Foreign Reporters: Achievements Are Viet Nam’s Pride

More than 500 Vietnamese and international reporters are covering Viet Nam’s 10th National Party Congress, which is taking place in Ha Noi from April 18 to 25, 2006. The following foreign reporters talked to Sai Gon Giai Phong about their good impressions of Viet Nam’s achievements.

Huang Haimin, chief of China’s Xinhua Agency in Viet Nam:

I’ve been in Viet Nam three times. The first in 1993 when I studied Vietnamese. The second time in 1995-1996 when I worked as a Xinhua reporter. The third time, from 2002 to now, I am currently the Xinhua chief here. Different times have given me very different impressions of Viet Nam.

The first time, I saw many things in disorder. The second time, I saw many changes like more tall buildings and more beautiful streets. Notably this third time, I saw many Vietnamese use motorcycles of latest models. Many streets were widened and Viet Nam has many more international-standard hotels. I feel that in recent years, Viet Nam has made many impressive achievements under the Party’s leadership. Doi moi, or renovation, has brought something new every day.

Didier Lauras, director of AFP bureau: 

Starting again from scratch, Viet Nam has developed very fast in all fields for the past years. My biggest impression of Viet Nam is Vietnamese people I’ve met. They always look to the future, work very hard for a brighter future. In my opinion, the Vietnamese people have made substantial contributions to the country’s achievements during the past 20 years of renovation.

Katsuhiko Suzuki, bureau chief of Shimbun Akahata, the voice of the Japanese Communist Party:

I have covered the National Party Congress four times as a reporter since I first came to Viet Nam in 1969. They were the fourth, sixth, eighth and ninth Congresses. This time is the fifth time.
As for me, the sixth Congress was really the one for doi moi. I may say that that was the time Viet Nam officially began efforts to develop its economy, overcome aftermath of the wars, and get rid of old ways of thinking. We often call the Communist Party of Viet Nam’s sixth Congress a congress of booms. Till now, I’ve seen many changes in Viet Nam compared with 1986. They are comprehensive changes, especially in rural areas.

My Japanese Communist Party is also of the view that the road to socialism has to pass a market economy. Therefore, my Party agrees with the socialism-oriented market economy model with different sectors that the Communist Party of Viet Nam is pursuing. What Viet Nam has achieved after 20 years of renovation are good and worth to take pride of.

However, I think a problem Viet Nam has to tackle now is corruption. Once widespread, corruption will erode away Viet Nam’s achievements. Corruption also harms the Party’s prestige, and when prestige is gone, the Party’s leadership won't be able to function.

Under current circumstances, I think that the 10th Congress this time has a role as important as the sixth Congress, because without further renovation or radical renovation, Viet Nam will find it hard to maintain development. The most important is to consolidate the people’s trust in the Party. 

Ben Knapen, ASEAN-based reporter of NRC-Handelsblad newspaper of the Netherlands:

This is the second time I’ve been in Viet Nam. My office is in Jakarta, Indonesia. In 1983, I covered the Party Congress in East Germany. Europe no longer has Communist countries and there are not many Communist countries in the world now.

Therefore, covering Viet Nam’s 10th Party Congress is very special to me. Frankly speaking, I’m very interested in this Congress. Viet Nam has made great efforts to obtain many socio-economic achievements. Viet Nam’s images in the world have changed a lot compared with about 20 years before. I think the best and most important things for your country are still ahead.

By Tran Luu and Phan Thao – Translated by Tuong Thuy

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