Upholding national orientation of comprehensive integration, Vietnamese diplomacy aims to build on results, improve Vietnam’s status internationally, and help achieve national defense and socio-economic targets.
Rapid global and regional developments have generated opportunities and challenges for Vietnam. The diplomatic sector has focused on 3 tasks: maintaining peace and stability, protecting national independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity, and protecting the regime. The sector will improve its performance to fulfill its tasks in 2016.
2015, a successful year for the diplomatic sector
2015 saw diplomatic activities enhance Vietnam’s relationships with other countries, deepen its global integration, and raise its status internationally. Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong visited the US, China, and Japan and many world leaders visited Vietnam in 2015. Vietnam signed or concluded negotiations on 15 free trade agreements including the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement and the FTA with the EU. Cultural diplomacy has promoted Vietnam’s image and culture to the world and helped foreigners gain a better understanding of Vietnam.
Grasping opportunities, resolving challenges
2016 is the first year of the ASEAN Community. Several FTAs Vietnam signed last year will come into effect this year. What should Vietnam do to gain an advantage in the regional or global arena? That’s also a task for the diplomatic sector.
Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh said “We’ll continue to improve our political relations with other countries as a foundation for economic, trade, and investment relations. We’ll attract to draw more ODA resources and help businesses expand export markets. The diplomatic sector will help businesses find opportunities and partners in the ASEAN Community.”
Although peace and cooperation is a dominant trend, signs of instability and possible conflict have appeared. The East Sea situation has been complicated, threatening national security and sea and island sovereignty. Diplomacy, including people-to-people exchanges, has been the vanguard in protecting national sovereignty.
Vu Xuan Hong, President of the Vietnam Union of Friendship Organizations, said “To serve national defense, particularly to protect national sea and island sovereignty, we have initiated an international campaign to share information with other countries. After incidents in the East Sea, foreign friends and organizations expressed their support for Vietnam, which has created international pressure. National interest is paramount and national independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity are vital interests of the nation.”
Creatively, wisely elevating national status
Vietnam and 9 other ASEAN countries signed an agreement to establish the ASEAN Community on December 31, 2015, signaling a brighter future for their 600 million people.
Mr. Hong said “The diplomatic sector will play an important part in developing the ASEAN Community. It will actively work with social organizations to develop the Community and prevent hostile forces and dark schemes from dividing ASEAN countries. We’ll enhance communications so that all people and sectors will understand and actively embrace the ASEAN Community.”