This time, the party leadership team will propel Vietnam towards a more prominent role and position within the regional geopolitical fabric.
Thuong Nguyen, Taiwan Center for Security Studies
Vietnam’s political system has recently undergone a major reshuffle across the board, including the party apparatus, the National Assembly, and the government. The Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) elected a new 200-member Central Committee, which then appointed an 18-member Politburo, and a five-member Secretariat. After the 11th Session of the National Assembly ended on April 8, a new Vietnamese leadership team was strengthened to complete the leadership transition process and shape Vietnam’s political and economic development policies and direction during the new term.
As predicted, General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong, who is well known both at home and abroad for his anti-corruption campaign dubbed Dot Lo and Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc was re-elected. Accordingly, General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong will continue an unprecedented third term. He will continue to oversee the push for party-building, reorganization, and the fight against corruption which has to-date enjoyed considerable success.
The new Chairman of the National Assembly of Vietnam, Vuong Dinh Hue, has been recognized for his extensive knowledge on economic synthesis and analysis, resulting in his contribution to maintaining macroeconomic stability, continuing economic growth, controlling inflation, and keeping public debt payment at a reasonably safe level. With the abilities and boldness of a politician who has had extensive experience in party politics, Vuong Dinh Hue is expected to make strategic changes in the National Assembly’s activities.
Meanwhile, the Vietnamese government in the past term, under the leadership of Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, concretized the policies of the Communist Party of Vietnam, having made achievements in economic, political, and foreign affairs. Especially in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, helping Vietnam successfully implement the dual goal of controlling the epidemic and maintaining economic development that integrates the country into the global economy. Therefore, with the new position as State President, Mr. Nguyen Xuan Phuc will take advantage of his preexisting experience to expand and strengthen Vietnam’s relations with other countries.
Previously, as the Secretary of the Quang Ninh Provincial Party Committee, Mr. Pham Minh Chinh implemented initiatives promoting local economic development, attracting foreign investment, and contributed to making Quang Ninh increasingly developed and today one of the most attractive localities in Vietnam. Due to his innovative and sometimes drastic actions, as Prime Minister, Pham Minh Chinh is expected to lead the Vietnamese government to overcome existing difficulties and challenges to fulfil the strategic objectives over the next five years successfully. The dual goal moving forward: To repel and prevent pandemics while maintaining and promoting economic growth.
The four pillars have a crucial role in national security decisions, with the General Secretary and State President responsible for diplomacy and defence affairs. The Chairman of the National Assembly has legislative power while the PM will care about social-economic development.With the new leadership team, Vietnam’s domestic and foreign policy will not have much change. Accordingly, Vietnam continues to implement an independent, autonomous, diversified, and multilateral foreign policy in foreign relations; to proactively and actively integrate into the world. Moreover, Hanoi seeks to be seen as a trusted partner and a responsible member of the international community. Vietnam will increasingly attach importance to adapting to new economic trends due to the economic integration with the region and the world. However, the task of protecting sovereignty, territorial integrity, legitimate interests, and citizenship will continue to be a high priority in foreign affairs in the coming years.
As US-China strategic competition will continue to disturb the Indo-Pacific’s geostrategic environment and regional economy in the next five years, it is a significant challenge to Vietnam. However, the Vietnamese government attaches special importance to economic and trade relations with the United States and strictly adheres to high-level commitments, trade agreements of the two countries towards a harmonious, sustainable, and beneficial trade balance.
Concerning foreign relations between Vietnam and China, the comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership between the two Communist Parties, the two countries, and the people will be constantly strengthened, meeting the aspirations and interests of the two countries as well as their people. Having awareness of China’s importance to Vietnam’s economic security and stability, Vietnam’s manufacturing industry still needs a lot of raw materials, fuel, and equipment from China despite the sovereignty disputes between the two countries in the South China Sea. A more determined and active foreign policy, particularly in strengthening national defenses and coping with Mekong management-related issues, is also a different front with China. One thing is for sure that trying to maintain a balance between the two superpowers will still occupy a prominent position in Hanoi’s activity schedule for the next five years.
The recent election marks a combination of experience and freshness factors. This formula has the potential to lead Vietnam to become a developing country with modern industrialization, surpassing low middle-income in 2021-2025, then conducting a vision to 2030 to strive to be a developing country with modern industries, high middle income. At this rate, by 2045, Vietnam will strive to become a developed, high-income country with a GDP of $2,500 billion and a per capita income of $18,000.