|British scholar Kyril Whittaker pays respect to President Ho Chi Minh at the Vietnamese Embassy in the UK. (Photo: VNA)
Talking with Vietnam News Agency correspondents in the UK on the occasion of the CPV’s 94th founding anniversary, Whittaker said that since the establishment in 1930 in Hong Kong, the CPV has guided the country through the resistance against the French colonialism and US imperialism, and liberated, re-unified and re-built the country into prosperity.
Quoting President Ho Chi Minh’s words about democracy “Democracy means that the people are the master”, the British researcher stressed that not only is the Vietnamese society today a product of Marxism-Leninism and Ho Chi Minh Thought, but it is also imbued with the culture of socialism, with progressive values, a love for peace and independence, and the values Uncle Ho often talked about such as integrity and thrift.
According to him, the underlying recognition between providing a better quality of life for the people and the increasing development of culture has provided the basis for the Vietnamese society of today, one which is beloved and recognised by people all around the world for its rich culture, economic growth and expansive history. For the past 94 years, the CPV has continued socialist construction and overcome challenges, being the driving force of the Vietnamese society, which provides a leadership of the people, by the people and for the people, and continues to therefore provide the grounds for healthy growth in all areas, especially in cultural preservation and development.
Through various policies by elevating the people’s lives by eradicating poverty, building infrastructure, encouraging a healthy environment and preserving of the culture of ethnic minorities in Vietnam, the Party and the people of Vietnam are planting the seeds for the continual development of Vietnamese culture, he said.
Assessing Vietnam’s achievements in 2023 under the leadership of the CPV, Kyril said the country followed the continuous line of previous years in enhancing the people’s lives in all respects. The economy continuously grew, from 2.56% in 2021 to 8.02% the following year and 5% in 2023.
In his view, this is because the Vietnamese Government sees the “people as the roots”. During the pandemic, this could be seen through the comradely activity of neighbours in helping each other deal with the pandemic and the utilisation of the people’s police and army forces to assist with buying groceries for the population, harvesting crops, distributing free face masks and delivering of temperature checks.
The Government has also punished those who took advantage of the pandemic for economic gain by trying to raise prices on much needed products and those who would willingly spread dangerous disinformation, according to Kyril, saying it is clear that the world has much to learn from Vietnam in controlling the pandemic.
He said visiting and living in Vietnam for a period of time has shown to him immense transformation in the cities and rural areas of the country, powering through productivity and bettering people’s lives. New roads, new motorways, new transport systems, and the development and utilisation of green technology on a much wider scale are the norm in Vietnam, with the development of green public bus networks, increasing use of public transportation, development of sustainable agriculture and utilisation of ‘walking streets’ whereby large areas of cities traditionally affected by congestion are closed off and used as public spaces so that the public can experience peaceful walks in such historically rich and architecturally beautiful areas as Hoan Kiem Lake in Hanoi or Nguyen Hue Street in Ho Chi Minh City.
This reflects what Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong has recently emphasised, namely building on rapid but sustainable development. That is, to continue to develop and expand the economy whilst developing the “green and circular economy in association with intensifying resource management and environmental protection.”
The researcher said in 2023, Vietnam’s foreign relations increased significantly, remarkably with the visits to Vietnam of General Secretary of the Communist Party of China Xi Jinping and US President Joe Biden, saying Vietnam has strengthened its friendship with traditional friends and continuously developed trade and international relations, expanding and deepening its relations with 193 countries.
Besides this, Vietnam has taken an active role in international organisation such as ASEAN, the Non-aligned Movement, the UN and the Mekong River Commission, he said, stressing that through these forums, Vietnam has utilised its foreign policy of ‘bamboo diplomacy’ to expand relationships and create new partners whilst maintaining its independence, security and freedom and promoting peace. Vietnam has been an active member of discussions to developing a Code of Conduct in the East Sea and has consistently advocated for the independence and freedom of people’s worldwide.
Speaking about Vietnam’s fight against corruption under the leadership of the CPV, he said the country has tackled corruption at every turn with Party members disciplined, ejected from the Party and from their positions and facing real consequences for their actions.
The corruption campaign has been carried out very well in Vietnam and is an example and an inspiration to countries, parties and peoples all over the globe, he affirmed./.