At 8.35 am sharp this morning, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung entered the interview room to answer online questions from the public.
In the interview, not only Prime Minister Dung but Head and Deputy Head of the Government Office Doan Manh Giao and Nguyen Xuan Phuc respectively, as well as other high-ranking government officials are also answering questions.
|PM Nguyen Tan Dung answers online questions from the public.|
The online interview with Mr. Nguyen Tan Dung is being broadcast live on 3 newspapers: the government’s website, the online Communist Party newspaper, and VietNamNet. Editors-in-chiefs of the three papers are reading questions to the prime minister on behalf of the public.
Since 7 am in the morning, more than 50 Vietnamese and international reporters have been present at the headquarters of the government’s website to report on the dialogue.
Below are the first questions Mr. Dung has answered.
Can you give an overall picture of Vietnam’s social and economic development in 2006, which included both achievements and failures such as corruption and the ineffective use of ODA capital.
This is a very big question. I will address the following big issues. First, our social and political conditions were stable. Citizens’ rights were protected and respected. The public was confident and hopeful about the future. Second, our economy achieved a high growth rate. In 2006, GDP grew 8.2%. Living standards improved. There was also some progress in our efforts to eliminate poverty and protect the environment. In, the number of poor households decreased 3%. Thirdly, culture, education, and health care all witnessed some achievements. Fourth, administrative reform and anti-corruption efforts had initial positive results and were wholeheartedly supported by the public. Fifth, national security was strengthened. Sixth, diplomacy achieved several great victories. After 11 years of negotiation, we joined the WTO. We also successfully hosted the 14th APEC summit. Other Asian countries supported Vietnam in her bid for a seat at the UN Security Council. The U.S took Vietnam out of the list of countries whose religious freedom needs special attention, as well as ratified PNTR with Vietnam.
Can you talk about your plans to develop Vietnam economically and socially in 2007?
The whole development program of the government can be accessed on the government’s website. But I will emphasize several important things. Firstly, we will implement comprehensive solutions to ensure an annual GDP growth rate of about 8.2%. Secondly, we will concentrate our resources to reform the administrative system of the country, especially administrative procedures. Thirdly, anti-corruption solutions will be resolutely and consistently carried out.
Mr. Prime Minister, I’ve heard that you used to fight against the American. What do you think about your son’s studying in the U.S?
Yes, I fought the U.S army for 23 years on the Southern battlefields. The, we soldiers and Vietnamese citizens all hated the American invading army. I was injured 4 times with more than 30 wounds on my body. My dad and uncles all died in the American war. We hated the American invaders, but we didn’t hate the American people. We could feel the pain of the American women who lost their children and husbands in the war. And perhaps you may remember the Vietnamese people were also inspired and moved by the American boy who burnt himself to protest the war in Vietnam. My son is an official at HCM City University of Architecture. He was sent to study in the U.S by the Ministry of Education and Training and he received a PhD from an American university. He is currently working in Vietnam. He has been a party member since college. I think science and technology in general and architecture in particular weren’t the culprits in the American war. As a member of a nation and a people, no one has the right to forget the painful past of his or her nation. We don’t forget but we move on, looking toward a future pf peace and equality and cooperation between the two nations.
Mr. Prime Minister, why do you prohibit all forms of privatization of the media? Does this regulation run counter to our vision of freedom and democracy?
Yes, on behalf of the government, I have requested responsible authorities to increase management of the media. This regulation suits the conditions of Vietnam and doesn’t violate any laws in Vietnam. The Party and Government hopes that every newspaper, magazine, radio or TV (there are currently 600 papers in Vietnam) is an organ of speech, a forum of the people and a weapon to fight for the prosperity, justice and democracy of our country. We must commend and respect what the media achieves, but we should also discipline any mistake. I believe that the Vietnamese media will contribute greatly to the renovation and integration age of the country.