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Harmoniously solving relations between peoples, promoting national solidarity alongside the course of increased industrialisation and modernisation
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Trends of changes in relations between peoples in Vietnam and the need to harmoniously solve these relations

Under the influence of renovation lines and people policies of the CPV and the State, Vietnam peoples have developed in all aspects of their life with strengthened people rally and unity. Globalisation and international integration trends, national industrialisation and modernization act as an opportunity for Vietnam peoples to get access to achievements made by mankind and get ahead. The influence from trends of changes in relations between peoples and ethnic groups in multi-enthnic countries and peoples, in which trends to struggle for national unification are common, plays a decisive role. Guidelines and policies to prioritise socio-economic development in remote and mountainous areas are integrated into the National Target Programs. The spirit of national solidarity and unity tempered along the thousand-year course of national construction and defence has been raised to a new level by the CPV in the struggle for national liberalisation and current national construction.

First, people rally and unity serve as the rule for development in the community of Vietnam peoples and a measurement for national development. That unity is a basic criterion to assess sustainable development. Therefore, building the unity is always a top task to ensure stability and national development. Building equal and solid relations between peoples with mutual respect and assistance for mutual development not only affirms Vietnam national unity but also creates drive for national development.

Second, ensuring rights to equality between people, with the equality in economic aspects and developmental opportunities as the top one. That equality is associated with the course of liberalising people so that every one can live a comfortable, free, and happy life. People equality and solidarity also imply mutual respect, trust, and assistance for mutual development in every aspect. Developing socio-economically, solving people issues, building solid relations between peoples are both strategic and immediate tasks. Therefore, we need to make long-term plans for multiple phases providing proper steps in order to gradually bridge the gap in specific aspects between peoples.

Third, harmoniously solving relations between peoples, ensuring national sovereignty and territorial integrity and national sustainable development by socio-economically developing ethnic minority areas and mountainous areas, step by step raising their living standards, and building solid people relations.

Fourth, building people relations in Vietnam should be put in the international context, particularly with trends of changes in people relations in other countries as well as the domestic context of industrialisation, modernisation, and international integration. The policies to develop communities in a multi-people Vietnam factor in international and national development trends and correspond with historical and cultural features of each people, adopt mankind's achievements to exercise equality between people with a view to enhancing their solid relation based on the principle of equality, solidarity, mutual assistance for mutual development.

Fifth, fighting against insular, discriminative, and people-dividing thoughts. Respecting the people’s ownership within the framework of law. Resolutely fighting reactionary forces’ plots and tricks to divide peoples.

Sixth, implementing people policies and solving people relation issues require concerted efforts of the whole Party, the whole people, all the levels, all the sectors in the political system. Specifically, the agencies in ethnic affairs serve as advisory bodies and co-ordinate with departments, sectors, levels, and organizations during the course; meanwhile, the ones in public relations play the role of advisory bodies and organise public relations affairs.

Alongside positive aspects, people relations in Vietnam are potentially facing serious social issues influenced by both subjective and objective factors.

First, under the influence of the development of market economy, the rich-poor gap in ethnic minority areas and mountainous areas is getting bigger and bigger, so is the gap in developmental levels between urban areas and rural ones, Kinh communities and ethnic minorities, with these minorities tending to lag further behind the national development. Particularly, the socio-economic development in the ethnic minorities of below 10,000 people is quite low with a number of serious social issues and local people’ life suffering from various difficulties.

Second, along the course of market economy development, assemination trends (both natural and forced) have been increasingly clear in ethnic minority areas and mountainous areas. Natural insemination trends are caused by the exchange and the adoption of cultures between peoples, especially when communities increasingly inhabited by a mixture of different ethnic groups, and their production modes as well as consumption modes gradually getting closer thanks to the market economy. For instance, many peoples are likely to lose their mother languages; meanwhile other cultural values like some customs, practices, festivals, architectural features, costumes, traditional cultural forms are neglected. Consumer psychology and ethnic inferiority psychology tend to rise. Forced assimilation trends in people relations occur in a few cases when programs and projects are improperly implemented without the desired effects such as policies on sedentarization and settlement, or programs, projects on encouraging socio-economic development for local people.

Third, along the development process, differences and disputes in exploiting natural and environmental resources, mainly in land properties, arise in ethnic relations, which is likely to become ‘hot spots’, or even clashes.

Fourth, to exploit people and religion issues, hostile forces never give up applying their plot of ‘attacks without gun-fire’ to destroy the national unity by inciting, enticing, dividing peoples. Illegal missionary works, propagandas to form ‘Kingdom of Mong’ in the Northwest, ‘Independent State of Dega’ in Central Highlands, ‘State of Khmer Krom’ in the southwestern provinces are just a few to name, all of which are likely to become ‘hot spots’, challenging the unity of peoples and the national security.

Fifth, ethnic clashes and secessions in the world negatively affect ethnic thoughts, psychology, and consciousness in Vietnam.

Suggested solutions to completing people's policies to harmoniously solving relations between peoples and strengthen national unity

People policies are designed to provide peoples to develop together, bring into play their role in a multi-ethnic Vietnam, create drive and ensure sustainable development for the country. Comprehensive development in economy, culture, society, politics, security, and defence in ethnic minority areas and mountainous areas is a must so that ethnic minorities develop together. To ensure equality and solidarity between peoples, harmoniously solve their relation issues, mutually respect and assist for mutual development, complet people policies alongside the course of industrialisation, modernisation, and development of socialism-oriented market economy, the following solutions need focusing:

First, promoting economic development policies.

Promoting the development of multi-sector commodity economy suitable for specific characteristics and conditions in each area, each people, and each ethnic group. Exploiting strengths in each ethnic minority area and each mountainous one, establishing large specialized farming areas such as fruit trees, medical plants in the northern midland areas and mountainous areas, industrial crops, fruit trees in the Central Highlands, Central Coast and Southeastern provinces, food crops, fruit trees in the Southwestern provinces; developing ecological and cultural tourism; step by step transforming ethnic minorities’ livelihood suitable for the new context so that they can make a fortune for themselves and active contributions to the national course of renovation, industrialisation, and modernisation. A growing multi-sector commodity economy creates favourable conditions for peoples to develop together in a progressive direction, which shows the principle of equality, solidarity, mutual respect and assistance in practice for mutual development.

In order to create a favourable environment for a growing commodity economy, two issues need solving as follows: First, solving land property issues (farming lands, residential lands, forest lands) for ethnic minorities to ensure their land rights. Giving land management rights to local communities creates profound social foundations for building strong and lasting solidarity between ethnic minorities. Second, investing to build and develop infrastructure, helping promote the development of the whole community such as water resource systems, transportation, energy; building a rural network of markets, stores, agencies, schools, hospitals, new residential areas to promote the production and commodity economy development, creating a favourable living environment in ethnic minority areas and mountainous areas.

Effectively exploiting, managing and protecting forestry resources, especially natural and protective forests; adopting strong management and supervision mechanisms for forestry projects, particularly those aiming at developing hydroelectricity, exploiting mineral resources, building industrial parks and developing tourism services; introducing, managing and popularizing employment in forestry; developing agro-forestry; encouraging the planting of herbal forests in areas of competitive advantage; thoroughly implementing the hand-over of forest land to village community for management and exploitation. In addition, enhancing and improving the efficiency of natural resource and environmental management of the state; effectively exploiting and using forest and water resources; well implementing land policies in order to make sure that land utilization is carried out in accordance with the socio-economic development guidelines and the national defense – security, at the same time assuring the inhabiting space of local minority groups.

Second, focusing on addressing social issues through social well-fare policies.

Gradually improving the living standard of people in minority groups, especially those in remote and mountainous border areas. This solution aims at promoting activeness and creating a driving force for the cause of socio-economic development, which well represents the humanity nature of the Party and State policy of ethnicity.Further researching and issuing social well-fare policies, especially for people in border communes and districts, creating “a security belt” and “a standing pillar” for the national sovereignty.Improving people’s awareness about hunger eradication and poverty reduction, creating a material and spiritual motive for people to get out of the poverty cycle.Introducing specific policies for each locality, with attention paid to promoting coordination in such stage as formulating. Extending the policy coverage so that the poor and the near-poor are included in the policy beneficiaries. Adopting more flexible support levels with fixed minimal support levels for localities to develop their economies. Shaping specific policies that can make a real breakthrough in creating favorable conditions and offering opportunities for minority groups to develop comprehensively. Further investing in fundamental socio-economic infrastructure, production, education, healthcare, culture and human resource training.

Devising and carrying out the strategy of improving public health as well as execute population and family planning policies in minority groups; raising the quality of medical check-ups and other health services; studying and building the healthcare model that best suits the conditions in mountainous and remote areas; creating favorable conditions for minority groups and the poor inhabiting in localities of difficult socio-economic situations to enjoy regular medical check-ups, especially to access modern medical services; pushing back child marriage and consanguineous marriage, contributing to uplifting the quality of population and human resource in ethnic minority communities.

Third, pursuing a synchronized development of economy, culture and education.

Combining economic development policies with cultural development ones, targeting at both enhancing material life and spiritual life for inhabitants in minority groups; proposing positive solutions in preserving and upholding local cultural heritages; building and successfully exploiting local cultural institutions; maximizing the role of local community developing local cultural and religious institutions such as community house, stilt house, Rong house etc; adopting appropriate education and training policies to gradually improve people’s awareness and nurture intellectuals who are representative of the interest of people in minority communities. Education and training contributes to the development of individual and collective values, at the same time serves as a key to preserve and uphold traditional cultural characteristics in the cause of building a new cultural life. Expanding and strengthening ethnic boarding high-schools and vocational schools as well as opening continuation classes for inhabitants in small and shrinking communities. Framing priority policies for children of ethnic minority groups, children of teachers and educators in the localities.

Fourth, building the local political system and educating cadres.

Building up the model for the political systems that are on par with the local conditions, taking into account various geo-political factors and social management features. Placing greater importance to strengthening villages and hamlets and upholding their roles in the local political systems. Reinforcing the leadership of local party committees and the management of local governments; promoting movements of local Fatherland Fronts as well as other social and political institutions; enhancing the role of party cells in villages; making use of prestigious citizens and cadres in creating the combined strength of the whole political system against sabotage acts of hostile forces.

Increasing the effectiveness of the Party and State management and execution of guidelines and policies in ethnic minority groups and mountainous regions. Educating and training local cadre staff with firm political will, competence and enthusiasm, who are capable of leading local people to overcome difficulties and challenges. Building up Democratic Regulations at the grassroots level that well match local situations. Acknowledging selectively positive influences of traditional social institutions in the cause of modern social management.

Fifth, renovating and improving the effectiveness of religion work in ethnic minority groups.

Improving local people's material and spiritual life while well implementing the religion and ethnicity policies on ethnic minority communities. Addressing remaining religious issues (complaints about land or worship sites) as soon as possible on the basis of the State law and policies.Nurturing and educating key local cadres and promoting the role of religious leaders, gradually integrating religion into ethnicity policies. In terms of Protestantism, there must be a clear-cut distinction between legal Protestantism and Dega Protestantism, Vang Chu or Thin Hung Protestantism, between legal and illegal missionary works, between true Protestants and others who make use of religion to practice political acts in order to take appropriate attitude, to adopt legitimate methods of handling and fighting.

Sixth, attaching great importance to national defense and security as well as fighting against “peaceful evolution” and national division.

Consolidating and strengthening national defense and security, tightening up the all-people defense posture and border security; continuing to reinforce defensive areas at the northern border, the north-western border, the central border, the south-western border and other localities; promoting the effectiveness of defense economic zones in the Central and North-western regions. Combining socio-economic development with defense-security construction in ethnic minority communities and mountainous areas. Implementing sedentary farming and resettlement projects to encourage local people to develop the economy in critical areas along the borderline. Intensifying border management and foreign affairs in order to stop ethnic people from illegally crossing the borderline, to defeat the conspiracy of arousing and involving people in trans-crossing.

Defeating the conspiracy of “peaceful evolution” of hostile forces; preventing reacting forces from entering and establishing the independent “Dega State” in the Central Highland, the “Mong Kingdom” in the North West Highland, the “Khmer Krom State” in the South West Highland.

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Source: Communist Review (No 924, August 2019)
Truong Minh Duc