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Army General speaks about pandemic-response proposal, Prime Minister’s brainstorming decision



Proposing a declaration of a state of emergency in response to the Covid-19 pandemic was a “proposal of nerves”, not only for the Party, State and Government’s leaders, but also for ministries and appropriate agencies.

Army General speaks about pandemic-response proposal, Prime Minister’s brainstorming decision

Lieutenant General Ngo Minh Tien

Lieutenant General Ngo Minh Tien, Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Vietnam People’s Army, at a recent seminar recounted the Prime Minister’s brainstorming moments and landmark decisions in the fight against Covid-19.

Turning point

Tien said southern provinces once asked the Government to declare a state of emergency due to the pandemic and apply measures as stipulated by the laws in order to prevent, control and repel the pandemic in their localities.

“I think this was a proposal of nerves, not only for the Party, State and Government, but also for ministries and branches,” Tien said.

The Government’s special task-force, after meetings and working sessions with localities, specialists, state management agencies, realized some matters needed special attention.

First, Directive 16 Plus in HCM City and southern provinces would be difficult because with such populous localities, there was no force that could ensure the social distancing.

Second, it would be difficult to ensure social welfare, especially supply of essentials to people.

Third, the healthcare system in HCM City and southern provinces was incapable of solving matters on testing people, and classifying and treating patients in accordance with guidance by the Ministry of Health(MOH).

Proposing a declaration of a state of emergency in response to the Covid-19 pandemic was a “proposal of nerves”, not only for the Party, State and Government’s leaders, but also for ministries and appropriate agencies.

He said that localities had their reasons to make such a proposal. However, if Vietnam had declared a state of emergency, this would have affected people’s psychology and created negative responses from regional and international public opinion.

“In my opinion, if we declare a state of emergency, hostile forces will take advantage of the opportunity to distort the Party’s guidelines and policies, and the State’s laws and policies in epidemic prevention and control,” he said.

After considering pros and cons, the Prime Minister made a timely, wise and decisive move, using a selective force of healthcare, army, and police workers to provide aid to southern localities in their fight against the pandemic.

With the spirit ‘fighting the pandemic is like fighting the enemy’, implementing the Prime Minister’s instructions, ministries and branches, and MOH, Ministry of Natural Defence and Ministry of Public Security mobilized a force that was unprecedentedly large (post war) to fight the pandemic.

“This was a landmark decision which allowed us to spend a short time only, three months, to control the situation (in some other countries, it takes 6-9 months to do this),” Tien said.

Decisions made on facts and figures

According to Minister of Health Do Xuan Tuyen, based on the real situation, the Government applied anti-pandemic methods appropriately, flexibly and creatively, especially in the fourth wave, and affirmed that Vietnam has basically controlled the spread of the Delta variant.

According to Tuyen, when the Delta variant appeared, Vietnam conducted research, classified and made reasonable adjustments early so as to minimize the number of severe cases, hospitalizations and deaths.

“We applied flexible measures, specifically for every locality and therefore we have succeeded in controlling the pandemic,” he said.

Tuyen went on to say that the ‘zero Covid’ strategy pursued in the first phase was reasonable. Later, when the vaccination coverage expanded and Vietnamese people’s awareness was heightened, Vietnam made adjustments in strategy.

The new variant Omicron has appeared, but Vietnam has large vaccination coverage. More than 99 percent of people aged 18 and over have had at least one jab, while over 90 percent have had two jabs.

“I think the Prime Minister made the right decision at the right time to switch from ‘zero Covid’ to ‘safe adaptation to the pandemic’. The new strategy is bringing effects to both the fight against the pandemic and the socio-economic development,” he said.

Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Tran Quoc Phuong commented that Resolution 128 has significance in both the fight against the pandemic and economic development.

He said the resolution was issued at a reasonable moment. It shouldn’t have been released earlier, when the vaccination coverage was not enough, and it shouldn’t have been released later since businesses had to experience a long period of lockdown during the fourth wave.

Resolution 128 on living together with Covid-19 played an important role in reversing the economic results.

“Thanks to Resolution 128, we can obtain GDP growth,” he said.

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Nguyen Minh Vu said that Resolution 128 paved the way for the transition of status to ‘safe adaption to the pandemic’. Most countries are accepting to live in pandemic while fighting against it.

“The resolution was released after thorough consideration of the facts, especially the large vaccination coverage. International practice shows that countries with a vaccination rate of over 60 percent can reopen step by step,” he said.

“I think that switching to another status as stipulated in Resolution 128 was a change, and a difficult change. Managing the change has also been a big challenge,” he said. 

Thu Hang



National Assembly discusses draft law on the implementation of grassroots democracy




Minister of Home Affairs Phạm Thị Thanh Trà at the National Assembly meeting yesterday. Photo

HÀ NỘI — Minister of Home Affairs Phạm Thị Thanh Trà presented a report on a draft law on the implementation of democracy at a grassroots level, as a part of the ongoing third session of the National Assembly yesterday morning in Hà Nội.

The minister said that the draft law has new contents.

The draft law specifically stipulates the rights and obligations of citizens, cadres, civil servants, public employees and employees in the implementation of grassroots democracy. The provision on the authorisation of grassroots democracy implementation is added.

Under the draft, people have the right to complain, initiate lawsuits and denounce violations relating to the implementation of democracy at the grassroots levels. People have the obligation to propose and report to competent authorities when detecting violations in its implementation.

In implementing democracy in agencies and units, the draft law added the form of information disclosure, collecting opinions through an internal information system, or posting on portals and information pages of agencies or units.

The form of inspection and supervision on the activities of taking votes of confidence for leadership and management positions in agencies and units according to regulations of competent agencies have been added in this draft too.

Additional content in the draft covers employees’ rights to decide on the level of contributions to social and charity funds at enterprises.

Different opinions on the implementation of democracy in business were also reported to the National Assembly during the session.

The first opinion suggests that the law should not stipulate the implementation of democracy in enterprises, while the second opinion wants the bill to stipulate a separate chapter on the content and implementation of democracy in various types of enterprises, including a number of peculiarities for state-owned units.

At the meeting, Chairman Hoàng Thanh Tùng of the National Assembly’s Law Committee said the committee agrees with the extension of the regulatory scope of the draft law to regulate the implementation of democracy at the grassroots levels including communes, wards, townships and residential communities, agencies, agencies of the Party and public non-business units, socio-political organisations and businesses.

It also agreed to assign competent agencies, organisations and individuals to specify the implementation of democracy within agencies and particular institutions such as Party agencies, the National Assembly, the People’s Council, the People’s Court, the People’s Procuracy, the People’s Army, the People’s Public Security, and socio-political organisations from central to local levels.

Most of the participants in the Law Committee agreed that the law should have a separate chapter stipulating the content, form and method of implementing democracy in enterprises, as well as some specific provisions for State-owned enterprises, which directly manage and use resources of the State, Chairman Tùng said. 

More detailed provisions of the law on the implementation of democracy in State-owned enterprises will contribute to improving the efficiency of management and use of investment resources of the State, controlling corruption, negativity and wastefulness.

More detailed regulations on democracy in State-owned enterprises were also needed, especially those for employees to give opinions, discuss, decide and check.

There is also an opinion suggesting that this law should only regulate the implementation of democracy in State-owned enterprises which directly manage and use investment resources of the State.

In non-state businesses, relationships between employee and employer are based on contracts and amount to an agreement between the parties. Disputes and conflicts are resolved through dialogue, conciliation, negotiation and arbitration.

Regulations on the implementation of democracy in enterprises as in the draft law are likely to cause difficulties for businesses and economic organisations in the non-state sector in the implementation, participants said. 

This bill will be further discussed at the National Assembly on June 16. —



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Vietnamese, Cuban Party officials hold talks




Roberto Morales Ojeda, Politburo member and permanent member of the Secretariat of the Communist Party of Cuba (PCC) Central Committee. VNA/ photo

HÀ NỘI — Senior Party officials of Việt Nam and Cuba have agreed that amid the COVID-19 pandemic, regular meetings and exchanges between the two Parties and countries vividly demonstrate their special friendship.

Võ Văn Thưởng, Politburo member and permanent member of the Secretariat of the Communist Party of Việt Nam (CPV) Central Committee held online talks with Roberto Morales Ojeda, Politburo member and permanent member of the Secretariat of the Communist Party of Cuba (PCC) Central Committee on Thursday.

At the talks, Thưởng informed the Cuban official about Việt Nam’s achievements in the COVID-19 fight and socio-economic development, as well as the country’s efforts in implementing the Resolution adopted at the 13th National Party Congress, especially in Party building and rectification, and the combat against corruption and other negative phenomena.

He also spoke of the important contents approved at the recent fifth plenum of the CPV Central Committee.

Such achievements reflect the solidarity and high consensus within the Party, the entire people and army, helping to raise public confidence in the Party’s leadership, Thưởng noted.

For his part, Morales Ojeda congratulated Việt Nam on the achievements, and expressed his belief that under the leadership of the CPV, Vietnamese people will successfully achieve targets set at the 13th National Party Congress.

He briefed Thưởng on Cuba’s strategies and policies in various aspects, along with priorities in updating its socio-economic development models in the future.

The Cuban official emphasised the significance of high-level visits by leaders of the two countries in recent years, including the State-level visit to Cuba by Party General Secretary Nguyễn Phú Trọng in March 2018, the visit to Việt Nam by First Secretary of the PCC Central Committee and President of Cuba Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermudez in November the same year, and the official visit to Cuba by President Nguyễn Xuân Phúc last September.

The two sides discussed orientations and measures to further implement cooperation agreements in different spheres like healthcare, agriculture, fishery, bio-technology and renewable energy, as well as specific projects.

Thưởng reaffirmed the consistent policy of the Vietnamese Party, State and people that is supporting the just revolutionary cause of Cuba, and noted his belief that under the leadership of the PCC, Cuban people will successfully update their socio-economic model, opening up a new development period.

The officials also exchanged views on the regional and international situation, and issues of shared concern.


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Vietnamese Deputy PM calls for investment from Japan in meeting with PM Kishida



Permanent Deputy Prime Minister Phạm Bình Minh has paid courtesy call to Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio during the trip to Japan to attend the International Conference on the Future of Asia. — VNA/ Photo 

HÀ NỘI — During the visit to Japan, Permanent Deputy Prime Minister Phạm Bình Minh has paid courtesy calls to Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio and several other Japanese high-ranking officials on May 26-27.

During the meetings, Deputy PM Minh said Việt Nam always considers Japan as an extensive, reliable, and important strategic partner, hoping that the two sides would continue to implement important agreements and common understandings obtained during the official visits of PM Phạm Minh Chính and PM Kishida Fumio, contributing to the promotion of bilateral relations.

The Deputy PM emphasised that as the two sides are reopening with the COVID-19 situation under control, Việt Nam and Japan must continue to exchange high-level delegations, especially through the Party, State, and National Assembly channels, and hope Japanese leaders to encourage Japanese businesses to increase investment and step up the diversification of supply chains in Việt Nam.

He also wants Japan to pay attention to and create favourable conditions for the Vietnamese community in Japan, promote local cooperation, cultural exchanges, people-to-people exchanges, and closely coordinate in organising activities to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the diplomatic relations in 2023.

Japanese leaders have all affirmed the importance of relations with Việt Nam and highly appreciated Việt Nam’s achievements of socio-economic development and COVID-19 control, and the increasingly important position and role of Việt Nam in the world, while at the same time, appreciated the important contributions of the Vietnamese community to the development of Japan.

PM Kishida Fumio reiterated his good impression from his recent visit to Việt Nam, and said he will promote the effective implementation of the results of the mutual visits of the PMs of the two countries.

Speaker of the House of Representatives Hosoda Hiroyuki and President of the Senate Santo Akico said they will strengthen exchanges between the two parliaments, and are looking forward to enhancing coordination at regional and international inter-parliamentary forums, and will support the Japanese Government in implementing comprehensive and extensive cooperation with Việt Nam.

Japanese Minister of Foreign Affairs Haiasi Iosimasa and Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Hagiuda Koichi highly appreciated the efforts and resolution of the Vietnamese Government in building an open and transparent investment environment, maintaining its commitment to investors and effectively handle difficulties faced by Japanese enterprises.

They also affirmed the willingness to exchange experiences and knowledge on Japan’s successful with Việt Nam, expressed their agreement with Việt Nam to expand cooperation in the fields of technology innovation, supply chain assurance, digital transformation, climate change fight, speeding up procedures to soon announce the opening of the Japanese market for exported Vietnamese longans, and soon restore normal travels of citizens of the two countries.

The two sides also discussed regional and international issues of mutual concern, agreeing to strengthen close coordination at international and regional forums such as the United Nations, ASEAN, Mekong, and coordination in the implementation of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

Leaders of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) also affirmed that they will continue to work together to remove obstacles in ODA projects, and work closely to expand ODA supply to Việt Nam in the coming time, especially the new generation ODA programme that the PMs of the two countries have agreed upon.

JICA also said Japanese business delegations will soon visit Việt Nam to survey and explore opportunities for cooperation and investment, contributing effectively to the substantive relationship between the two countries.—


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