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Independence and freedom – sacred and elevated values
27/9/2007 16:18' Send Print

“The Vietnamese nation has the right to live in freedom and independence, and in fact is an independent and liberal country. The entire Vietnamese nation is determined to use all their spirit, strength, lives and wealth to protect and firmly hold on to their independence and freedom”[1]. This was the sacred and magnanimous spirit of the Declaration of Independence that was out read by President Ho Chi Minh at Ba Dinh Square and which founded the Democratic Republic of Vietnam on 2nd September 1945. It still remains in the memory of the Vietnamese people, as it highlights the pride they have in their glorious national traditions, to protect and hold on to independence and freedom, which many people of different generations sacrificed their lives for.

To achieve national independence and freedom, the Vietnamese nation conducted a long war of resistance against French colonialists which ended with a glorious victory at the battle of Dien Bien Phu. This shook the world and contributed to the collapse of the colonial system around the world.

To protect national independence and freedom, the Vietnamese nation once again made a historic march along the Truong Son mountain range, using every effort in their fight southwards in the war against the Americans to wipe out the invaders and unify the country. The valliant struggle of the Vietnamese nation against imperialism won the support and sentiment of peaceful and justice-loving people throughout the world and birthed and promoted a world movement against the American war in Vietnam. Vietnam was considered to be quite right by defending itself and this act defined a turning point in world opinion. The defeat of the American air offensive in the North of Vietnam at the end of 1972 forced the US administration to sign the Paris Agreement and the 1975 spring victory unified the country which fulfilled the wishes of President Ho Chi Minh, to have a unified and independent country once again.

Being patriotic Vietnamese, no one can deny that the people, more than anyone, desired the right to enjoy independence and freedom, and deeply understood the values of national independence and freedom. The Vietnamese people are proud of their traditions in protecting and maintaining their country. They want to live in a peaceful stable and prosperous country that holds equal status in the international arena and significantly contributes to international affairs.

At present, in the process of international economic integration and given the great and important achievements that have been made in the last 20 years of renovation, Vietnam now faces new opportunities and challenges in its efforts to protect national independence and freedom. The new challenges include:

The living standards and economic development level of capitalist countries are much higher than that of Vietnam. Although this comparison is somewhat unjust as many capitalist countries have been developing for hundreds of years and some have never been destroyed by war. As Vietnam has so far only lived in peace for 3 decades this has put a lot of pressure on society to advance forward as quickly as it can.

- The fast development of information technology, the trend of globalization and the deeper integration by Vietnam into the regional and world economy has raised a number of new issues in the protection of the national sovereignty and territorial integrity as well as the development goals and path which the Vietnamese people have chosen. What we have to do is to comprehensively address national, regional and international interests, while maintaining a balance between national interests and the principles and guidelines of international organizations that Vietnam is a member of and also to maintain the social consensus needed for national development.

- The weaknesses and shortcomings in social and economic management, difficulties and confusion around the development process, bureaucracy and corruption have all created a strong reaction and discontent from the people and are good opportunities for hostile forces to exaggerate the issues and increase their plotting against Vietnam in order to change the thinking of the Vietnamese people and consequently change the nature of our regime. Although having been defeated on the battlefield, hostile forces do not give up with their wicked intentions and continue their smokeless war against the Vietnamese revolution, the State and the country’s journey towards socialism. The imperialists have never given up on their goal of defeating socialist-oriented countries.

However, besides those challenges, we also enjoy a number of favorable opportunities. Currently, Vietnam has diplomatic relations with 170 countries and territories and trade relations with 220 nations and territories.

Following its independent, self-reliant, cooperative and peaceful external policies and its diversified international relationships, Vietnam has been a trustworthy friend and partner of many countries in the international community and actively participates in international and regional cooperation[2]. Vietnam has made friends and had amicable relationships with many other countries in the world. A great number of foreigners have visited Vietnam and consequently have changed their thinking and acquired objective and positive views about the renovation process in this hospitable and amicable country. Mr. Michael Marine – the ex-US Ambassador in Vietnam, before finishing his term of office in Vietnam, stated that: “when talking about Vietnam with Americans or other foreigners, I simply say please come and see Vietnam with your own eyes. It would be better, especially for Americans, not to think that you know about Vietnam. Those who come to Vietnam will get a pleasant surprise and I would advise American businesses to come here, take advantage of the opportunities and do business in this country”.

The achievements attained by the Vietnamese people in economic development, poverty reduction, maintaining social and political stability and the acquisition of full membership of a number of economic blocs and important regional and international cooperative forums has helped to attract foreign investment and contributed to national development. Internal strengths has been improved and the attention and trust shown by the international community towards Vietnam is increasing which creates the right conditions for us to protect our independence and freedom in a interdependent world. Peace, dialogue and cooperation are the dominant factors in international life, however the worlds situation also contains various potential and hidden uncertainties and many unpredictable changes.

Regardless to changes in the international arena, national independence and freedom remains valuable and sacred to every nation in the world because “all people are born equal, only the creator gives this and no one has the right to dominate another. Everyone has the right to live and enjoy freedom and happiness”. Generations of Vietnamese people have been patriotic and have shown an iron will to protect national independence and freedom. Our Hung King ancestors built the nation, we will now protect the nation and make our country peaceful, independent, and beautiful place to live.

[1] Ho Chi Minh, Complete set, National Political Publishing House, Hanoi, 2000, page 12.

[2] As referred above, page 9

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