|National Day speech:President Truong Tan Sang speaks on the importance of protecting the nation. — VNA/VNS Photo Nguyen Khang
Viet Nam is celebrating the 69th anniversary of the August 1945 Revolution and National Day (September 2), as well as the 45th anniversary of President Ho Chi Minh's Testament.
President Truong Tan Sang, also a Politburo member, spoke to Tap chi Cong san (Communist Review) about the sacred task of protecting national independence, sovereignty, unification and territorial integrity amid the onslaught of globalisation. The following are excerpts:
Defending national independence, sovereignty, unification and territorial integrity is the noble task of the entire Party and people.
In Autumn 1945, the Vietnamese people, under the banner of the Communist Party of Viet Nam, achieved a resounding victory with the August Revolution, which smashed the yoke of colonialism and feudalism.
The victory brought back national independence to the nation and gave birth to the Democratic Republic of Viet Nam - a State of the people and for the people. With that victory, from slavery, the Vietnamese people became masters of their nation and their destiny.
In September 2, 1945, President Ho Chi Minh solemnly declared to the world the birth of a free and independent Viet Nam. He also reiterated the Vietnamese people's resolve to do their utmost, in body and in spirit, and even at the cost of their own lives, to defend the homeland's freedom and independence.
Nearly 70 years have passed, and in that time, we have overcome numerous difficulties and challenges to build and develop the homeland and improve the people's living conditions.
Until now, we still remember President Ho's words: "The homeland is independent, but if the people can't enjoy their freedom and happiness, that independence has no meaning. At the same time, many of our patriots have laid down their lives in the fight for the nation's independence, freedom, sovereignty, unification and territorial integrity."
The world we are now living in is witness to a strong and relentless process of globalisation, with diverse and complicated relations and a mix of co-operation and fierce competition between and among nations and between and among different political, economic and cultural systems.
So the prosperity or existence of each nation and their people is no longer the sole affair of that nation or people. However, it presents an opportunity and challenge to all nations, particularly the small ones, to strive to protect their respective homelands' interest, independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity.
Such circumstances, particularly the complicated events in the region and world in recent years, more than ever, require us to develop quickly and sustainably while improving our nation's aggregated strength and resources in all domains.
At the same time, we have to maintain a high level of vigilance and be determined to firmly defend our homeland, sovereignty, unification and territorial integrity under all circumstances. This is a sacred and noble task entrusted to our generation by our ancestors and by previous generations.
Since the founding of the nation, our people have never forgiven anyone or anything involved in aggressive acts that infringed upon the interest of our nation.
That's the country's most sacred code of morality and fair justice! Whoever violates that inalienable and invaluable treasure of our nation should no longer be part and parcel of the Vietnamese nation.
We always respect genuine patriots who are willing to sacrifice their own interest for the nation's. They demonstrate their patriotism through practical deeds in the interest of the nation and the people, in line with the teaching of our beloved President Ho: "We should try to do what is good for the people and for the homeland and try to avoid things that will do harm to the people or the nation."
We can't accept people who loudly proclaim that "we're patriots", but in reality, always put their own interest above that of the public. For their own "group interest", they pay no heed to the homeland's interest. They have tried to rob, as much as possible, the country's wealth to enrich themselves. They are "internal enemies" and "cancers" that must be cut off.
The defence of the homeland's independence, sovereignty, unification and territorial integrity, requires us to adopt a long-term vision, firm and persistent in principle yet alert and wise in strategy. Our forefathers' lessons in defending and protecting the nation have remained valid and precious to us until now.
Having inherited and enhanced the patriotic, indomitable and steadfast tradition and lessons of our forefathers in defending the homeland, we should try our best to ceaselessly develop the nation's economy and society, to make our economy independent and self-reliant. In the meantime, we should make the best use of our integrated national strength, great unity and international prestige in order to help maintain our country's stability, security and economy.
Big and significant achievements gained in nearly 30 years of renewal have made us proud and gained the admiration of international friends. However, there are many things we have not been doing well, particularly the slow pace of economic development, the living conditions of poor people in many parts of the country, the rampant cases of corruption, and enormous wastage and power embezzlement, which have caused much anxiety among our people. They have eroded the people's confidence in the Party, the State and our system. They are the seeds of discord to our national independence, sovereignty, unification and territorial integrity.
To garner strengths to overcome difficulties and challenges on the path of defending our national independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, it is imperative for us to protect and preserve the close relationships between the Party and people. We are not afraid of any hostile forces, even the most atrocious ones. What we are afraid of most is the loss of the people's confidence in the Party, the State and the system. The great national unity of more than 90 million Vietnamese people living inside and outside the country constitutes an invincible strength to eternally preserve and protect our homeland.
To firmly safeguard the nation's independence, sovereignty, unification and territorial integrity is the task of every Vietnamese. It is a long-term and persistent struggle full of difficulties and hardships. It is the cause of the entire nation. It requires the Party, the State and people in power to hold high their responsibility towards the nation.
In September this year, our Party, people and army are celebrating the 45th anniversary of President Ho Chi Minh's Testament. It is time for us to "rectify our weaknesses, particularly within the Party." "Each Party member, each Party cell, must try to accomplish the tasks assigned to them and be a loyal servant to the people."
Enhancing the spirit and glorious tradition of the August 1945 Revolution and the teaching of President Ho, the entire Party, people and army pledge to unite as one to do our utmost to overcome all difficulties and challenges to build Viet Nam to become "more prosperous and beautiful", to be at par with other countries in the five continents and to firmly defend our national independence, sovereignty, unification and territorial integrity so that our Vietnamese nation will live eternally. — VNS