VietNamNet Bridge – When the 13th National Assembly is about to conduct the vote of confidence for senior state officials, a prominent event caused strong "aftershock." It is the speech of Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung in the opening session of the 12th Shangri La Dialogue (SLD-12), held in Singapore recently.
Losing faith is losing everything
"Aftershocks" because the speech is of strategic value in international politics, a profound message of Vietnam sent to countries around the world, through the statement of transparency of the Vietnamese Prime Minister.
Immediately, the popular media agencies in the world such as NHK (Japan), BBC, Reuters (UK), AFP (France), Channel News Asia, The Straits Times of Singapore, well-known experts like Carl Thayer (Australian Academy of Defense,) Geoffrey Till (King's College School-UK) ..., voiced their comments on the Vietnamese PM’s speech. It shows how the impression made by the speech, particularly the issue of building "strategic trust" in the Asia-Pacific region, the role of the major powers in the context of tensions and rising territorial disputes, threatening international trade and global economy, prosperity, and security in the region and security of each country.
In particular, in Vietnam, the PM’s speech has been discussed widely by the youth. Some praised it, some criticized it but it's important that young Vietnamese do not indifferent to the destiny of the nation.
Notably, the speech was also commented, praised and cheered by intellectuals, leaders, and foreign experts."Strategic trust" is not a new concept, but this is the first time the Prime Minister of Vietnam put it on the international forums. Although there are many different interpretations, the "strategic trust" still has a specific connotation - it is the mutual trust in the cross-border cooperation (bilateral and multilateral).
"Strategic trust" is throughout the entire speech.
Prof. Tuong Lai: It has been a long time to listen to such as concise, clever with fighting-sprit speech.
Mr. Nguyen Minh Nhi, former Chairman of An Giang province: It is the best speech by Mr. Dung as the PM to date.
Dr. To Van Truong: It was the impressive event of the Prime Minister. Despite the praise or criticism, this is a good speech.
On the other side of trust is distrust. If losing trust is losing everything, like a proverb of Vietnam, which refers to the weight of the word "trust", the loss and the gain in human relations. In international forums, “trust” is used for the interpretation of the relationships of strategic partnership between the countries in modern times, where the national interest must always be set to the highest.
Especially, when the fate and destiny placed Vietnam in a woeful and majestic location - located on the bank of the East Sea, with huge mineral resources, the lifeblood of international trade and near the neighbor which is strong, wily and ambitious...
The SLD-12 dialogue discussed regional security, the risk of conflicts of religion, race, riots, terrorism, cyber security ... but the East Sea was still a major presence in the security, safety and freedom of navigation in the dialogue. The pain of a peace-loving nation which faces a lot of challenges in development and integration, but because of the irony of fate that it has always had to confront with greed, was shown at the SLD-12 dialogue. This is the "transparency."
There were the expressions of unilateral power, irrational demands, and actions contrary to international law somewhere. Just an act of irresponsibility, causing conflicts will disrupt this huge flow of goods, and the economies of the countries that are not only located in the region but the whole world will suffer incalculable consequences.
The Vietnamese Prime Minister bluntly gave the warning: People all know that if instability occurs, especially military conflicts, overall there will be no winners and losers but all will be the loser. That warning is almost a natural dialectic, even with developed nations which have strong political institutions, not alone the countries with imperfect political institutions, social injustice, and the risks of famine and political instability.
The difference between humans and fish
As a differentiation and movement of natural life, besides the weak countries, there are strong countries. Besides the backward countries, there are civilized nations. Besides the small and medium countries, there are large countries.
Vietnam has an idiom: big fish swallow the little fish to show the overwhelming brutality for species survival in the wild. But the man is not the fish because of the fundamental differences: the man has thinking, the foundation of civilization and the foundation of science and technology ... to survive and develop. Especially the man has law to adjust behavior towards the culture of civilized society.
If a country has state law, the international community has "international law". "International law" here, in the modern world full of conflicts of interest, is international legal documents that are signed by member countries for each country, from small to big, from weak to strong to look at them to behave commensurately with their position, and it creates the value of human civilization.
Of course, as a law of nature and immutability, the big and strong nations must always be the ones with great responsibility, and the behavior of these states with medium and small countries shows their "dignity" and "personality" - a test of "strategic trust."
Unfortunately, in the past, the test of "strategic trust" for the small and medium-sized countries, including Vietnam, brought about the “bitter taste of trust." To maintain the sovereignty, independence, freedom of the nation, millions of Vietnamese people sacrificed their blood to bone.
Does the "bitterness of trust" will repeat in this modern age?
SLD-12 Dialogue is an opportunity for countries to make equal dialogue, as its main theme, about the concerns about national interests, regional security and the win-win cooperation. As the Vietnamese Prime Minister emphasized that the right voices and useful initiatives are regardless of major countries or small countries.
But if the big countries are truly responsible for cooperation, regional security, as well as security and benefits to each country, the Asia - Pacific region is wide enough for all countries inside and outside the region to cooperate and share benefits.
It is more practical and wiser when the position and the role of the major powers in multilateral cooperation and regional security relations was emphasized, appreciated and honored: the two powers (the U.S. and China) have the largest role and responsibility for the future relations of their own, as well as the whole region and the world.
At the same time, the message is very clear: The expectations of small and medium sized countries, of the ASEAN community should be strengthened by strategic trust, expressed through the constructive action of these powers. But Vietnam, a country which the defense policy emphasizes at peace and self-defense, has no illusions before the truth that "strategic trust" is just the expectation.
In 2012, the increase in defense spending of other countries in the region far exceeded the combined national income of many countries in the region. What does that phenomenon express rather than a "race" and the "prevention" among nations?
And so, an ASEAN of consensus, solidarity, with a central role for the multilateral cooperation mechanisms is still a necessary and long-term condition for the construction and "strategic trust."
In this context, Vietnam decided to join the peacekeeping operations of the UN, primarily in the fields of engineering, military medicine and military observers. In fact, it is a step towards global integration aiming to peacekeeping, as the theme of the SLD-12 dialogue.
"Strategic trust" of Vietnam, from the transparent statement of the Prime Minister is proven in the goodwill and the actions to strengthen regional security.
Building "strategic trust"
The SLD-12 Dialogue was successful, but there are still challenges of uncertainty and infringement of marine security of each country in the region, including Vietnam. It reminds the success of the Paris Conference 40 years ago.
It has passed the days of fighting while negotiating and the victory of negotiation is decided by the victory in the battlefield. But the similarities between the Paris conference in the past with the SLD-12 today is the success and national position in international relations, foreign relations, is always been determined by internal resources of the country.
And if we frankly look at the country’s internal strength, we will see too many obstructions or challenges in the macro-level solutions, in the integration process of Vietnam that any high-level politicians or the Prime Minister have to face.
That is corruption, which not only makes enormously damage to the social resources – actually taxpayers’ money - but also seriously undermines the confidence of the people.
Vietnam desires to eradicate this disease, unfortunately, corruption is unabated.
The octopus trunk of corruption has formed the "group of friends," "interest groups" and "sectional interests" – the collusion between businesses and corrupted officials. The "commercialization" of power has led to dishonesty consequences, even distorted the policy.
It is economic restructuring: After the huge loss worth billions of US dollars of state corporations, restructuring the economy is the biggest solution.
But it is worrying that the process of economic reform as well as the policy to reform inefficient state-owned enterprises now faces the risk-the barrier which is actually interest groups.
It is the land issue: Although the draft revised Land Law will be discussed at the end of this session of the National Assembly, land-related claims has always been a burning issue at any given time.
Up to 70 percent of the total complaints are related to land. Due to rampant land acquisition, due to management gap, the projects with land acquisition have become opportunities for corruption of many officials.
In all the three core issues above, corruption is still the throughout thing.
If the above challenges are solved, the Prime Minister and the state can build up "strategic trust" with people, creating internal power of the nation in the process of international integration.