Wednesday, 22/1/2020
We must adopt farsighted vision, make accurate forecasts of development trends, and build a strong theoretical system for national development strategy *
11/4/2018 16:24' Send Print
General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong attends and delivers a keynote speech at the meeting. Photo: VNA

I am very pleased to attend the 4th session of the Central Theoretical Council of the 2016-2021 term, a specialized meeting to discuss the topic "Theoretical work: Status quo, problems and solutions," review the Council’s work in 2017, and set out the Council’s tasks of 2018. After listening to the reports of the Council and in-depth and varied intervention papers, I would like to remind, emphasize, and make some suggestions for discussion.

The 12th Congress of the Party affirmed that the 30-year renewal is an important historical stage in the cause of national construction and defense, marking the multifaceted growth of the Party, State and people of Vietnam. The renovation is of historical and revolutionary significance, a deep, comprehensive and thorough process of transformation, the great revolutionary cause of the entire Party, people and the army for the objective of "prosperous people, strong country, democratic, equitable and civilized society." Vietnam has made great achievements of historical significance, showing that the way of renewal of the Communist Party of Vietnam is correct, and creative, and the road to socialism is in line with Vietnam's reality and the world's development trend. Vietnamese theoreticians have made worthy contribution to the achievements of the past 30 years of innovation.

However, there remain shortcomings and weaknesses in the renovation in general and the theoretical work in the renewal period in particular that need to be resolved and overcome in order to continue rapidly and sustainably developing the country. The 12th Party Congress clearly stated that the quality and efficiency of theoretical work are not high. There are constraints in summing up practices and theoretical study. Some issues in the process of renovation have not been clarified in order to provide orientations in practice and a scientific basis for the development and improvement of Party lines, and State policies and laws. Some other issues concerning socialism and the path to socialism should be clarified through summing up practices and theoretical study.

The renovation demands continued innovation in theoretical thinking and work. We all know that theory plays an extremely important role in social life. V.I. Lenin pointed out: "Without revolutionary theory there can be no revolutionary movement; the role of vanguard fighter can be fulfilled only by a party that is guided by the most advanced theory. President Ho Chi Minh also repeatedly asserted: Without theory, one goes as if walking with closed eyes. However, theory is not something dry and rigid; On the contrary, it is creative and lively, and always supplemented by rich and diversified practices to develop and perfect constantly. Fully aware of the message of Marxism-Leninism, and Ho Chi Minh Thought, the 12th Party Congress reaffirmed: continue to strongly innovate thinking, creatively apply and develop Marxism-Leninism, Ho Chi Minh ideology, persistently defend national independence and socialism; sum up practices, study theories, make accurate and timely forecasts; adopt lines and policies to effectively deal with new issues arising in reality, and address major relations reflecting the law on renovation and development in Vietnam.

The 12th Party Congress stated that the new era requires more comprehensive and synchronous development in political, economical, cultural, social fields as well as defense, security and external relations in which socio-economic development plays the central role; Party building is the key; development of culture and people is the spiritual foundation; and strengthening national defense and security is a critical and regular task. After the Party Congress, the Central Committee, the Politburo, the Secretariat have focused on leading and guiding the implementation of ideas, major orientations and key tasks identified in the Party Congress documents. The Central Committee has issued a number of important resolutions on building and rectifying the Party to make it clean and strong in terms of politics, ideology, organization and morality; on continuing to innovate, streamline the political system for effective and efficient operation; on developing the socialist-oriented market economy, raising labor productivity, quality, efficiency and competitiveness of the economy in the context of Vietnam’s deeper international integration, on paying attention to social security, people building, human physical and health enhancement and population quality improvement. These are basic and urgent issues, meeting the requirements of national construction and defense in the new situation. The resolutions of the Central Committee have been concretized, supplemented to better clarify the guiding ideology of the 12th Party Congress, which is valued as orientations to raise awareness and action of the entire Party, people and army.

In recent years, theoreticians, including the Central Theoretical Council, are an important focal point in promptly and actively carrying out many activities in support of the leadership and direction of the Party Central Committee, the Politburo, and the Secretariat. Through research on specialized subjects for the Politburo's research program; themes of the research Program on political theory for the period of 2016-2020; consultancy, and survey reports, practice summing up, exchange of theory with some communist and ruling parties; rejection of erroneous and hostile allegations, theoreticians have provided scientific theory to help the Party Central Committee, the Politburo, the Secretariat to plan for and continue to perfect major lines and policies. Many recommendations of the political advisory agencies have been included in the Party's resolutions.

However, it is also necessary to be fully aware of and overcome limitations and constraints as pointed out in the l Report of the Council, especially the delay in research and constraints in quality of a number of reports to sum up practices and thematic research. Answers to new issues arising in real life have not yet been made in time. It is impossible to let theory lag behind practices and evolution for so long. Theory must take lead and accompany practices.

The world and regional situation has developed and will develop rapidly, complicatedly and unpredictably. Uncertainty in the world tends to increase. Power transition from the West to the East, the adjustment of strategies of big countries along with populism and protectionism have been great changes in the world today. The rapid development of the fourth industry revolution (industrial revolution 4.0) has fundamentally altered the world's production, gradually redefining the world economic map. Nations which are based primarily on the exploitation of resources has witnessed a decline in their power and those which are based primarily on technology and innovation has seen a rise in their power. This revolution has changed and will fundamentally alter the way of thinking, doing and living of people.

We have to proactively forecast, and prepare in all aspects to move the country faster and stronger in face of the swift evolution of the time. Many new theoretical and practical issues demand full awareness and settlement. This situation requires theoreticians to shoulder great responsibility, have a farsighted vision, make precise forecasts of development trend; build a strong theoretical system for national development strategy with scientific roadmap, and reasonable steps.

Orientation on which theoretical issues should be further studied and clarified in the coming time has been identified by the Report on theoretical and practical issues over the past 30 years of renovation of the 11th Party Central Committee, documents of the 12th Congress of the Communist Party, and Resolution No. 37-NQ/TW dated 9 October 2014 of the 11th Politburo on theoretical work and orientation to 2030. I emphasize some other issues for you to study and apply in developing work programs and plans for 2018 and the following years. Along with continuing to step up basic research, step by step supplement and complete theoretical system on socialism and the road to socialism in our country in the new period, following tasks should be implemented:

First and foremost, it is necessary to focus on improving the quality of review of practices, theoretical research to support leadership and guidance of the Party Central Committee, the Politburo and the Secretariat from now to the end of the term.

In the Resolutions of the 4th, 5th, and 6th Plenums, the Party Central Committee has clearly identified viewpoints, orientations and solutions that need to be implemented effectively and, at the same time, raised issues of different opinions that need to be researched, piloted, summed up for conclusion. For example: perception and correct relationship between the state-market-society; ownership of property; accumulation of land for agricultural industrialization and modernization, and building of new rural areas; mobilization, allocation and effective use of resources to develop the country quickly and sustainably; the compatibility of the overall model of our country's political system with the development of the socialist-oriented market economy, the building of a socialist law-governed State, international integration; control of power, among others. The Central Theoretical Council should be the focal point to rally theoreticians, actively review and sum up practices, theoretical study, and contribute to clarify these issues.

In 2018, the Party Central Committee will review the implementation of the strategy on cadres in the period of industrialization and modernization and the Sea Strategy to continue perfecting major policies. This is a very important issue, requiring careful and truly scientific preparations. Theoretical activities must actively participate in this preparation process, providing the Party Central Committee with firm theoretical and practical basis to make right decisions, meet the new and very high requirements of national construction and defense.

Work should be started in preparations for the drafting of the 13th Party Congress documents.

According to the program of the whole tenure, the 8th Plenum of the Party Central Committee to be organized in October 2018 will set up sub-committees to prepare for the 13th Party Congress. The 9th Plenum in May 2019 will discuss outlines of the documents submitted to the 13th Party Congress. The 13th Party Congress is of special importance. The Congress will not only review and evaluate the five-year implementation of the 12th Party Congress’ resolution, but also review the 10-year implementation of the Platform on National Construction in the Transitional period to Socialism which was supplemented and developed in 2011 and the Socio-Economic Development Strategy 2011-2020. The Congress will define not only orientations and tasks of national development in the 5-year period of 2021-2025 but also orientations for comprehensive and sustainable development of the country until 2030, when the Communist Party of Vietnam celebrates its 100th anniversary. We must put forth a vision to 2045 when we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the August Revolution and the establishment of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam now the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.

The preparation of the 13th Party Congress’ draft documents requires great efforts of the whole Party in which theoreticians plays a very important role. These documents must be comprehensive with high level of forecast accuracy and orientation. It is necessary to study and comprehensively sum up political, economic, cultural, social issues, defense, security, external relation, and building of the political system, especially Party building. The cross-cutting issue to be studied and summed up is to determine the path and roadmap for successfully achieving the goal of developing a rich and strong country in all aspects to become a socialist-oriented industrialized country by mid-21st century.

Since the 11th Congress, the Party has made many right decisions to rapidly and sustainably develop the country, prominent are lines to renovate the growth model, restructure the economy, boost industrialization, and modernization, develop knowledge economy, green economy, among others; identification of strategic breakthroughs in the socialist-oriented market economy; development of human resources, especially high quality human resources; construction of a synchronous and modern infrastructure system. These decisions have proved to be correct and had positive effects in reality. In the years to come, we will continue to implement these strategic directions while the 4th industrial revolution is taking place at a high speed with new contents, methods and forms. Much has been talked about and work has been started to build smart technical infrastructure, especially digital, artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, smart cities, administrations and administrators together with intelligent residents. We need to proactively grasp opportunities to develop the country faster, and overcome the risk of lagging behind. Theoreticians must be sensitive and dynamic to approach, creatively acquire new theoretical issues, analyze, and select valuable quintessence applicable to Vietnam; recommend scientific theory to perfect the Party lines and decisions. Procrastination and delay will lead to missing opportunities, and increasingly lagging behind. However, haste and simple replication of foreign practices, massive deployment without taking into full account all conditions and specific circumstance of the country will also lead to failure.

Continue to build a modern socialist-oriented market economy, integrate into increasingly perfect world with high quality human resources, synchronous, modern and connected infrastructure; build a streamlined effective and efficient political system, focusing on building a socialist rule-of-law state of integrity and development; build a clean, and strong, party of wisdom; build a democratic, equitable and civilized society; build wise people and develop comprehensively the Vietnamese people; build and promote the values of and advanced culture imbued with national identity; build national defense, security, modern diplomacy, humanities; mobilize, nurture, protect, rationally allocate and optimally use all resources; create a motive force for the rapid and sustainable development of the country, firmly defend the socialist fatherland are core strategic orientations for our theoretical study in conformity with national requirements and development trend of the world. Never before has the rich and new reality of the world and the country opened up such a vast creative and appealing horizon to Vietnamese theoreticians. The Party, State and people require and expect Vietnamese theoreticians to make achievements and new contributions to the country.

Over the past two years, especially in 2017, the Central Theoretical Council has made some changes in the content and mode of operation: focusing on activities of the sub-committees to implement work of the Council; attaching great importance to summing up of practices; closely cooperate with a number of agencies and localities, promote their role as a focal point for gathering and promoting wisdom of the intelligentsia in study of theory and practice review, renovate and raise the quality of report development and scientific subjects. The Council and its office are united and unanimous; review and properly arrange work to the right people according to job placement scheme. These innovations have contributed to improve the quality and efficiency of the Council.

In order to fulfill the heavy tasks of 2018 and the remaining years of the Central Theoretical Council of the 2016-2021 term, you must continue to intensively renovate contents and mode of operation in line with functions and tasks of the Council assigned by the Party Politburo.

The Council should continue to closely coordinate with relevant committees, ministries, branches and localities to promote review of practices. Setting store by survey and review of practices is the right direction. The key issue is to ensure practicality, quality and efficiency. Survey of practices is not just about copying and describing reality, but exploring the its depth, discovering contradictions, trends, and new development factors. This work requires dedication and painstaking efforts. We must enhance research on subjects in the State-level Program on theoretical political research for the period of 2016-2020; specialized political theoretical topics of the Party Politburo, and Secretariat of the 12th Tenure. Try to recommend new points, especially breakthrough solutions in each topic, each subject to the Politburo, and the Secretariat to study, discuss and absorb.

Participate actively and proactively in the fight against erroneous viewpoints, rejecting the reactionary and hostile allegation, and protecting the Party Platform and lines.

Expand and improve the quality and efficiency of theoretical cooperation with ruling Communist parties and other parties in the world, actively exchange and have dialogues with foreign scholars to update, and selectively acquire the world theory as valuable reference for Vietnam; at the same time, introduce and communicate the Party lines, the State policies and theoretical achievements of Vietnam.

The Council and the Council's office shall continue to consolidate its organizational structure, clearly define its position and work; attach importance to connecting, updating internal and international theoretical information, unity, creativity, discipline, order, and strive to fulfill their functions and tasks. Promote the role of sub-committees and members of the Council. The Sub-committees should be proactive, democratic and work with plan. Intensify professional activities, exchanges, in-depth discussions, frank debates on unclear issues to reach common understanding. Members of the Council should uphold sense of responsibility, spend more time, efforts, wisdom, dedication to their work. Joining the council is to carry out very important tasks relating to the process of planning the Party lines. Without full awareness of honor and responsibility, without devotion of mind and main, research and creativity, one cannot complete his/her tasks.

* Headlines by the Communist Review

This article was published on the Communist Review No.904 (February 2018)

Nguyen Phu TrongGeneral Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Central Committee