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Wednesday, 17 May 2017 15:45
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Eighty-seven years of the Vietnamese Communist Party’s historical landmarks

(LLCT) - At the 30th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV), President Ho Chi Minh affirmed that the 30 years of the Party’s establishment and operation had gone down into history as “golden pages”. By spring 2017, the Party was in its 87th year of leading the revolution to achieve great victories and firmly guiding Vietnam toward socialism. 

Evaluating the CPV’s 87 years must be based on the truth. Understanding truth is a process and requires repetition, full disclosure, and clear and accurate information. Some people with unclear hearts and hostile thoughts try to distort or mispresent the historic truth. They oppose the socialism chosen by the Party and try to deviate the country from socialist ideas.

1. The Party came to the political arena representing the interests of the people and the entire nation

Some doubt the legitimacy of the Party’s establishment, claiming that the Party was not vital to the development of Vietnam’s political, economic, and cultural society in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Some others even say that the birth of the CPV is the result of exogenous factors, the external influence of Marxism - Leninism, rather than because of intrinsic necessity and the unity of communist organizations in Vietnam. Dissenters argued that there was pressure from Communist International through Nguyen Ai Quoc, and that he used his own prestige to create the Party.

Those above opinions are wrong. In fact, since the French Colony set up the double political regime (colonialism - feudalism) in Vietnam, Vietnamese society has been slowly dividing, however a common demand (or “common denominator”) for national liberation has appeared. National liberation movements following feudal and bourgeois ideologies failed because they did not meet Vietnam’s development requirements. Instead, Vietnamese society accepted national liberation movements that followed Marxist - Leninist theory. These ideas were introduced to the country and gradually affirmed. Vietnam’s communist organizations originated from the combination of Marxist - Leninist theory with patriotic movements. In late 1929 and early 1930, as a member of Communist International, Nguyen Ai Quoc directed the revolutionary movements in Asia, summoning the conference to unify communist organizations and found the CPV. Thus, the birth of the CPV aligned with the law of development of Vietnamese society. It was essential and met the nation’s developmental demand after numerous trials. It was the historic context of the nation that chose this goal and path of development. There was no imposition. The birth of the CPV - along with the proper first Political Platform - laid the foundation for the Party’s traditions of solidarity, wisdom and discipline.

2. The Party has led the Vietnamese people to struggle and establish a new political system, making the people masters of the nation

French colonialists invaded Indochina, establishing an Indochina Federation under the French Colony and expanding France’s boundaries overseas. The name “Vietnam” disappeared in the world’s political map, and the Vietnamese people were turned into slaves. For 15 years (1930 - 1945), the Party led the people in a fight for national liberation. Following the triumph of the 1945 August Revolution, Vietnam won national independence. They broke from their 80-year colonial shackles to support the Allies against racism, overthrew feudalism, and set up the Democratic Republic of Vietnam - the first people’s democratic state in Southeast Asia. This victory established the CPV as the ruling Party in power, a power that was neither natural nor self-claimed. The August Revolution was bloodless and only lasted one week, however, it was a result of 15 years of arduous struggle, imprisonment, and bloodshed during period. The patriots and communists made numerous sacrifices between 1930 and 1945. The August Revolution victory was not a fluke or a coup. The Party deserved its leadership role and its role as a representative of the people, leading them forward into a new political regime. The intention of this new regime was to meet the goals set in the Party’s Political Platform. These goals applied to the development of the nation and the aspirations of the people. Thanks to this victory, the Vietnamese people were released from slavery and became the masters of their country. The Party’s responsibility, political mettle, ability, and intellect fulfilled the task assigned by the people, to open a new era of independence, freedom, and socialism.

3. The Party led the cause of national defense to victory

Vietnam is a friendly, humanitarian, and peace-loving country, however it has been invaded numerous times by strong foreign invaders. The trees want silence but the wind does not stop. Even though they had already gained independence, the Vietnamese people were forced to take up arms to protect the Fatherland and safeguard the Revolution’s results. They fought two resistance wars, first against French colonialists and American imperialists, and then against invaders at the Southwest and Northern borders.

According to some opinions, the two resistance wars against the French and American invaders were not necessary. Some believe that the wars were too expensive, caused too much bloodshed, and that Vietnam should have simply “accepted” the occupation of world powers like other countries did, as they would still be granted eventual independence. This is such an illusion! The Party is entrusted with responsibility by the people leading their people to defend national independence and freedom. They strove for true peace instead of false peace or peace gained from begging and bending at the knee before foreign forces. We would have not fought against those forces if they had not invaded Vietnam. During the national liberation war, the Party followed the righteousness of the Creator when defending the nation’s sacred rights: Independence, sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity.

The Party encouraged Vietnamese people to oppose old and new forms of colonialism, fighting for justice, equality, and progress all over the world.

4. The Party initiated and led the country’s renewal cause

Thirty years of the country’s comprehensive renovation accounts for nearly a third of the 87-year path the Party has taken toward the construction and leadership of the Vietnamese Revolution. It must be affirmed that Vietnam’s renewal cause originates from the people’s own initiative and aspirations. The Party’s practical research studied grassroot experiences to determine guidelines for the comprehensive renovation of the country. This was initiated at the 6th National Party Congress in December 1986. The country’s cause for renewal was the urgent demand during the country’s development process. The Party and Vietnamese people were truly the initiators of this great cause. In his “Testament”, Ho Chi Minh wrote that this was a “huge fight” against old and damaged things to create fresh new things. During renovation the Party continued to affirm these fundamental issues of the national development:

- National renovation toward socialism: This required persistence and the creative application of Marxism - Leninism, Ho Chi Minh Thought in Vietnam’s specific conditions and determined Marxism - Leninism and Ho Chi Minh Thought to be the ideological foundation and compass for actions. As such, Vietnam encompassed a rejection of political pluralism and multi-party opposition; opening, multilateralising and diversifying international relations; being proactive and positive in international integration; ensuring national security and defending independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity for the sustainable development of the country and the advancement of the whole world.

- Renovation represents all people, and the people continue to assign the Party to lead this cause.

- The Party continues to be the leading factor determining the success of renovation. Proper Party leadership is a prerequisite for the revolution cause. The Party must self-renovate and self-reconstruct in order to enhance its leadership capacity and combativeness. It must continually strive to deserve its dual role as leader and loyal servant of their people.

- Continue to build, consolidate and develop the solidarity bloc of the entire nation, combining national and international strength to motivate the country toward the goal of prosperous people and a strong, democratic, equitable and civilized country.

- Gradually establish a platform for national construction during the transitional period to socialism.

5. The birth of the Party closely connects to the career of Ho Chi Minh

Since 1930, the birth and development of the Party and nation have marked Ho Chi Minh’s great contributions. He is a “Great national hero”(1); “a Prominent personage” as affirmed by UNESCO; a “National liberation hero and Great Man of Culture”(2); and he has been “Uncle Ho” to generations of Vietnamese people since 1941, when he returned to the country.

Despite the fact that hostile forces resort to all means to distort and defame President Ho Chi Minh, his thought, morality and lifestyle continue to shine. Ho Chi Minh is the crystallization of the wisdom, spirit, and genius organization of Vietnam’s revolutionary cause, leading the country to develop in the right direction and leading the Vietnamese people in one vector constructing and safeguarding the Fatherland. Ho Chi Minh is a bright symbol of the truth, goodness, beauty, freedom, and independence. He brought honour to his country and to the movements concerning communism, workers, national liberation, and the struggle for social progress. Ho Chi Minh is a precious spiritual element of the Party and the nation. Even now his life encourages them to keep advancing forward. His thought applies wherever there is a struggle against oppression and injustice, and also wherever there is progressive development. The Party and the Vietnamese nation are proud of Ho Chi Minh. Distorting, defaming and blackening the life, career, cause, ideology, morality, or lifestyle of Ho Chi Minh are counter-cultural actions that need condemning.

Throughout their 87 years, the Party has faced limitations along with its achievements, including dogma, leftism, and subjectivity during land reform and during socio-economic, and cultural renovation and construction. The limits also lie within the Party construction itself. The Party clearly recognizes these limitations and manages to overcome them by following Ho Chi Minh’s spirit and thought. A party that hides its weaknesses is a spoiled one, but a party that admits its weaknesses, determines its origins, and seriously fixes these weaknesses is a revolutionary, righteous, and solid party.

Some people take advantage of the Party’s limitations to exaggerate, distort, defame, or discredit the Party, or split the Party from the people in an attempt to demolish national unity. The limitations of some cadres and Party members are staining the Party’s reputation. This should be condemned. But these limitations do not change the overall nature of the CPV. The Resolution of the 4th Plenum of the 12th Party Central Committee commits “to enhance the building and rectification of the Party and prevent ideological, ethical and lifestyle degradation, as well as the manifestation of “self-evolution” and “self-transformation” inside the Party”. This shows the Party’s determination to self-construct and self-rectify, because every renovation must originate from the center and the nucleus. In the 87 past years, the Party has had a number of shortcomings and limitations, but has also clearly recognized these shortcomings and limitations in order to fix them as shown in the spirit of the above Resolution.

The CPV’s 87-year history really is a historic statue in gold. This is an undeniable truth. Some may distort the facts or fabricate false stories, however the truth is still the truth. The Party leadership’s limitations cannot overrule their “pure gold” characteristics. Now this gold needs to be refined in fire so that it can become even purer. Doing this requires wisdom and positive actions from each Party member, especially key cadres of the Party and the whole political system.


(1) The Party Central Committee: The Eulogy at the Memorial Service for Ho Chi Minh in 1969 and Political Report at the 4th National Party Congress,1976.


(2) UNESCO: Resolution 18.6 of the General Assembly, 24th session in France in 1987 to commemorate the 100th birth anniversary of Ho Chi Minh.


Prof., Dr. Mach Quang Thang

Institute of Party History,

Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics

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