Vietnam should prepare for sovereignty challenges: Party chief

Trong, also the President, delivered this message at the closing ceremony of the 11th plenary meeting of the Party Central Committee Saturday.

Vietnam will consolidate its national defense, maintain national security, political stability, social order and safety; and resolutely, tenaciously defend the country’s sovereignty over its waters and islands on the basis of international law, he said.

Earlier, at the opening ceremony of the six-day session Monday, Trong had urged the committee to analyze and make forecasts about the situation in the East Sea and prepare the nation for “possible challenges.”

He said the committee has to foresee what could happen in the coming time in the East Sea, also known as the South China Sea, to get the nation “prepared for possible opportunities and challenges.”

Earlier this month, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Le Thi Thu Hang had said that Vietnam was in the process of verifying reports that a Chinese deepwater oil rig has been deployed in the East Sea.

Reports about the presence of the Chinese deepwater oil rig followed other reports that Chinese oil survey vessel Haiyang Dizhi 8 and escorts continue to expand operations in Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and continental shelf.

Vietnam has cried foul, saying such actions seriously violate its sovereignty and jurisdiction rights in accordance with the provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), to which both Vietnam and China are signatories.

None above the law

In his closing remarks, Party leader Trong also referred to the nation’s prolonged fight against corruption.

He said a total of 70 top officials including current high-level officials, former political stars and retired leaders have been subjected to disciplinary actions since 2016.

The officials included one Politburo member and four members of the 12th-tenure Party Central Committee, 14 former members of the Party Central Committee, one former deputy prime minister, five ministers and former ministers, two secretaries of provincial party committees, five former secretaries of provincial party committees and 17 generals.

“All disciplinary cases must be dealt with strictly from top to bottom to uphold the Party’s discipline, regain and consolidate the belief of the people (in the Party),” he said.

Trong also said the country has recorded positive and comprehensive socioeconomic changes in the first nine months of this year.

The positive achievements of 2019 have generated new momentum for achieving targets and tasks set for 2020 and for the 2016-2020 period, he said.

It has been forecast that Vietnam will be able to complete all major 12 tasks by the end of the year, including a high GDP growth rate of over 6.8 percent, be among the countries with the highest growth rates in the region and in the world and reach a per capita income of nearly $2,800.

Jan-Sept GDP growth was 6.98 percent, the highest in nine years, according to Vietnam’s General Statistics Office. The government has targeted a 2019 GDP growth of 6.6-6.8 percent.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has forecast Vietnam’s economy will expand at 6.8 percent this year, while the World Bank has it at 6.6 percent. 

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