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The man who envisioned a new Viet Nam

Update: June, 29/2015 - 15:11
Prescient: Nguyen Van Linh visits a paddy field in southern province of Long An in 1982. He foresaw the path Viet Nam would have to take in globalising world. — File Photo

The late Party General Secretary Nguyen Van Linh, who died in 1998, was a talented, creative and intelligent leader who made invaluable contributions to Vietnamese revolutionary efforts and economic reform. He would have been 100 on July 1.

Linh, born Nguyen Van Cuc in 1915, devoted his life to the revolutionary cause of the Party and the nation, particularly in initiating economic reform in 1986.

"Nguyen Van Linh led an honest and simple life, overflowing with fellowship and comradeship. He typified the courageous and resilient Communist soldier, and devoted his entire life to the revolutionary cause, expressing his faithfulness to the country and fulfilling his filial devotion to the people," Le Thanh Hai, the general secretary of the Ho Chi Minh City's Party Committee, has said.

Linh's revolutionary life occurred during three important periods: battling to gain independence for the Vietnamese; resistance wars against the French and the Americans; and the construction and protection of Viet Nam socialism.

Linh spent much of that time making great contributions to the Southern revolution, the Party Committee and the people in Sai Gon - Cho Lon - Gia Dinh during the two resistance wars.

Appointed general secretary of the HCM City's Party Committee eight times, he helped to create turning points in the revolution.

"For his entire revolutionary life, Nguyen Van Linh made profound and highly valuable contributions, especially to the reform process. He had an intimate attachment to the people and listened to the people," Hai said.

"He took experiences from reality and clarified and created policies, contributing to the party's point of view and guidelines. He improved the party's leadership and fighting ability," he added.

Linh is remembered by leaders, veterans and scientists as a leader close to the people, actively contributing to reform and implementation, and as a loyal and excellent disciple of President Ho Chi Minh, practicing his revolutionary ethics and virtues.

His life contributed to the strategic mission of building, protecting and developing HCM City and the country as a whole.

Guiding the change

"He played a very important role in implementing reform guidelines for the first five years, beginning in 1986, after the 6th Party Congress's resolution on reform at a time of great challenges," journalist Huu Tho of Nhan Dan (The People) newspaper, said. Tho was formerly an assistant to the General Secretary.

The challenges included reforming the growth model, discharging soldiers and dealing with a weak economy.

Man of the people: General Secretary Nguyen Van Linh meets members at the 6th Party Congress on December 15, 1986 in Ha Noi. — VNA/VNS Photo Minh Dao

Linh's series of articles on "Work that Needs to Be Solved Immediately" became well-known at the time because they strongly opposed bribery, irresponsibility, waste and insensitivity of government staff.

Huu Tho recalled that on the night of May 24, 1987, he received a letter from the Party Central Committee's Office. In the letter was the article signed with the name NVL (abbreviation for Nguyen Van Linh.

"General Secretary Nguyen Van Linh tried his best to find a way that could develop the city based on a socialist orientation and application of a market-oriented economy. His concerns focused on how to improve and promote the economy, and how to show patriotism and mobilise the strength of different economic sectors," Hai said.

Linh often visited, listened and discussed ideas with the public to discover problems and provide solutions in the most proper and realistic manner.

"Linh's reform ideas stemmed from reality. This resulted from being side by side with people, and dealing with the objective reality of daily life and production," Hai said.

"He looked straight into the truth, and deeply understood it, especially recognising mistakes and shortcomings. He recognised what was required to change the prevailing mentality and described what must be done right away in regard to society's rules to deal with crisis, stabilise production and improve residents' daily lives, while remaining politically firm," he said.

"Linh helped the nation overcome the biggest challenges and difficulties and to keep moving when there were many significant upheavals around the world," Hai said.

"The successes of reform and its progress belong to our people and our Party. Comrade Nguyen Van Linh, with his heart and intelligence, in the city and in neighbouring provinces, actively and effectively contributed to the Party and State reform guidelines and policy-making, and successfully led reform," Hai said.

Le Hoang Quan, chairman of the HCM City People's Committee, said: "Applying the lessons from Nguyen Van Linh's life and cause will create a foundation for the revolutionary work of the Party and the people to make new achievements and for the city to steadily build a civilized, modern urban area." — VNS

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