Q: 2018 was a key year in implementing the Resolution of the 12th National Party Congress, which saw multiple important results achieved in all fields, especially in Party building work. Could you share more about the outstanding results in implementing this key task?
A: In 2018, the Party Central Committee drastically directed multiple strategic issues and also specific contents related to a large number of officials, Party members and the people. While deploying the key tasks set by the 12th National Party Congress, the Party Central Committee also focused on directing the construction and completion of institutions, mechanisms and policies, thus creating a driving force for new changes in all fields, including economics, politics, culture, society, national defence - security and foreign affairs. The people’s standard of living is constantly improving, as the Party's ideas are in line with the people's wishes, contributing to creating new forces to boost the country to continue firmly on its development path.
For Party building alone, it can be said that 2018 left many good imprints on the work with methodical, scientific, proper and effective methods. One of the outstanding results, which was recognised by the whole society, was the continuation of the Resolution reached at the 12th Party Central Committee’ 4th plenary session on Party building and consolidating the Party’s apparatus, especially the fight against corruption, wastefulness and negativity. The operation of the Central Steering Committee on Anti-corruption has recorded drastic changes, focusing on difficult matters, such as inspections, investigations, expertise and asset recovery, while paying attention to the effectiveness of supervision and criticism from socio-political organisations, as well as regularly organising delegations to supervise the inspection, prosecution, investigation, prosecution and trial of corruption and economically criminal cases.
The committees and functional agencies concerned are more synchronous and focused when carrying out the work, as they focused on sensitive and complicated subjects and areas that can easily lead to violations, as well as urgent issues that attracted the public’s concern. They resolutely and persistently took each step to make sure that the violations were clearly defined and handled, regardless of who the violator is and where they work. In handling officials, a reasonable manner is used with clear definition of both their achievements and violations, along with strict but also very humane handling to pave the way for violators to correct their mistakes, while warning others and preventing violations. Previous weaknesses and limitations have been gradually overcome. The progress of inspections, investigations, prosecution and adjudication is pushed harder and faster, while the asset recovery rate from corruption cases increased markedly.
Since the beginning of the 12 Party Central Committee, over 60 officials under the management of the Party Central Committee have been disciplined – an unprecedented number. Continuing the "no-forbidden" and “without exception” spirit, in 2018, multiple high-level officials, including retired ones or even those in law enforcement agencies and General rank officers of the armed forces, were handled for their violations, with several cases to strip titles and trials for criminal handling.
What a pain! However, for the strictness of Party discipline, the supremacy of the law of the State, the purity, robustness and prestige of the Party and the will of the people, we must do it, and will continue to do it in the future.
Q: There is an opinion such as that, as, recently, we have focused too much on dealing with violating officials but not focusing on directing other fields. Is this a misconception that needs to be addressed?
A: That kind of opinion is not plentiful, but it is also necessary to listen to it so that if it is true, it is crucial to adjust, but recently, it has been shown that the results of the fight against corruption are creating new beliefs for the whole Party and the entire people, as well as creating a driving force for socio-economic development, thus helping to successfully implement the Resolution of the 12th National Party Congress. In 2018, we completed all the targets, including many exceeding the set plans. Once I said: "Our country has never had the same opportunities, potentials and positions as today"; "Whoever is discouraged should step aside for others to do their work." We fight negativity and corruption to make the Party and State apparatus cleaner and stronger, helping the leaders better perform their political and socio-economic tasks. It is also the earnest aspiration of the whole people and the requirement of the revolutionary missions.
In fact, it is not that we only focus on handling violating officials. In contrast, the Party Central Committee always pays attention to the comprehensive leadership over the country's various fields, from economic development, ensuring national defence and security, expanding foreign relations, promoting international integration and maintaining a peaceful environment, to strengthening social security and taking care of the people's lives.
In 2018 alone, the Party Central Committee’s 7th and 8th plenums discussed and agreed to issue several important resolutions on the sustainable development strategy for Vietnam's marine economy, wage policy, social insurance, building staff and regulations for officials to improve their responsibilities in setting examples for others to follow. It clearly and specifically reflects that the motto and leadership principle of the Party is to take care of economic development as the centre role, considering Party building as crucial and ensuring national defence and security is a regular important task. Economic development must go hand in hand with solving social issues and tackling shortcomings and issues of public concern. Furthermore, it should be important to develop and perfect mechanisms and policies to create a favourable environment for people to feel comfortable and excited to work and contribute to the public and the country, thus preventing and limiting crime.
Q: The above resolutions and regulations, especially those on staff building are very important. How should they be implemented in order to achieve the most effective results?
A: Personnel work is human resource work, which is related to multiple aspects, stages, factors and relationships. The implementation of the above resolutions and regulations must always be placed within the Party’s overall strategy and general guidelines. For each issue, there are requirements in terms of the depth of all content. The Resolution of the 12th Party Central Committee’s 7th plenum set out eight tasks, including "two focuses" and "five breakthroughs". For example, in the personnel work, along with continuing to strictly handle violations, aka combining "building staff" with "anti-violation", the Party committees and Party organisations at all levels should soon develop plans to implement Resolution No. 26 on building a contingent of cadres at all levels, especially strategic officials, with capabilities, prestige and adequate qualifications on a par with the missions. Immediately after the Resolution was issued, the Politburo issued Plan No. 10-KH/TW, while the Government also deployed an Action Programme, defining the key tasks of completing the legal documents on personnel work, developing a national strategy to attract talents, strengthening staff management and controlling power to prevent “buying positions”.
One of the highlights of Resolution No. 26 is the renovation of staff assessment in the direction of regular manner, continuity, multi-dimensional, under specific criteria, by product, through survey, publicity of results and with comparison with equivalent positions, while attaching personal assessment to collective assessment, based on the specific results of the performance of tasks by localities, agencies and units, as well as having mechanism to create motivations, innovation and experience through dealing with practice and difficulties in places.
On the other hand, it is necessary to implement and supervise the implementation of Regulation No. 08 on the responsibility to set the example of cadres and Party members, first of all the Politburo members, members of the Secretariat and members of the Party Central Committee. In particular, it should be made aware that officials must set an example in task implementation, especially those that they are not allowed to do, such as "buying" or abetting the “buying” of positions, votes and votes of confidence, as well as intervening in personnel work that is not in accordance with their authority and responsibility, or promoting, appointing and arranging officials who do not meet the criteria, especially their family members and relatives. It is a must by all means to control power in personnel work.
Another noteworthy point is that the implementation of the Resolution on personnel work needs to be synchronised with other Party resolutions, which must be addressed to Resolution No. 18 and 19 of the 12th Party Central Committee’s 6th plenum on reforming and reorganising the organisational apparatus in the political system in a streamlined, effective and efficient operational manner and on improving the operation quality of public units, respectively. In streamlining the organisational apparatus, it must properly evaluate staff for streamlining and arranging to fit the staff capacity and the requirements of the new apparatus organisation. In the process, it is necessary to prevent and combat negative phenomena which are easy to occur when arranging and streamlining officials.
This is a sensitive and complicated issue that requires close guidance and supervision, otherwise it will be counterproductive, weakening the apparatus, and sometimes allowing the decayed officials to stay and those capable to be pushed out. The best way to do this is by promoting the implementation of the Resolution at the Party Central Committee’s 4th plenum on strengthening the construction and adjustment of the Party, strictly complying with the regulations on setting examples by officials, and developing effective sanctions in controlling power. The higher the officers holding the position, the better the example and the more exemplary they should be. In the units that an offence is committed, the heads of that unit must be responsible for the wrongdoing and must be severely dealt with in advance. There is a firm belief that, with such specific mechanisms, policies and measures, along with good examples raised by nearly 200 Party Central Commissioners, we will be successful.
Q: In the 14th National Assembly’s 6th session, you were elected to be the State President with almost absolute votes (476/477 votes). Could you share more about your feelings after taking on the role of both the Party General Secretary and the State President?
A: The time is too short, so saying what is right now is too early. I just want to reiterate my mood and feelings about this, as I spoke to the National Assembly and the whole nation at the inaugural ceremony after the election results were announced. This is a tremendous honour, but it is also a very heavy responsibility for me. I am both with joy and also with worry at the same time. I am glad because of the Party and National Assembly have entrusted me with this task, and also happy as I was supported by the people. I am also worried in how to fulfil both the great responsibilities as the head of the Party and also the head of the State. At the end of the afternoon on the inaugural day, I went to meet and study the work at the President's Office.
I am very happy to receive support from the officials and civil servants at the Office, who have helped me to access this new job. After that, thanks to the close coordination among the Party Central Committee’s Office, Office of the Party General Secretary and the President's Office, along with the efforts of officials and civil servants of the concerned agencies, up to now, after over two months since I took the new mission, all the tasks that I have had to shoulder went smoothly in the initial stage. I will continue to work hard and try to learn while carrying out my tasks. I am looking forward to receiving help from the leaders, former leaders of the Party, State and Fatherland Front, as well as compatriots across the nation. I hope that the agencies, committees, sectors, units and localities concerned will closely coordinate and unify to create favourable conditions for me to fulfil the tasks entrusted on me by the Party, State and people.
Q: On the occasion of the Lunar New Year - Year of the Pig, do you have any words to send to the officials and soldiers across the country, as well as Vietnamese overseas?
A: A new spring always brings new vitality. I wish the people and soldiers across the country, along with our Vietnamese compatriots abroad, a new year full of health, happiness, many new joys, new spirit and new momentum, uniting as one to continue promoting innovation to build and protect our immense beloved country.
Reporter: Thank you very much! On behalf of the Nhan Dan newspaper staff, we would like to wish you great health, together with the whole Party, to lead and successfully implement all the guidelines and policies of the Party and the State, to promptly turn our country into a modern industrialised nation.