January 17

Nguyen Ai Quoc (an alias of Ho Chi Minh) wrote an article ‘Bao chi binh dan’ (Common press) in Thanh Nien newspaper, published in Guangzhou, China, to express his opinion about the revolutionary press.

The file photo shows Uncle Ho crossing a stream while on guerilla activities during the war against France

The article said, ‘We disregard employment of beautiful words, sophisticated writing style, well-matched sentences and flowery language which is of interest by Confucian scholars. We just try to use a bright, accurate and easy to understand writing style in the interests of the mass.
‘Our purposes are: 1. Fighting against French people’s savagery 2. Encouraging the An Nam people to unite 3. Making them [the French] see the causes of misery and poverty and then showing them how to avoid doing it, therefore, our newspaper has to fulfill its duty sounding the alarm […]
‘The sound of a musical instrument sounds better than that of an alarm gong, but being under threat of disaster, beating a gong is better than playing a musical instrument!’
President Ho Chi Minh sent messages to foreign ministers of the USSR, US, and Chinese representatives at the UN to ask for their recognition of Vietnam’s independence and admit it to the UN Council
It was the first time that the Vietnamese government had sent an official letter to three of the founders of the UN about recognition and membership.
The letter read, ‘Our presence at conferences will, more or less, help to quickly and peacefully solve current problems in Southeast Asia.’
History shows that with a long struggle, Vietnam officially entered the UN as an independent and unified nation in 1976.
On the same day, participating in a meeting of directors of organizations and chairpersons of committees in Ha Noi, Uncle Ho delivered a speech, ‘Advice for officials.’ which was later published in a newspaper.
The speech placed emphasis on four virtues which were: ‘Diligence, thrift, probity and honesty. Diligence means that officials must work hard and respect regulations. Thrift means saving money and properties of organizations where we work, reducing what is unnecessary and not wasting paper and public properties.

'Don’t think that saving small things like paper and pens are meaningless. If ten thousands officials practice thrift, they can save a remarkable amount of money, much of which comes from the poor.

'Being diligent, practicing thrift, and not wasting lots of money, officials are able to become incorruptible and honest so that they will be respected.'
By Duong Trung Quoc* and co-writers 

*The author is an historian and member of the National Assembly

Translated by Yen Chuong

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