People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 21

May 23, 2010

Vietnam Moving Ahead in Socialist Construction


Sitaram Yechury


THE Central Committee of the Communist Party of Vietnam organised a six-day visit to the country in both Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh city, coinciding with my participation in the international conference on Ho Chi Minh's Legacy and present a paper on 'Ho Chi Minh: National Independence and Socialism,'  at the invitation of the Ho Chi Minh National Academy. This conference was organised to commemorate the 120th birth anniversary of Comrade Ho Chi Minh, who was born on May 19, 1890.


Apart from a string of high level party leaders and intellectuals from Vietnam, the conference was attended by representatives of the Communist and Workers parties from China, DPRK, Cuba, Cambodia, Bangladesh, Venezuela, Laos, France, and Chile. Also present were leaders of Vietnamese solidarity committees from Thailand, UK, USA, India, Russia, Mexico, Philippines, Indonesia, South Korea, Hungary and Bulgaria.


The country head of UNESCO speaking in the inaugural session said she was attending the conference to fulfil the mandate of the resolution adopted by the General Conference of UNESCO at its twenty-fourth session held in 1987 on the celebration of the birth of President Ho Chi Minh, “a national hero and a great man of culture”. Further, “The General Conference also considered him an outstanding symbol of national affirmation since he had devoted his life to freeing Vietnam and the Vietnamese people, thereby contributing to the common struggle of all people for peace, national independence, democracy and social progress, they also considered that his important and multifaceted contributions in the fields of culture, education and the arts crystallised Vietnam's cultural tradition, one that stretches back several thousand years and that his ideals embodied the aspirations of people as they strive to affirm their cultural identity and promote mutual understanding.


“Based on these considerations, the General Conference recommended to Member States that they join in the commemoration of the birth of President Ho Chi Minh by organising various events as a tribute to his memory in order to spread knowledge of the greatness of his ideals and his work for national liberation. They also requested the director general of UNESCO to take appropriate steps to celebrate his birth and to lend support to commemorative activities organised on that occasion, in particular those taking place in Vietnam”.


It is very rarely that the UN commemorates, let alone passes a resolution recommending the member states to join in this commemoration of the birth of a Communist leader. This, in itself, speaks volumes about the greatness of Comrade Ho Chi Minh. Thus, it is indeed an honour to represent the Party in the conference commemorating the birthday of such a great communist leader.


(The abridged text of the CPI(M)'s intervention is carried elsewhere in this issue)




Wide ranging talks were held with the leaders of the CPV, the highlight of which was the meeting with Truong Tan Sang, member of the Polit Bureau and permanent member of the Secretariat at the new party Central Committee office that has been recently built attached to the old office from where Comrade Ho Chi Minh led the revolution and the unification of Vietnam. (See box for the report on the meeting)


Long discussions were held with Hoang Binh Quan, member of the Central Committee and the chairman of the External Relations Commission. During the discussions Quan explained in detail about various developments that are taking place in the country and the party.


He stated that the 11th Congress of the Communist Party of Vietnam scheduled to be held in the month of January 2011, is going to be a significant Congress in the history of the party and the country. According to him, many important agendas will be taken up for discussion in this Congress. The Doi-Moi or the reform process being implemented for the past 24 years and the experiences in the implementation of this process would be reviewed. The 1991 Party Programme document would be supplemented and further developed, based on the experiences that the party has gained in these two decades.


Quan explained that the process of Socialist construction that is being carried out in the country does not have any blue print and is different from the course pursued elsewhere as it is based on the concrete conditions of their country. He expressed confidence that Vietnam would remain a socialist country in spite of the criticism of some people who expressed apprehensions that the country would return to capitalism, as they have been implementing the process with the utmost care.


It is because of this 'concrete application of theory to the concrete conditions' that Vietnam has recorded some important achievements in economic, cultural and social sectors. Vietnam is witnessing rapid progress under what is termed as 'socialist oriented market economy'. They were successful in bringing down the poverty rate from 58 per cent to around 10 per cent. Even the World Bank has acknowledged this fact and named Vietnam as a country where poverty rates are fast coming down. Vietnam now has set itself a target of converting itself into an industrialised country by the end of the year 2020 and is well in the process of achieving its target.


The current economic situation is stable with the country witnessing a steady growth of above 6 per cent of the GDP. The country was able to maintain a growth rate of 5.2 per cent even when the entire world was reeling under the affects of the global crisis and registering negative growth rates. This year the growth rate is expected to be 6.5 per cent.


The leaders in their discussions have shared the opinion that the illusions about Obama across the world are slowly fading away. There is also a resentment and concern about the US intervention in South-East Asia, particularly its intervention in ASEAN, which could be seen by the presence of the US ambassador in the recent ASEAN meeting. Also of concern is the role of the US military in this region.




The CPV is giving a lot of importance to the ideological training of its cadre and has two big academies that cater to the political ideological development of the cadre. All the provinces in the country have permanent party schools which impart training to the cadre at the provincial level. Apart from these, there is a Central Political Theoretical Council that is constantly involved in the dissemination of political education to all the party members in the country. There is also a separate Political Academy for Defence and a Political and Public administration Academy to raise the consciousness of the cadre working in these sectors. Some universities also have Marxist-Leninist departments.




The leaders of the CPV expressed their gratitude to the people of India, its government and especially the Left movement for their support to the Vietnamese liberation struggle. The two slogans that characterised the solidarity movement with the anti-Vietnamese war, 'Amor naam, tumar naam, Vietnam, Vietnam' and 'Ho, ho, Ho Chi Minh, We shall fight, We Shall Win' were fondly remembered in these meetings. This friendship between the peoples of the two countries not only continues, but is deepened and withstood the test of times.


On the country level relations between the two countries, India and Vietnam, they have opined that though the political relations between the two countries are strong, economic relations need to be further strengthened. They have stated that there exists vast potential for strengthening the economic relations between the two countries. Currently India is ranked 29th among the various countries that have investments in Vietnam.


In addition, talks were held with Pham Xuan Son, vice chairman, external relations, Ms Du Thi Huang, secretary of Quang Ninh provincial party committee and Ms Huynh Thi Nhan, leader of Ho Chi Minh city party committee. The leaders of the CPV expressed their happiness for the strong friendly and fraternal relations between the CPI(M) and the CPV. There is also an increase in the exchange of delegation visits and also the discussions between the two parties. The CPV at present has relations with over 200 parties around the world, which include many ruling parties.

(The report on the visit to Ho Chi Minh City will be carried in the next issue)