Handling Well the Relationship between Independence, Autonomy and International Integration in the new context
22/2/2017 9:8' Send story Print story

Maintaining both independence and autonomy is a consistent principle in the system of standpoints of Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) on international integration, and a thorough guideline during the process of building socialism in Vietnam since the launch of renovation. Innovative thinking about the relationship between independence, autonomy and international integration contributes to innovating thinking about the formulation and implementation of socio-economic development strategies, as well as current sectoral and field development strategies, in order to cope with exponential changes caused by the external context and far-reaching international integration process of the country. Documents of the CPV’s 12th Congress reassert that the thorough grasp and handling well significant relationships, including relationship between independence, autonomy and international integration, are amongst the key tasks for Vietnam in the coming period.

The relationship between independence, autonomy and international integration of Vietnam from 30 years of practical renovation

In the mid-1980s of twentieth century, Vietnam faced serious difficulties. Economic mechanism of central planning, bureaucracy, and prolonged subsidies had annulled dynamics of growth, therefore, the country was put in isolation, embargo and became increasingly dependent on external aids. The lives of Vietnamese people were hard; poverty rate increased; socio-economic foundation might be collapsed at any time; puzzled thought spread that left the political regime under great challenges.

Under such difficulties, the CPV’s 6th Congress (1986) launched a comprehensive renovation process, advocating “joining international division of labour”, “expanding economic ties and science – technology cooperation” with external partners (1). The spirit of the 6th Congress showed a new approach which stated that independence, autonomy did not mean isolation, “closure” to the world, thereby paving the way for new thinking about international economic integration in the first years of renovation. The CPV’s 7th Congress (1991) took another step forward with more specific guidelines saying that “expansion, diversification and multilateralization of external economic relations” and under direction to “attract external resources to strongly promote advantages and internal resources”(2). However, while the renovation in Vietnam was taking place in the first stage, the Union Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) and socialist states in Eastern Europe were hit by serious crisis and disintegration, causing waver and concerns for Vietnamese people over the road to socialism. In such a context, the Political platform for the nation in the transition towards socialism introduced in 1991 affirmed the spirit and intelligence of CPV in leading the whole population to follow the consistent way of renovation towards the success of building socialism. This was a vivid and meaningful demonstration of the importance of maintaining independence and autonomy in choosing the path of development for Vietnam under enormous upheaval of the times.

From a closed, subsistence, self-sufficient economy under centrally planned mechanism, Vietnam has conducted reforms and open policy in order to (i) transform it into a socialist-oriented market economy, (ii) promote export, (iii) receive development aids, and (iv) attract foreign investments. During and following its flight from isolation and embargo, Vietnam actively broken the siege; normalized relations with major economies; implemented the policy of befriending with all countries in the international community; strengthened its independence and autonomy. From a country suffering serious crisis, Vietnam’s economic growth reached its peak in the mid-1990s and the country achieved initial integration into regional economies. This fact affirmed the appropriateness of renovation. The CPV’s 8th Congress (1996) established a firm belief in its foreign policy of independence, self-reliance, openness, multilateralization and diversification of external relations(3), and enhanced international economic relations to maximize resources for the country’s development. However, the progress in implementing commitments for regional economic integration during this period was still low due to the fear of competitiveness, hesitation and concern over the negative impacts from external factors, especially when the Asian financial crisis broke out.

It was until 2001 that the term “active integration into international economy” was first introduced in the Documents of CPV’s 9th Congress, marking major shift in thinking about Vietnam’s development and integration. The 9th Congress also clarified the points of ensuring independence and autonomy, first and foremost in terms of guidelines and policies. Establishing an independent and self-reliant economy should be coupled with active integration into international economy; internal resources should be combined with external factors into a collective (all-inclusive) strength for development. Expanding economic relations with foreign countries should be based on the principle of non-reliance on external influences.(4). In 2006, the 10th Congress added the word “proactive” and proposed the following policy: “active and proactive integration into international economy, expanding international cooperations in other fields at the same time.”(5). While this adding was not a major breakthrough, it reaffirmed the belief in benefits and the necessity of international integration process. The 10th Congress set out guidelines for international economic integration, that is “to be active, to follow a suitable schedule with proactive and firm steps in an unhesitant, but not hasty and simple way”(6).

With Vietnam officially becoming a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2007, the country’s economy has fully integrated into the global economy. Commitments with WTO acted as general framework in which stronger domestic reforms have been promoted, and regulations for Vietnam socialist-oriented market economy have been completed. On that basis, the CPV’s 11th Congress (2011) upgraded and further specified its “active and proactive international integration(7) policy in its Resolution #22-NQ/TW of Politburo, Term XI (April 2013). The resolution stated that international integration was not only confined to economic integration but also extended to politics, national defence, security and social culture, and other areas. From the 11th Congress onwards, all CPV’s documents used the term “independence, autonomy” (adding a comma) instead of "autonomous independence" to fully manifest two aspects of national sovereignty, namely independence and autonomy, in the country’s development and defence.

The success of grasping and handling the relationship between independence, autonomy and international integration had a significant contribution to the tremendous, historical achievements Vietnam has attained over 30 years of innovation. Vietnam has reached a new level of depth in the orbit of international integration, making basic adjustments to improve its economic position, scale and competitiveness. National independence was strengthened; national autonomy was enhanced. Now Vietnam has established its diplomatic relationships with 187 countries, as opposed to more than 30 countries in 1986. Vietnam has also developed economic relations with more than 223 countries and territories(8). Vietnam’s relationships with all major powers were well developed, with some particular relationships becoming deeper, more substantive and effective through the establishment of frameworks for comprehensive partnerships and strategic partnerships (9). From being an outsider, Vietnam has obtained membership of more than 70 regional and global organizations. Vietnam improved its bilateral economic agreements previously signed on the loose principle to attain a number of bilateral, multilateral and global economic agreements of a higher institutional level, including new generation free trade agreements (FTA), like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the Vietnam-EU Free Trade Agreement (VEFTA), all of which demonstrated the diligent and active acceleration of Vietnam with regard to wide and deep international economic integration(10).

From grasping and handling relationship between independence, autonomy and international integration in recent years, Vietnam can draw several lessons as follows:

Firstly, maintaining independence and autonomy in the assessment of changes arising from the regional and global context to produce policy responses, suitable to the country’s condition and in accordance with international practice and approach. In recent years, Vietnam’s awareness on international integration has not kept pace with the transformation of the world, without a full assessment of both challenges and opportunities that international integration brought along. Therefore, sometimes it tended to be subjective, impatient, and sometimes it inclined to be reserved or half-hearted. Awareness and readiness of domestic business as well as state support for enterprises in preparation for international participation were limited. Enterprises, especially the ones under state ownership, still had a reliance on and expectations for state subsidies or protection. Therefore, a number of guidelines, mechanisms, laws and policies were updated lately to meet the requirements of renovation, making it difficult for the enterprises to take full advantages international integration offered for reforms and development.

Secodly, it is critical to always sustain independence and autonomy in making guilines, policies, and development patterns. In particular, it is necessary to maintain independence and sovereignty in choosing the next steps for integration process, that is, which kinds of international organizations to join, which types of agreements to sign, under which conditions or itineraries. Independence and sovereignty need to be reflected in negotiations for joining international organizations or agreements; Vietnam should also be active and creative in implementing international commitments to take advantages of opportunities and to deal with accompanied challenges.

To avoid huge pressures from outside, Vietnam should not only be consistent but also wise in handling and releasing such pressures. In doing so, it is important to take into account trends in development in the world to make proper policies and measures. However, as Vietnam has not achieved a high level of concensus in both perception and action when considering international integration and maintenance of independence and autonomy as a cause of people and the whole political system.

Thirdly, with a view to developing an independent and autonomous economy to advance international integration, inner force should play a decisive role in neutralizing external threats and taking opportunities brought about by integration.

The new international context and issues posed to independence, autonomy and international integration of Vietnam

The global and regional state of affairs has changed rapidly and complexly, wielding profound influences on how to handle the relationship between independence, autonomy and international integration of Vietnam.

The uncertainty and unpredictability of global trends in development have been bringing along high risks to international integration of Vietnam. The world economy has still been unstable with growth being erratic. Many emerging economies fell into stagnation or recession. Prices of many basic goods, energy or raw materials dropped sharply. Exchange rates of major currencies highly fluctuated. Investment flows moved in a unpredictable way. The “domino” effect of external shocks will bring along sophisticated challenges; especially when responding capacity of Vietnam is not strong enough, internal economic weaknesses are yet to be addressed.

The interconnection of different multilateral and bilateral integration processes has been taking the world to a “matrix structure” of FTAs of multiple lines and levels, in which new generation FTAs and super-FTAs like TPP must be mentioned. Those countries being the focal point of these FTAs have more opportunities for development, and play critical roles in the global economic system. However, policy changes in international integration processes are becoming more comprehensive and profound, strongly affecting independence and autonomy of Vietnam. The decision to join new generation FTAs is both a step forward and a new challenge for Vietnam’s economy. The pressure of changing policies arising from different channels and sources will create a multi-dimensional, unpredictable and possibly unfavourable impact on Vietnam. Many economic interest groups, who are different or even opposed to each others, will be formed. They will be one of potential causes of social conflicts, challenging Vietnam to tackle problems arising from integration processes. Moreover, the FTAs themselves are insufficient to enable Vietnam to realize its development goals. Though FTAs may help Vietnam easier access partners’ markets and increase trade volumes and investment flows in the short-term, they cannot guarantee that Vietnam’s economy climb out of lower segment of global value chain, or bring more jobs with increased productivity. The reason is that these mainly depend on the progress of domestic reform. In the middle of highly competitive climate on a global scale, challenges for Vietnam’s economy are becoming more visible while opportunities are just potential.

The fourth industrial revolution is taking place at a high speed, especially achieving technological breakthroughs in artificial intelligence, robotics, Internet, 3-dimensional printing, nano technology, biotechnology, and energy storage. These achievements have brought tremendous changes to the quality of life, employment, production and socio-political relations. The technological trends are continuing to grow faster, raising issues about the “leap-frog” pattern and other development models followed by numerous countries in the world. The quick transition into knowledge economy and the importance of science and technology advancement in the context of globalization have brought about three new approaches. (1) Comparative and competitive advantages appertain to knowledge and high-tech industries; (2) The most important resources for development are knowledge and human intelligence; (3) Participation in the global network of production and value chains has created opportunities for countries and manufacturers to grow in the most effective manner. These are great challenges for Vietnam’s economy, especially when Vietnam industrialization and modernization prioritize development of the width rather than the depth, having a heavy reliance on low-skilled labour and natural resource exploitation. In the last years, this growth model has created jobs and incomes for a large part of population. However, the deeper Vietnam’s integration into international economy, the more real the possibility of Vietnam falling into the trap of assembly and process industries, and getting stranded near the bottom of the ladder of global value chain. Furthermore, expectations to take advantage of 0% export tax brought about by FTAs might be reversed. With the application of new technologies like robots, labour-intensive production will be shifted back to developed countries. Thanks to sharper cost reduction, those countries will have the advantages to export their goods back to Vietnam. New-generation FTAs like TPP or VEFTA may turn into “Trojan horse” which is an “integration trap” for the development of Vietnam in the years to come.

While the global economic situation is uncertain, the political environment and world security are also unpredictable with hidden risks for development processes. Major countries compete strongly to expand their influences. Their correlation of powers and forces are also changing fast, putting smaller countries in front of difficult choices for policies. The complexity of relations between major countries requires Vietnam to be cautious, flexible and wise to maintain a balance of relations, create interleaved benefits, maintain independence and autonomy, avoid dependency or confrontation, not to be imposed or enticed by others, and create favourable conditions for development. Because of Vietnam’s geo-strategic location, the choice for strategic partnerships will be tough. It is, therefore, difficult for Vietnam to stay “neutral”, and its diplomatic viewpoints should be clear. The establishment of “strategic trust” and mutual respect for independence, sovereignty are always challenges for smaller countries in their relations with major powers.

In addition, other problems such as terrorism, migration, global climate change, sea-level rise, extreme weathers, natural disasters, epidemics, and pollution, and the like are becoming non-traditional security challenges that require Vietnam to strengthen its capacity and prepare necessary resources in response to emergencies. The rise of global imbalances and pressures of shortage of natural resources, energies, lands and water, push Vietnam’s economy to face more difficulties regarding competitiveness or disputes. Therefore, it is important for Vietnam to concentrate on strengthening cooperation, exploring reasonable measures to handle and solve conflicts with neighbouring countries, and working together to build a peaceful and prosperous region in the coming time.

The state of affairs in Southeast Asia and East Asia is changing fast with the formation of ASEAN community (AC), showing the strong efforts of its members to be a centre of Asian integration process. As a superpower and the second largest economy in the world, China is promoting competition in order to dominate different spaces for development (11). China’s ocean development strategy aims to orientate its economy more towards the high seas by changing its priorities - from “mainland” to “offshore” operations, and thus, turning coastal regions into “bridges” and “gateways” to the world. China also strengthens its grip on contested waters, causing tensions with neighbouring countries. Through the deployment of a range of economic connection initiatives, China has shown its ambition to control development processes in Mekong sub-region and Southeast Asia, turning these regions into a springboard to the world. The formation of new economic mechanisms proposed by China, from cross-border gate economic zones, North-South economic corridor in Mekong sub-region, Trans-Asia railroads, to regimes aiming to gain global influence such as “One Belt, One Road”(12), Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), internationalization of renminbi, has provided both opportunities and challenges to China’s neighbouring countries, making it difficult for them to choose participatory policies.

With reversing policices, from receiving foreign investments making investments abroad, China is strongly “outsourcing” labour-intensive, energy-intensive, and raw material-oriented industries that may lead to environmental pollution, to under-developed countries. Furthermore, China continues to present its high demand for raw materials, energies, and consumer markets for its redundant products. China’s policies on conservation of national resources, increased exploitation and consumption of external resources (based on the principle of “from far to close”), resulting in imbalances and shortages in the development of China, will certainly put tremendous pressures on its neighbouring countries in the region (13).

Grasping standpoints and guidelines of the CPV’s 12th Congress on the relationship between independence, autonomy and international integration

Maintaining independence, autonomy and effectively implementing international integration are consistent issues in Documents of the 12th Congress. This point is well-summarized in the fourth amongst its six key tasks. The 12th Congress highlighted several points and policies in grasping and handling the relationship between independence, autonomy and international integration in the coming time as follows:

Firstly, national interest is the most important objective in grasping and handling the relationship between independence, autonomy and international integration.

Independence and autonomy are lofty aspiration but not the ultimate goal of any nation. President Ho Chi Minh once stated that “if a country is independent but its citizens do not enjoy happiness and freedom, then independence does not make any sense”(14). Independence and autonomy of each country are associated with its fundamental national interests, acting as a means to achieve interests of the nation and ethnicity. 

The specific, prioritized interests and objectives of a country may vary depending on different stages and circumstances. Therefore, perception of independence and sovereignty should vary accordingly. For achieving effective integration, it is impossible to maintain a constant and absolute perception of independence and autonomy. It is also impossible to embrace the perception of the excessive reliance on integration, that integration is regarded as a “panacea” for development, and that in the globalization era it is unnecessary to maintain national independence and sovereignty. Effective and appropriate application of the motto to maintain independence and autonomy will open opportunities for national development, as well as resource accumulation. However, if such motto is applied wrongly, the country may lose its opportunities, hindering its development, and weakening national strength. The overall strategy for international integration of Vietnam until 2020, with vision to 2030 issued in January 2016 confirmed that “the aim of Vietnam’s overall objective with regard to international integration by 2030 is to strengthen its national power”(15). The viewpoint on independence and autonomy in the context of far-reaching international integration of Vietnam needs to be realized with caution but without delay, in a flexible and wise manner, leaving room for necessary amendments in order to ensure security, development and empowerment of Vietnam.

Secondly, Vietnam should be consistent with the principle of independence and autonomy; should embrace the policy of multilateralization and diversification in international integration; and should be resolute and persistent in the fight to protect national interests, sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The promotion of integration, multilateralization and diversification of diplomatic relationships helps to strengthen the independence and autonomy of Vietnam through the increased interdepdendence between Vietnam and other countries. Therefore, the 12th Congress continued to affirm its foreign policy: Vietnam “is a friend, a reliable partner and a responsible member of international community”; “actively and proactively contributes to developing and shaping multilateral institutions”; “promotes and deepens relations with various partners, especially strategic partners and major countries which play critical roles in development and security of Vietnam”(16).

In the economic area, the 12th Congress emphasized the necessity of “diversification multilateralization of international economic relations to avoid dependence on a single market, or a particular partner”(17); to avoid the “asymmetric dependence”. This is a significant point of paramount importance in the current context of Vietnam. The limited option for partners is amongst the causes of loss of independence and autonomy because it makes a country depend on this choice. Advancing diversification and expansion of diplomatic relationships with different partners; using various models of integration with a number of flexible roadmaps built on multiple channels, routes, and layers is a way to create a wide availability of options, enabling Vietnam free from dependence on outsiders. The participation of Vietnam in different FTAs helps Vietnam diversify its international economic integration process, strengthen its economic independence and autonomy. However, Vietnam should head to new generation FTAs of high levels, high standards, where developed economies are signatories, in order to undertake appropriate domestic reforms in accordance with international standards.

Thirdly, it is necessary to strengthen Vietnam’s capacity and collective national power to establish the foundation of independence, autonomy and international integration.

Strengthening the nation’s synergy, with focus on economic capacity, is the most basic orientation to neutralize the risk of losing independence, autonomy and making the best use of opportunities of development offered by integration. In order to realize this task, first and foremost, it is critical to actively and positively handle weaknesses and imbalance within internal development, which can be potential harms to independence and autonomy in integration processes. The increasing pressure from integration processes has revealed weaknesses, or even exacerbated the existing gaps. However, integration also suggests solutions and brings along resources to handle the weaknesses or shortcomings. Therefore, it is important to ensure a consistent and well-organized coordination in both undertaking domestic reforms and implementing far-reaching international integration. While it was international economic integration that acted as a pressure for reforming national economy at the beginning renovation; it is the internal reform process that currently plays the key role in determining the effectiveness of international integration.

Amongst the contents of Documents of the 12th Congress, the following issues should be clearly perceived in grasping and handling the relationship between independence, autonomy and international integration in development areas.

In the economic area, the focus is on the innovation of growth model and restructure of the national economy, promotion of industrialization and modernization; completion of institution, development of socialist-oriented market economy. Emphasis should also be given to capacity to absorb technology, knowledge; and to foster innovation and creation of the economy. Policies must be directed to support enterpreneurs in overcoming barriers and risks in terms of capital and high-quality human resources, to realize start-up ideas related to technology and innovation. The international economic integration should direct Vietnam’s economy towards self-adjustment to become a link in the global manufacturing network and value chains of transnational companies. Therefore, for effective integration, it is crucial to strengthen connections between domestic enterprises and technology-intensive foreign-invested companies. It is unacceptable to attract foreign investment at any cost; instead, it is necessary to call for more investments in intermediate services, modern technology-based sectors. The aims are, on the one hand, to promote the development of these sectors, and to modernize infrastructure system ensuring the connectivity and technology readiness; and on the other hand, to handle weaknesses due to the limitations of resources, knowledge, management skills and lack of experience on the part of Vietnamese enterprises(18).

It is important to establish a modern market economy and international integration(19). Although this point was first introduced in the 12th Congress’s Documents, it proved to be necessary and suitable to the current integration and development practice of Vietnam, which enabled Vietnam’s economy to become an inseparable part of the global market economy. Emphasis on the fullness, modernity and integration of the national economy means an assertion of the compliance with the general international standards for development, and more importantly, the compliance with signed international commitments and efforts for domestic reforms to meet criteria of market economy. In an effort to complete the market economy institutions, the State has to move from direct intervention role to support and manage economic growth. The emphasis should be on stabilizing macroeconomy, handling internal weaknesses of the national economy like bad debt, public debt, risks in exchange rate or inflation; reforms of state-owned enterprises; making healthy operation of trade banks; establishment of legal framework, policies, and enforcement apparatus to ensure the continuous completion of different types of markets operating in a transparent, effective and equally competitive manner. Additionally, with a new and more flexible thinking about independence, autonomy and sovereignty, the 12th Congress proposed to “build several special economic zones to generate growth poles and experiment institutions for breakthrough regional development”(20).

In the polical area, the focus is on development and completion of a socialist state ruled by law, promotion of socialist democracy, ensuring ownership right of its citizens. To advance the comprehensive renovation, the economic reform must be carried out in a synchronous and harmonious manner with political, public administration, legislative and judiciary reforms(21). The critical point is to constantly enhance the Party’s leadership capacity, the State’s governance capacity in integration process, develop a Government of integrity, support and at the service of development. Under pressure of international integration and thanks to technological advancements, especially in information and telecommunication, the implementation of legislative, executive and judiciary powers of the State are surely subject to increasing supervision of and criticism from social community, enterprises and citizens. This should not be considered as a decline in autonomy, but from this fact, it is necessary to regard strengthening of democracy, transparency and accountability towards the people as an important element in the creation of social consensus and support as to State’s policies. Especially, it is crucial to promote democracy, ensuring more opportunities of equal competition within the national economy.

In terms of security – national defence, the focus is on robustly defending the Socialist Republic of Vietnam in the new context. During international integration Vietnam should maximize the support and assistance of international community to firmly protect the independence, sovereignty, the Party, the State, the people and socialist regime; safeguarding the renovation process, handling well the transnational challenges and non-traditional security issues, maintaining peaceful and stable politics, national security, social order and social security(22). In particular, it is necessary to strengthen the capacities of national defence and people’s security; develop increasingly regular, warlike and modern military forces and police to deal with new challenges arising from the complex international context. These include unpredictable cases in the era of technology such as loss of network security, information security; increasingly severe external impacts such as terrorism, riot, conspiracy to incite people against the current political regime; and potentially regular occurrence of risks such as epidemics, natural or industrial disasters. The whole country and its local governments need to improve their responding capacity, and actively join the collective efforts of international community to address challenges of non-traditional security for the purpose of development.

In terms of social, cultural and human development, the emphasis is on social advancement and justice, full development of Vietnam’s culture and people. Active and proactive integration as well as maintaining independence and autonomy aim to manifest the human characteristics of socialist regime of Vietnam, where the best interests of the majority of its people are ensured. Vietnamese people are regarded as the target, the purpose and the centre of the nation’s development. All the people are entitled to join this development and become beneficiaries of its achievements. Therefore, it is critical to identify the nature of contradictions and their corresponding causes as well as other social conflicts, especially those arising from economic, ethnic, religious, and environmental areas. Thereby, flexible solutions to these problems can be singled out and implemented through persistent dialogues and definitive tackling. The focus is on issues related to agriculture-farmers-rural areas with a view to narrowing the gap between rich and poor. In line with developing the statute of socialist-oriented market economy in Vietnam, it is crucial to establish compatible social institutions to forecast and mitigate risks or potential conflicts arising from industrialization and urbanization.

***

For successful implementation of Resolution adopted by the Party’s 12th Congress and putting it into life, it requires Vietnam to continue the innovative thinking, create synchronous and creative solutions to the existing problems. Especially, it requires high political determination and definitive, as well as specific actions which are closely linked to the country’s vivid practice. It is also necessary to well understand and properly justify the new and flexible viewpoint on independence, autonomy and sovereignty; on strengthening internal capacities of the country; and on ensuring synchronous coordination between authorities in domestic reforms and international integration, in economic reform and renovation of political system; in the context of fully grasping and well handling the relationship between independence, autonomy and international integration in the coming period of development.

Prof. Dr. Nguyen Xuan Thang, Member of Party’s Central Committee, President of Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics cum Secretary of HCMA’s Party Committee .

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(1) Documents of the Party’s 6th Congress, Truth Publishing House, Hanoi, 1987, p.81

(2) Documents of the Party’s 7th Congress, Truth Publishing House, Hanoi, 1991, p.119

(3) Documents of the Party’s 8th Congress, National Politics Publishing House, Hanoi, 1996, p.120

(4) Research paper of Document from the Party’s 9th Congress, National Politics Publishing House, Hanoi, 2001, pp.216-217

(5), (6) Documents of the Party’s 10th Congress, National Politics Publishing House, Hanoi, 2006, pp.112, 180-181

(7) Documents of the Party’s 11th Congress, National Politics - Truth Publishing House, Hanoi, 2011, p.236

(8) Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Drafted Proposal on “Effective implementation of international integration, maintenance of political-social stability in the context of Vietnam’s participation in new-generation FTAs, including TPP Agreement and ASEAN Economic Community”, dated 16 July 2016, Hanoi.

(9) Vietnam has established strategic partnerships with 15 countries and comprehensive partnerships with 10 other countries.

(10) Up to present, Vietnam has joined and has been negotiating for 16 FTAs.

(11) Pham Sao Mai: “China and its foreign policy until 2020”, In: The world context until 2020, Pham Binh Minh (Ed.). National Politics Publishing House, Hanoi, 2010, p.454

(12) Including: “the land-based Silk Road Economic Belt” and “the oceanic Maritime Silk Road of 21st century”

(13) Nguyen Hong Son, Nguyen Manh Hung: “ASEAN economic community in the new international context”, Journal of Economic and Political Issues of the World, Volume 7 (219), 2014

(14) Ho Chi Minh: “Letter to People’s Committees of territories, provinces, districts, and villages”, Complete Works, Book 4 (1945-1946), National Politics Publishing House, Hanoi, 1995, p.56

(15) The overall strategy for international integration till 2020, with vision to 2030, issued together with Decision No. 40/QĐ-TTg, dated 7 January 2016 by the Vietnamese Prime Minister, p.8

(16), (17) Documents of the Party’s 12th Congress, Office for Party’s Central Committee, Hanoi, pp.153-155, 111

(18) Nguyen Xuan Thang (Ed.): The world economy and Vietnam 2015-2016: Advancing growth and development in the constantly changing context. (Draft) Social Sciences Publishing House, Hanoi, 2016.

(19), (20) Documents of the Party’s 12th Congress, Ibid, pp.102, 96

(21) Nguyen Viet Thao: “Ensuring relationship between independence, autonomy and international integration.” Journal of Political Theory, Volume 5-2011

(22) See: Documents of the Party’s 12th Congress, Ibid, pp.147-148

 

Translator: Phung Thanh Ha/ Proofreader: Xuan Tung