|President Truong Tan Sang visits military officials and soldiers at the Tinh Bien border checkpoint in the Mekong delta province of An Giang. — VNA/VNS Photo Nguyen Khang
HA NOI (VNS) — Strengthening the political system and boosting socio-economic development in border areas are crucial tasks in national defence, President Truong Tan Sang said on Saturday.
Party committees, the Border Guard High Command as well as officials and soldiers in border areas should thoroughly understand the significance of the above-mentioned tasks, he said at a conference held in Ha Noi.
"This should be considered both a long-term imperative and an urgent political task," the President said.
The conference, organised by the Border Guard High Command, aimed to review human resource reinforcements at border communes over the past 15 years.
While praising achievements recorded during this period, the President cautioned that the regional and international situation would continue experiencing complex developments in the coming years, and hostile forces will continue attempts to undermine the revolution by all means.
"The tasks to defend national sovereignty and territory and maintain border security in coastal areas pose numerous new issues that have to be addressed by the political system and the population as a whole," he said.
Representatives from the Border Guard High Command in Kon Tum, Cao Bang, Quang Ninh and Thanh Hoa provinces presented a report demonstrating efforts made by border forces to reinforce the political system and promote socio-economic and cultural development in border areas.
Hundreds of soldiers have been selected and assigned to border communes and impoverished communes in 32 cities and provinces nationwide since 1999. They have succeeded in strengthening the Party with over 17,200 new members.
The border guards also exerted considerable effort in helping with poverty reduction in the areas they were assigned to work in. They successfully mobilised forces and resources to construct more than 6,900 houses and 272 other works essential for the daily lives of ethnic minorities. Together these projects were worth nearly VND300 billion (US$14 million).
Quite a few soldiers are capable of providing medical checks and even treatment, and they have also taught illiterate children and adults, contributing to universal primary eduction in border areas, the report said.
The soldiers have also actively mobilised locals to help manage borders, including border milestones, and maintain security in border areas.
More to be done
Conference participants also highlighted several shortcomings that continue to plague border areas.
These included limited organisational quality of the local political system, a high percentage of poor households and inadequate infrastructure.
Criminal activities in border and coastal areas have generated insecurities that can impact the nation's stable development, they said.
The President said each unit and every soldier of the border guard force should actively help localities build up comprehensive, strong political and economic foundations.
They should mobilise and encourage residents to abide by Party guidance and policies, as well as the nation's laws, he said.
They should defeating distortions promoted by hostile forces and strengthen people's faith in the Party and State, he said.
Based on the achievements and experience of the past 15 years, the President told concerned individuals and organisations to further enhance the quality and efficiency of their work.
He recommended that the soldiers improve their own qualifications and capacities, especially in Party-building, governance and socio-economic development.
He said they should set a good example in overcoming difficulties, being active and creative, and being a strong support for Party committees, administrations and people in border and coastal areas.
This would strengthen border areas and strongly defend national sovereignty, he added. — VNS