people in general, and of great significance on the path to building socialism in Vietnam, which is implemented by the Vietnamese people. From the reality of the national renewal and the implementation of the Platform for national construction in the transitional period to socialism, the documents of the 13th National Congress affirm that the Communist Party of Vietnam has gradually completed and realized the theory of Vietnam’s renewal. This is the creative application, supplementation and development of Marxism - Leninism and Ho Chi Minh Thought in the specific conditions of Vietnam in the new era; it is also the theoretical creation of socialism and the path to socialism in Vietnam, in accordance with the objective laws, derived from the country’s reality and trends of the times, on the basis of summarizing the successes and failures of the socialism models in the world, selectively inheriting the quintessence, cultural values and developmental achievements of mankind.

The theory of renewal guidelines shows the vision and goal of developing a socialist Vietnam of “prosperous people, strong country, democratic, equitable and civilized society”; 5 lessons learned, 5 guiding viewpoints and 10 major relationships reflecting the dialectical laws of the Vietnamese revolution are summarized in the Political Report submitted to the 13th National Congress, which is of guiding significance for Vietnam in the construction and completion of three pillars of the Vietnam’s socialism model, namely a socialist-oriented market economy; socialist law-ruled state; socialist democracy; this cause is led by the ruling Communist Party of Vietnam. By thoroughly grasping the Documents of the 13th National Congress and the profound writings of General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong currently, we have become better aware of the significance and importance of the renewal policy in the theoretical system of socialism and the path to socialism in Vietnam, in order to continue to research, propose, supplement and develop the ideological and theoretical foundation of the Communist Party of Vietnam in the new period.

The Documents of the 13th National Congress affirm the consistent, prominent and obvious ideal: the correct leadership of the Party is the determining factor to all victories of the Vietnamese revolution; the people are the center and the subject of the cause of renewal, national construction, development, and national defense.

Continuing the “key task” to promote the building and rectification of the Party and political system in a clean, strong and comprehensive manner, deeply grasping the lesson “the people is the root”, truly trusting, respecting and developing the Party to promote the people’s right to mastery, the Documents of the 13th Congress particularly emphasize the new requirement for tightening the close relationship between the Party and the people, relying on the people to build the Party.

Deeply imbued with the teachings of President Ho Chi Minh: “There is nothing in the sky as precious as the people. There is nothing stronger in the world than the people’s united force”(3), the Communist Party of Vietnam realizes that, if it does not rely on the people, and link closely and firmly with the people, the Party will lose its ruling power, the source of strength and be unable to fulfill the goals and ideals of the country. The Party has no other interests than those of the people and the nation. The Documents of the 13th Congress clearly state the requirements of taking the satisfaction and trust of the people as an important criterion to evaluate the quality of the organizational apparatus, officials and party members; persistently implementing the motto “People know, people discuss, people do, people supervise, people monitor, people benefit”. People’s trust is a measure of the Party’s strength. The further we go on the renewal path, the Party will face more complex problems and difficulties, the more the Party needs to attach importance to and encourage the practical creativity of the masses. From rich experience of the people, the Party should summarize, improve the theory and promulgate appropriate policies relevant to the new reality. The Resolution of the 13th National Congress shows the profound meaning and importance of the unity of “the Party’s will and the people’s heart” as well as the responsibility to build a clean, strong, competent Party, on par with its assigned tasks, to complete the outstanding mission of leading the cause of national construction, development and defense of the socialist Vietnam Fatherland.

With 12 strategic orientations, 6 key tasks and 3 breakthroughs, the Documents of the 13th Congress not only comprehensively cover but also highlight very important and breakthrough contents on the development issues of the country in a new stage.

Firstly, the Documents emphasize: to renew thinking continuously and vigorously, to build and complete synchronously the institutions for sustainable development in terms of economy, politics, culture, society and environment(4). It can be seen that, when previous congresses only focused on perfecting economic institutions, the setting of orientations, the building and completing synchronously the institutions for sustainable development is a prominent new point of the Documents of the 13th Congress. The key task of the next 5 years is to build and complete synchronously a development institution suitable for a fully integrated, modern, and market economy(5). The breakthrough stage is to complete synchronously the development institution, first of all the institution for the development of a socialist-oriented market economy; priority is given to complete synchronously and qualitatively the legal system, mechanisms and policies, focusing on two important contents: First, removing bottlenecks, creating conditions for effective mobilization and allocation of resources for development, especially land, financial and human resources. Second, creating breakthroughs in development, facilitating a favorable, wholesome and fair investment and business environment for all social actors and all economic sectors, and promoting innovation.

Secondly, regarding socio-economic development, the Documents of the 13th Congress well cherish the spirit of innovation and creativity, the adaptation to the rapid changes of reality and the new development requirements of the country. The Documents also set out development orientations and tasks, namely: to continue to transform the growth model, to restructure the economy, to accelerate industrialization and to modernize on the basis of science and technology, especially the achievements of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and innovation; to accelerate national digital transformation, to develop digital economy, digital society, digital government; to promote innovative start-ups; and to effectively participate in the global production network and value chain. The Documents pay special attention to the requirements of sustainable development, to proactively and effectively adapt to climate change; to strictly manage and effectively use natural resources, especially land, water and minerals; to build a green circular economy, to develop ecological agriculture in association with building modern rural areas and civilized farmers; to build a modern infrastructure which is synchronous in both society and economy; to develop well-rounded people, ensuring social security, human security, taking care of health, safety and a good living environment for the people, constantly improving the quality of life and the happiness index of the people; to promote Vietnamese cultural values and strength so that culture truly becomes a spiritual foundation, endogenous strength, driving force for national development and national defense. These issues of decisive significance for national development in the coming years include both new guidelines and existing ones with different implementation strategies.

Thirdly, in terms of building the Party and political system, the Documents of the 13th National Congress require a harmonious, close and effective combination between Party building and rectification, building and defending the Party; to link the building and rectification of the Party with the building of a clean and strong political system; to constantly improve capacity, to make reforms in the Party’s leadership and ruling methods in new conditions. This dialectical approach is shown consistently and thoroughly in 10 groups of tasks and solutions, fully embodying the policy of the Communist Party of Vietnam on comprehensive Party building in terms of politics, ideology and morality, organization and personnel. At the same time, to continue to renovate and perfect the organizational apparatus of the political system, which is streamlined, effective and efficient, together with consolidating and improving the quality of grassroots Party organizations and party members; to step up decentralization, to strengthen inspection, supervision and strict control of power; to resolutely and persistently fight against bureaucracy, corruption, wastefulness, negativity, “self-evolution”, “self-transformation” along with bringing into play the responsibility of setting example among cadres, party members, especially leaders; to encourage and protect cadres and party members who dare to think, dare to act, dare to take responsibility, dare to innovate and act decisively for the common good; to strengthen the institutionalization, concretization and implementation of the Party’s guidelines and resolutions in parallel with the improvement of the State’s operational capacity and efficiency; to synchronously perfect the legal system, mechanisms and policies in order to strongly promote socialist democracy and the people’s mastery, at the same time, to strengthen the legislation and ensure social discipline.

Fourthly, regarding defense, security and foreign affairs, the Documents of the 13th National Party Congress clearly show the motto of closely combining economic, cultural and social development with consolidating and strengthening national defense and security; to closely link national defense with security and foreign affairs; to promote the pioneering role of foreign affairs; to establish the posture of “people’s hearts and minds” in association with consolidating and strengthening the solid posture of all-people national defense and security. With the policy of building a revolutionary, regular, elite, and gradually modern People’s Army and People’s Public Security, the Documents identify the objective of building a number of modern armed services, branches and forces; by 2025, basically to build a neat, compact and strong army and public security force; to create a solid premise for further development. By 2030, to build a revolutionary, regular, elite and modern People’s Army and People’s Public Security. Sticking to the foreign policy of independence, self-reliance, peace, cooperation and development, diversification and multilateralization, proactive, comprehensive integration, the Documents emphasize the building of a modern and comprehensive diplomacy with the policy of: i) promoting defense and security diplomacy to protect the Fatherland from early and afar; ii) strengthening economic diplomacy for development, placing people and businesses at the center of service, making the most of opportunities from integration processes, especially participating in new-generation free trade agreements; iii) enhancing and improving the effectiveness of cultural diplomacy, making practical contributions to promoting the national image and visibility and reinforcing the national synergy.

The application and implementation of the Resolution of the 13th National Congress requires Party organizations, cadres and party members, especially leaders, managers and heads of the entire political system to raise their awareness of responsibility, initiative, self-discipline, renovating their thinking, promoting the spirit of creativity, avoiding dogma, and stereotypes. It is necessary to develop feasible action plans that stick to reality, especially new and unpredictable developments such as the current Covid-19 pandemic, along with building plans for checking, monitoring, summarizing, drawing lessons, and making timely adjustments at each specific time, for each given task; to overcome weaknesses and delays in the implementation and institutionalization of the Party’s resolutions.



(1), (2), (4), (5) See: CPV: Documents of the 13th National Congress, Vol.I, Truth National Political Publishing House, Hanoi, 2021, p.79, 104, 114, 200.

(3) Ho Chi Minh: Complete Works, Vol. 10, National Political Publishing House, Hanoi, 2011, p.453.


Member of the Politburo,

President of the Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics,

Chairman of the Central Theoretical Council.


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