PANO – On the occasion of the Lunar New Year, the People’s Army Newspaper Online would like to present the interview with Senior Lieutenant General Nguyen Chi Vinh on the Vietnam People’s Army (VPA).
The army for peaceReporter: Undertaking the work of defence relations since 2009, travelling the world probably more often than any other generals, what do you think about the image of the Vietnam People’s Army (VPA) now?Sr. Lt. Gen. Nguyen Chi Vinh: The image of the VPA in the two wars of national liberation is all familiar to us. It is an elite, brave, and invincible army. In peacetime, the world has learnt more about the VPA in other aspects. By words and actions, we have shown to the world the army for peace. Even when we launched war, it is also the war for peace, which is vividly seen in the war to help Cambodia escape from the genocidal regime of Pol Pot. Over time, other countries have seen that the VPA is a friendly army due to its transparency and sincerity. And the world has also witnessed the positive contribution of the VPA to peace and stability as it has actively been participating in multilateral cooperation mechanisms and the peacekeeping operations of the United Nations.
Foreigners often ask me that the size of the VPA is not big and the budget for defence is not high, why we are still powerful both in wartime and peacetime. My answer is: The VPA is not a big but very strong army. That is because we can rely on the people. In other words, people of the whole nation join the fight against adversaries. In peacetime, we rely on the people to build up the army and maintain peace. Also in other words, the entire nation joins hands to build up the army and maintain peace.
Reporter: The most important mission of defence relations is to contribute to the early protection of the country. In 2014, Vietnam experienced severe threats to the national security. What is your view on the activities of defence relations in the past year?Sr. Lt. Gen. Nguyen Chi Vinh: In the past year, there were times when the national sovereignty and peace were both threatened. The problem is that we must protect both at the same time. And the biggest success in the past year is that the Party and State soundly solved this issue with the contribution of the army. National sovereignty must be protected at any cost. However, if peace was undermined, then it would take us tens of years to recover to the current state.
Vietnam-US relations develops on right trackReporter: 2015 is the year to mark the 20th anniversary of the Vietnam-US normalization of relations. So, what is your view on the relations over the past year, including defence ties?Sr. Lt. Gen. Nguyen Chi Vinh: Over the past 20 years, the Vietnam-US relations have developed in the right pace satisfying and really benefiting both sides, contributing to peace and stability in the region. We’ve avoided the negative aspects while leveraging the advantages in the relations with the United States to develop and consolidate peace. We are also confident that Vietnam’s sincerity and respect for the interests of its partner should not bring any negative effect to the United States.
Defence relations also enjoys the same development, but at a little slower pace. Defence cooperation is the final step to strengthen confidence and the VPA has met that requirement of the Party and State. In fact, a lot of attention has been paid to Vietnam-US defence ties. In 2011, Vietnam and the United States signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on bilateral defence cooperation with the five well-known cooperation priorities. The signing of the MoU has set framework for the two sides to cooperate and brought substantial results.
In defence cooperation, Vietnam is most satisfied with the results achieved in agent orange/dioxin consequence relief, UXO clearance, search for MIAs, etc. In the coming time, I think the two sides should deepen the ties and expand cooperation to other fields to keep up with the current pace of development.
Reporter: That Vietnam and the United States normalized the relations has brought real benefits to both sides. What about our attitude towards the overseas Vietnamese, including those who previously worked for the Saigon government, General?Sr. Lt. Gen. Nguyen Chi Vinh: I must emphasize that there is no discrimination towards overseas Vietnamese in the policies of the Party and the State. Most of the overseas Vietnamese are patriots regardless of their origins. And the policies are practiced equally to all people, including overseas Vietnamese. Over the past time, as we have expanded and strengthened international cooperation, including the Vietnam-US ties, overseas Vietnamese have better understood the situation of the country, which is more constantly developing and getting increasingly democratic. Overseas Vietnamese have also seen more clearly the nature of the war before.
At present, a good number of overseas Vietnamese have confidently been proud to be the people of Vietnam. However, there still remain a few hostile forces. Those who do not abide by the law will surely be punished, but they will then gradually understand their faults.
Age: “If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter”Reporter: You once shared that you are interested in talking with young people. As one of the key leaders of the VPA, have you got time for it?Sr. Lt. Gen. Nguyen Chi Vinh: Though busier, whenever possible I always take time sitting back and talking with young people. Through their stories, I see that young people today are more knowledgeable than their former generations and what I thought. That young people pay less interest in the socio-political situation of the country is real as they are drifted away by their daily work, appointments, entertainment, etc. However, on special occasions of the country or when the country experiences great difficulties, the sense of responsibility among young people is strongly evoked.
I also think that the former generations should not teach, but only guide young generations what to do. No one can do the jobs for them. As young people understand, they will have surprising but effective ways to do what should be done.
Reporter: What do you think about the use of human resource now of the VPA in particular and of Vietnam in general?Sr. Lt. Gen. Nguyen Chi Vinh: For me, we should not pay too much attention to age. Age: if you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter. Never consider someone to be too young or too old for a job. The importance lies in the competence of that person.
At present, we are proud to say that the staff and soldiers of the VPA are competent and capable of fulfilling the assigned missions. However, I personally think that the whole army should improve general knowledge, which is not taught at school. Life-long learning is important, especially self-study. Servicemen should read and get more understanding of the advances in science and technology, arts and literature, fluctuation in socio-economic situation, etc. Only by doing that can servicemen be able to defeat any adversaries.
Reporter: As a person holding special interest in communications and dissemination, in this Lunar New Year, what should be your the expectation towards the People’s Army Newspaper?Sr. Lt. Gen. Nguyen Chi Vinh: The People’s Army Newspaper is to serve the army and the people. My expectation is more people find and read the newspaper each morning.
Reporter: Thank you very much!Written by Bao Trung Translated by Huu Duong
Đăng ký: VietNam News