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Vietnam, 50 years of elitist diplomacy

Vietnam (officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam) maintains diplomatic relationships with 189 nations throughout the world. Vietnam has trade relations with 165 countries and territories, signed trade agreements with 76 countries and Most Favored Nation status with 72 countries and territories.

Apart from strengthening bilateral relations, Vietnam also continuously improves its relations with international and regional organizations such as United Nations, European Union, ASEAN, APEC, and ASEM, thus making positive contributions to the activities of these organizations in accordance with Vietnam’s national strengths and interests.

In 2011 the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Vietnam, at the 11th National Congress of the Communist Party of Vietnam, released an official statement about Vietnam’s foreign policy and a section of the statement stated: “Vietnam is a friend and reliable partner of all countries in the international community, actively taking part in international and regional cooperation processes. Deepen, stabilize and sustain established international relations. Develop relations with countries and territories in the world, as well as international organizations, while showing: respect for each other’s independence; sovereignty and territorial integrity; non-interference in each other’s international affairs; non-use or threat of force; settlement of disagreements and disputes by means of peaceful negotiations; mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit.”

In the past 50 years, Vietnamese diplomacy has been very successfull.  In particular, Vietnam has made important progress as concerns peace, stability and cooperation among countries in the region and the world.

Today, diplomacy has an additional goal of creating a favorable international environment for national construction and integration into the world community.

The contributions of diplomacy to the achievements of the nation have varied by historical period. In the period of defending the young independent state and struggling for national liberation and reunification, diplomacy became one of the sharply efficient means of countering threats to thwart the independence and territorial integrity of the country and of mobilizing the assistance of other friendly countries to win the sympathy and support of world opinion.

Diplomatic activities were often coordinated with developments on the battlefields. By the early 50s, Vietnam had established diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China, the USSR, and Eastern European countries, formalized the official status of Democratic Republic of Vietnam in the world arena, and opened the way for recognition of Vietnam by other countries.

Diplomacy worked hand in hand with military and political struggles to reach two important international agreements to end the wars and pave way for national liberation and reunification. With the Geneva Agreement on Vietnam, which was signed and the basic rights of a colonized nation, independence, unity, territorial integrity and self-determination were recognized. In 1973, the Paris Agreement was signed to withdraw American troops from Vietnam, thus making conditions favorable for Vietnam’s national reunification.

Throughout the renovation process, Vietnam has carried out a policy of openness, multilateralization and diversification of relations, and active integration with the world community.

Diplomacy has made contributions in breaking isolation and expanding the international relations of Vietnam, maintaining favorable conditions for socio-economic development, and enhancing Vietnam’s status in the world arena. In coming years, Vietnam’s diplomacy will make the best use of achievements and steadfastly work for mobilization of the most favorable conditions for the cause of modernization and industrialization of the country. Diplomacy assures cooperation with other countries in the integration process, and at the same time secures independence, sovereignty, national security, and national identity.

By Domenico Greco

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