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Personnel work is decisive for NA future operation: Official




 Delegates at the session’s opening ceremony. VNA/ Photo

HÀ NỘI —  National Assembly Chairman Vương Đình Huệ yesterday called on deputies of the 15th NA to uphold their sense of responsibility and raise initiatives to help the legislature improve its operational quality and efficiency. 

Delivering his opening remarks at the first session of the 15th National Assembly (NA) in Hà Nội, Huệ emphasised that the election and approval of senior personnel at the meeting would directly determine the quality and performance of the State apparatus for the entire term.

Huệ also highlighted the elections of deputies to the 15th NA and all-level People’s Councils for 2021-2026, saying the voter turnout of 99.6 per cent has reflected the public’s high sense of responsibility and trust in the Party and State.

The success of the elections has also demonstrated the strength of the great national unity bloc, he stressed. 

He said the COVID-19 pandemic had changed the economic structure, governance methods and global economic and social life, forcing many countries to change their development orientations and strategies towards self-reliance as well as focus on investment and development of the domestic market.

Việt Nam’s economic growth was lower than the set target and there were still many difficulties and challenges due to the negative impact of the fourth outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, which spread rapidly in many provinces and cities, Huệ said adding that the development of the pandemic is complicated, difficult to control and may last for a long time.

Huệ said the National Assembly and deputies need to be deeply aware of the beliefs and expectations of voters, and clearly see the difficulties, advantages and opportunities, especially as the country is facing unprecedented challenges.

He suggested that delegates should strive to bring real life experiences to parliament, and help the 15th National Assembly improve its operational quality and issue correct, timely, and effective decisions.

During the session, the legislative body will elect and approve leadership positions of State agencies, and mull over reports on socio-economic development and other major issues. 

Notably, the legislature will consider and decide the numbers of NA Vice Chairpersons and members of the NA Standing Committee, and elect NA Chairperson and Vice Chairpersons, members of the NA Standing Committee, NA Secretary General, Chairperson of the NA Council for Ethnic Affairs, heads of NA committees, and State Auditor General. 

It will elect State President, Prime Minister, Vice State Presidents, Chief Justice of the Supreme People’s Court, and Prosecutor General of the Supreme People’s Procuracy. 

The NA will also decide the structure and number of Cabinet members, and ratify the appointment of Deputy PMs, Ministers and other Cabinet members, along with the list of Vice Chairperson and members of the Council of National Defence and Security (if any), and the appointment of judges of the Supreme People’s Court. 

“These are the central contents of the session, which will directly determine the quality and performance of the State apparatus for the whole term,” Huệ said.

During the session, lawmakers will also mull over the Government’s reports on socio-economic development and state budget in the first half of this year, and solutions to realise relevant plans in the second half; and on thrift practice and wastefulness prevention tasks from 2020 to learn lessons for the future.

The NA will also consider and approve the five-year socio-economic development plan during the 2021-25 period; five-year national fiscal plan; mid-term public investment plan; and the investment plan on the national target programme on building new-style rural areas and poverty reduction and sustainable social security.

The Việt Nam Fatherland Front’s Central Committee will deliver to the plenary session another report on the collected opinions of voters and people.

The NA will look into and approve draft resolutions on the law and ordinance building programme for 2022; adjustments to the law and ordinance building programme for 2021; and the NA’s supervision programme and the establishment of a thematic supervising delegation for 2022.

NA needs to continue innovating: Party leader

Speaking at the opening session, Party General Secretary Nguyễn Phú Trọng congratulated the newly elected deputies of the 15th National Assembly. Reflecting on more than 75 years of the National Assembly, with 14 working terms, the General Secretary said that each session of the National Assembly had left its own imprints and fulfilled the responsibilities entrusted by the people, properly performing the constitutional and legislative functions, supreme supervision and decision-making tasks on important matters of the country.

The General Secretary stated that in the future, the National Assembly should continue to innovate and further improve the quality and operational efficiency to best meet the country’s political requirements and tasks in the new period; promote its role and position in creating a legal framework for the country’s activities.

“The NA needs to continue promoting democracy, increasing debates, in-depth analysis, clarifying achievements, advantages, as well as shortcomings to find out the causes, lessons learned and propose appropriate, feasible solutions,” said Trọng.

He also stated that the National Assembly should focus on monitoring the implementation of conclusions and recommendations; improve the quality of decisions on important national issues; promote foreign affairs activities, proactively and actively integrate and cooperate internationally.

According to the General Secretary, in the immediate future, the National Assembly needs to focus on the institutionalisation and concretisation of important decisions affirmed at the 13th National Congress.

He further emphasised a very important and decisive issue that all National Assembly deputies of this term “need to continue to uphold the sense of responsibility, wholeheartedly for the country, for the people, and for the Fatherland, serving the people, regularly cultivating, practising, maintaining morality, raising their capacity in all aspects”. — 




Vietnamese foreign minister proposes Switzerland continue with vaccine assistance



Vietnamese Minister of Foreign Affairs Bùi Thanh Sơn (right) and Switzerland’s Vice President and Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis attend a press conference after their talks on Thursday. — VNA/ Photo

HÀ NỘI — Vietnamese Minister of Foreign Affairs Bùi Thanh Sơn proposed Switzerland continue to assist Việt Nam in accessing to COVID-19 vaccine supply, treatment drugs and necessary medical equipment during his talks with Switzerland’s Vice President and Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis on Thursday.

Welcoming the guest to Việt Nam, minister Sơn said the visit, which was made to mark the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries, would contribute to promoting stronger bilateral relations.

The two foreign ministers noted that Việt Nam-Switzerland relations are developing well in various fields including outstanding achievements in the 30-year implementation of the Swiss development co-operation programme with Việt Nam which Switzerland has provided assistance of US$662.5 million for Việt Nam.

The Vietnamese foreign minister thanked the Swiss Government for continuing to prioritise Official Development Assistance to Vietnam in the future, focusing mainly on environmental protection and economic reform.

According to Việt Nam’s General Department of Customs, the total import and export turnover between the two countries in 2020 and during 2016-18 period remained at about US$1 billion. The import value always reached nearly $1 billion, which was almost 1.5 to 2 times higher than the export value.

The two ministers discussed orientations to foster co-operation in politics – diplomacy, economy, investment, trade, science-technology, education and training.

They agreed to increase delegation and high-level exchanges between ministries, sectors and localities, deepening mutual understanding and trust, and promoting substantive cooperation for the post-COVID-19 period.

The two sides said they would create a favourable environment for enterprises of the two countries to expand investment and business in each other’s markets, and share efforts to soon conclude the negotiation of the Free Trade Agreement between Việt Nam and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) in order to create a strong impetus for bilateral trade and investment exchanges.

On behalf of the Vietnamese Government, foreign minister Sơn thanked the Switzerland Federal Department of Foreign Affairs for donating 500,000 quick COVID test kits, about 300,000 antibacterial masks and 30 oxygen machines with a total value of about VNĐ117 billion to Việt Nam.

Sơn said the presents were an extremely valuable and timely support for Việt Nam.

Vice president Ignazio Cassis believed that Việt Nam will soon recover from the pandemic and agreed that the two countries need to continue to share experiences in COVID prevention as well as roadmap of opening up and recovering the economy.

He said the two countries need to strengthen bilateral cooperation in healthcare, especially the technology transfer of COVID vaccines and treatment drugs.

Also at the talks, the two officials agreed to continue co-operation and strengthen mutual support at multilateral forums and international organisations, including ASEAN and the United Nations.

The Swiss foreign minister affirmed his support for ASEAN’s central role in regional structures and thanked Việt Nam for acting as a bridge to bolster Switzerland-ASEAN partnership.

The two ministers emphasised the importance of complying with international laws, ensuring freedom of navigation, overflight, security and peace in the East Sea, in which the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) is the legal framework governing all activities at seas.

Minister Sơn proposed the Swiss Government continue to create favourable conditions for the Vietnamese community in Switzerland to integrate well, contribute positively to the Swiss development and to strengthening the friendship and co-operation between the two countries.

The same day Switzerland’s Vice President and Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis greeted Vietnamese vice president Võ Thị Ánh Xuân and met with Vietnamese Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính. —


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Việt Nam denounces China’s military drill in Hoàng Sa islands



Spokesperson for the foreign ministry Lê Thị Thu Hằng. — Photo from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam on Thursday condemned China’s newly announced military drill near its Hoàng Sa (Paracels) archipelago as a serious violation of the country’s sovereignty.

Spokesperson for the foreign ministry Lê Thị Thu Hằng made the comment during the press briefing in Hà Nội, in response to a military drill held between August 6-10 in the northern part of the South China Sea (known in Việt Nam as the East Sea) between Hainan island and Paracel islands by unspecified arms/units of the People’s Liberation Army.

“As constantly reiterated, Việt Nam has sufficient legal grounds and historical evidence proving its sovereignty over Hoàng Sa and Trường Sa (Spratly) islands, in line with international law,” Hằng said.

The area marked for exercise covers 100,000 of water, including large parts of Hoàng Sa islands which belong to Việt Nam but much of it has currently been under China’s control after a violent seizure by Chinese forces back in the 1970s.

“China’s military exercise in the Hoàng Sa islands area constitute a serious violation of Việt Nam’s sovereignty, go against the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea, complicating the situation and is not helpful to either the ongoing negotiations between China and ASEAN on the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea nor the maintenance of peace and cooperation in the South China Sea,” the Vietnamese diplomat said.

“Việt Nam asks that China respects Việt Nam’s sovereignty over the Hoàng Sa and Trường Sa islands, put an end to the act and not to repeat offences of similar nature that complicates the situation in the South China Sea,” the spokesperson stressed.

The exercise came as the ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meeting and related meetings are still ongoing, while Chinese top diplomat Wang Yi has insisted during a ASEAN-China session on Tuesday that the two sides have maintained “a stable situation in general and freedom of navigation and overflight have been protected by the law.”

He also called for vigilance against “some countries outside the region” that have become “biggest disruptors” in the sea in thinly veiled criticism of other international actors such as the US or EU in defiance of China’s vast claims of the resource-rich sea.

Regarding India’s announcement of sending four warships to the South China Sea to participate in multilateral and bilateral exercises, including with Việt Nam, the spokesperson said Việt Nam’s consistent policy is that its maritime activities of countries inside and outside the region need to strictly comply with the provisions of the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

Any activity should make responsible contributions to the maintenance of peace, stability, security and safety, order, rules of law, and cooperation at sea for the sake of common interests, in line with the aspirations of countries in the region and the international community, the Vietnamese diplomat noted. —


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President Phúc to visit Laos



State President Nguyễn Xuân Phúc. VNA/ Photo

HÀ NỘI — State President Nguyễn Xuân Phúc and his spouse will pay an official visit to Laos from August 9-10.

The spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Lê Thị Thu Hằng made the announcement on Thursday in Hà Nội.

During the visit, he will hold talks with General Secretary of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party Central Committee and President of Laos Thongloun Sisoulith, Prime Minister Phankham Viphavanh and President of the National Assembly (NA) Xaysomphone Phomvihane and a number of Laos former and current high-level leaders.

The president will deliver remarks at the first session of the 9th NA of Laos, and at the inauguration ceremony of the NA building and attend other important activities, the spokesperson said.

Both sides will discuss measures to add weight and substance to the great friendship, special solidarity and comprehensive cooperation between Việt Nam and Laos, bringing forward the substantive benefits for the two countries’ people, she said —


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