Anniversary of Vietnam’s Defeat of U.S. Imperialism and Reunification
April 30, 1975
Significance of Vietnam’s Reunification and Its Nation Building Project Today
On April 30, 1975, forty-eight years ago, the U.S. imperialists had to flee Vietnam as their puppet regime in Saigon collapsed and their armed aggression and intervention in Vietnam was defeated. This victory came at the end of the historic Ho Chi Minh campaign. The U.S. imperialists’ war of intervention and war against Vietnam was characterized by extreme brutality and lasted for more than 10 years. More than three million Vietnamese died in the war. Millions were wounded and maimed, and many others disfigured and made ill through the U.S. use of napalm, Agent Orange and other illegal chemical weapons. There were many massacres of Vietnamese civilians by U.S. such as in Mai Lai and other places.
The reunification of Vietnam shines in the annals of the liberation struggles of the peoples of the world. The victory of the Vietnamese people against U.S. imperialist aggression lifted the spirits of the peoples of the world who were striving to put an end to colonialism and imperialism. Revolution was then in flow. The world has since changed greatly, going into a period of retrogression and retreat of revolution, yet today the Socialist Republic of Vietnam continues to shine and inspire. The Vietnamese people and their government, led by the Communist Party of Vietnam, have given life to Ho Chi Minh’s unshakable conviction that not even the overwhelming military might of U.S. imperialism could deny the Vietnamese their sovereignty and independence. As he wrote in his final testament: “Our mountains will always be, our rivers will always be, our people will always be. The American invaders defeated, we will rebuild our land ten times more beautiful.”
Today’s Vietnam is indeed being rebuilt to be ten times more beautiful as President Ho Chi Minh envisioned. I would like to touch on a few things to focus attention on some of Vietnam’s nation-building preoccupations in the current period.
Celebrating its 93rd anniversary on February 3 this year, the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) stated: “2023 is the pivotal year for the implementation of the Resolution of the 13th National Party Congress and the five-year socio-economic development plan for the 2021-2025 period. The entire Party, people and army are exerting efforts to fulfil the socio-economic development goals at the highest level towards macroeconomic stability while also focusing on removing difficulties for production and business activities.
“It is necessary to continue to develop the fields of culture, education-training, science-technology; protect the environment, ensure social security and welfare, and improve people’s lives” and further “we proudly and firmly step forward under the glorious banner of the Party, promote the obtained achievements, strongly arouse the will and creativity of the whole people, continue to achieve greater victories in many fields, advance rapidly on the path of renewal and development, for the goal of building a society of wealthy people, a strong country, democracy, justice, and civilization.”
A review of the social policies adopted for the previous 10 years in the context of the Doi Moi economic renovations adopted in 1986 by the CPV at a meeting on March 30 showed success in economic growth contributing significantly to social progress and justice. The meeting concluded “The effective implementation of social policies and ensuring social welfare have contributed to strengthening people’s confidence in the Party, State and regime, bringing about great achievements in realizing social progress and justice, and improving people’s material and spiritual life, affirming the superiority of socialism under the leadership of the Party.” The meeting also discussed short-comings in the overall work and the need to step up efforts to strengthen and widen anti-poverty initiatives, raise the productive capacity of the people, narrow gaps between regions and groups in the country and improve social insurance policies to meet the needs of the people.
The meeting also noted that maintaining the Doi Moi strategy and linking it with effective social policies is a constant work of the CPV and the whole society which will contribute to boosting economic growth in parallel with social progress and justice, ensure social programs for the people and create and strengthen the means for the people to participate in the life of the country and enjoy the fruits of economic development.
As an example, on March 8, International Women’s Day, the government announced a program to assist women who were poor and or disabled. Working closely with the UN Development Program, the Ministry of Planning and Investment is working to assist various women’s organizations representing poor and disabled women. Women make 51 per cent of Vietnam’s 100 million people. The program will provide various supports such as more than 20,000 white canes for the visually impaired and job training for others so that they can make their contributions to nation-building as workers and citizens.
Vietnam also accepts foreign aid on its own terms to help solve a wide range of challenges. For example, USAID recently announced increased funding for a variety of projects in Vietnam including in education, the environment and women’s programs. In accepting this financial assistance, Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh affirmed that Vietnam is ready to continue its comprehensive partnership with the U.S. “in an effective and practical manner, based on the principle that the U.S. always supports a strong, independent, prosperous Vietnam and respects each other’s independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and political regime, meeting the benefits of the people of the two countries and contributing to peace, cooperation and development in the region and the world.” In other words, on the principle of non-interference in each other’s affairs and for mutual benefit.
As part of its post-COVID-19 economic recovery, Vietnam is striving to boost its Doi Moi reforms by increasing the number of active businesses per 1,000 people. This statistic gives a good idea of the state of the Vietnamese economy and its potential. A recent report indicated that by the end of 2022, Vietnam had about 850,000 active businesses , about 15,300 non-agricultural cooperatives and about 5.2 million business households. The report notes that these statistics represent that only eight businesses operating for every 1,000 people, while the ratio is 11 businesses per 1,000 people in ASEAN countries, and 100 businesses per 1,000 people in the U.S. Dr. Le Duy Binh, a leading economist in Vietnam, points out that the government’s efforts to boost the quality and quantity of Vietnamese enterprises will be decisive to realize the goal of turning Vietnam into a developing country by 2025 and contributing to achieving the goal of becoming a “high income country” by 2045. As one strategy to achieve this target, the CPV has been discussing how to further involve Vietnamese intellectuals at home and abroad in contributing their knowledge and technical expertise so as to achieve Vietnam’s goals in the Fourth Industrial Revolution driven by digitalization of the economy, use of artificial intelligence, robotics and so on.
Parallel to these developments, Vietnam continues to play a positive role in the region and in the world as a factor for peace and sustainable development for all countries and people. Vietnam achieved its UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to reduce poverty ahead of schedule and is poised to fulfill 17 SDGs in gender equality and other areas by the target date of 2030. On the environment, it has championed collective efforts at the UN to achieve global environmental targets that ensure a sustainable natural environment for all.
In October 2022, despite efforts by the U.S. and its allies to block its nomination, Vietnam was elected to the UN Human Rights Council by an overwhelming majority vote of 145 out of 189 valid votes. This support of the majority of member nations of the UN adds to Vietnam’s two productive terms championing peace and cooperation amongst nations on the UN Security Council in 2008-2009 and in 2020-2021 and reaffirms and enhances Vietnam’s integration and prestige in the world, as a force of peace, justice and human rights.
These are some of the preoccupations and achievements of Vietnam in nation-building today. This is all possible because 48 years ago Vietnam, a small nation, defeated the biggest imperialist power in the world and created the conditions for today’s Vietnam, a country that is a shining example of what is possible when a people organized under the leadership of a revolutionary communist party, affirm their right to be.
Warmest congratulations, greetings and best wishes to the Vietnamese people on the glorious occasion of the 48th anniversary of Vietnam’s victory over the U.S. imperialists and the reunification of their country, as well as success in all their nation-building projects. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the establishing of Canada-Vietnam diplomatic relations. It is important to underscore that besides state-to-state relations to strengthen trade and other exchanges which are positive at this time, relations between the Canadian people and Vietnamese people have always been strong. The Canadian people stood with the Vietnamese people to oppose the U.S. war of aggression in Vietnam well before diplomatic relations between the two countries were established. After the victory of Vietnam over the U.S. imperialists, hundreds of thousands of Canadians have visited Vietnam, to appreciate its achievements, historic sites and its ancient culture and friendly people. Thousands of Vietnamese workers are working in Canada as foreign workers and tens of thousands of Vietnamese students have come to Canada to study and some of them to stay and contribute to Canada. Thus state-to-state and people-to-people relations between Canada and Vietnam are strong and becoming stronger.