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The Communist Party of Vietnam (Đảng Cộng sản Việt Nam) is the ruling, as well as the only legal political party in Vietnam. It descibes itself as a Marxist-Leninist Communist Party, and is supported by (and a part of) the Vietnamese Fatherland Front. In most of the cases, the Vietnamese press and people refer to the Communist Party of Vietnam as "Đảng" (Party) or "Đảng ta" (our Party).
It was created as the Viet Nam Communist Party on February 3rd, 1930 at a unifying conference in Hong Kong. The party came out of the communist organizations which had arisen in Indochina in the 1920s with the development of the worker and national liberation movements. Ho Chi Minh played a large role in preparing for and conducting the conference. During the first plenum of the party in October of 1930, the central committee decided to rename the party as the Indochina Communist Party. A political program was accepted at this plenum, which saw the need for a bourgeois democratic revolution, and considered how this would eventually become a socialist revolution. The name was changed to Communist Party of Vietnam in 1976.
A powerful wave of worker and peasant revolts against feudalism and colonialism occurred in Vietnam staring in 1930, directed by the Communist Party of Indochina (CPI). In the provinces of Nghe An and Ha Tinh, the Nghe-Tinh Soviets were established in 1930. The French colonizers violently attacked these movements and suppressed them. In spite of that, the CPI continued its work. The CPI joined the Comintern in April 1931. The CPI held its first congress in Macau, China from March 27-31, 1935. The congress chose a central committee, formulated how to go about the work of the party, how to create a united anti-imperialist front in Indochina, and how to work with the Soviet Union in terms of support.
At the eight plenum of the CPI in May 1941, the central committee accepted the program of national liberation, and accepted a resolution to prepare for armed struggle. The plenum resolved to assist in the creation of a Vietnamese League for Independence (Viet Minh). The CPI led the Vietnamese August Revolution of 1945. On September 2, 1945, the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (DRV) was created. The French started a war against the DRV. The Vietnamese people, led by the CPI, began a war of resistance.
The second congress of the CPI occurred from May 11-19, 1951 in the midst of war against the French colonizers. At this congress the Communist Party of Indochina was split up into three organizations pertaining to each country: the Vietnam Workers’ Party for Vietnam, the Khmer People's Revolutionary Party for Cambodia and a communist party in Laos.
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The Party was founded by Hồ Chí Minh and other exiles living in China as the Vietnamese Communist Party (Việt Nam Cộng sản Đảng) at a conference in Hong Kong February 1930. At the Hong Kong conference two competing communist factions, Indochinese Communist Party (Đông Dương Cộng sản Đảng) in Tonkin and the Communist Party of Annam (An Nam Cộng sản Đảng) in Cochinchina, merged. Although the third Vietnamese communist group, the Indochinese Communist League (Đông Dương Cộng sản Liên đoàn) in Annam, had not been invited to the Hong Kong conference its members were allowed to become members of the new united party.
The Hong Kong conference (held in Kowloon City) elected a nine-member Provisional Central Committee, consisting of 3 members from Tonkin, 2 from Annam, 2 from Cochinchina, and 2 from the overseas Chinese community. The latter group had previously been organized within the South Seas Communist Party.
The First National Party Congress was held in secret in Macau in 1935. At the same time, a Comintern congress in Moscow adopted a policy towards a popular front against fascism and directed Communist movements around the world to collaborate with anti-fascist forces regardless of their orientation towards socialism. This required the ICP to regard all nationalist parties in Indochina as potential allies.
The party was formally dissolved in 1945 in order to hide its Communist affiliation and its activities were folded into the Marxism Research Association and the Viet Minh, which had been founded four years earlier as a common front for national liberation. The Party was refounded as the Vietnam Workers' Party (Đảng lao động Việt Nam) at the Second National Party Congress in Tuyen Quang in 1951. The Congress was held in territory in north Vietnam controlled by the Viet Minh during the First Indochina War. The Third National Congress, held in Hanoi in 1960 formalized the tasks of constructing socialism in what was by then North Vietnam, or the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (DRV) and committed the party to carrying out the revolution of liberation in the South. At the Fourth National Party Congress held in 1976, the Worker Party's of North Vietnam was merged with the People's Revolutionary Party of South Vietnam to form the Communist Party of Vietnam.
Party membership doubled from 760,000 in 1966 to 1,553,500 in 1976, representing 3.1 percent of the total population of the country, and was close to two million by 1986.
The Communist Party of Vietnam has adopted Marxism-Leninism and Ho Chi Minh Ideology as the ideological bases of the Party and the Revolution. Though formally Marxist-Leninist, the Communist Party of Vietnam has moved towards market reforms in the economy (see also #Đổi Mới, the Renewal launched by the Sixth Congress of the Party in 1986) and has permitted a growing mid-level private sector. However, the Party retains a monopoly on power.
Đổi Mới ('Renovation') is the name given to the economic reforms initiated in Vietnam in 1986 for a "socialist-oriented market economy". The economic reforms that introduced market forces in Vietnam are likened to modern Chinese economic reform; Viet Nam's smaller economic and political stature in the gratuitiously opportunistic world of 'reform' pressure required it to give far more numerous and extensive conciliations in order to not be swept away by US neo-imperialism.
As a result of Đổi mới many privately-owned enterprises were permitted in commodity production (and later encouraged) by the Communist Party of Vietnam; furthermore, the push to collectivize the industrial and agricultural operations of Vietnam, previously the focus of intense efforts by the Communist authorities, was forced into retirement. These reforms led to the development of what is now referred to as the Socialist-oriented market economy, where the state sector plays a decisive role in the economy but private enterprise and cooperatives play a significant role in commodity production. This economic reform was required of Vietnam by the capitalist West and East Asia in the 1990s, such as the United States and Japan, whereupon these latter declared diplomatic relationships reestablished. The Communist Party of Vietnam has reaffirmed its commitment toward the socialist economic orientation and that the renovation of the economy is intended to strengthen socialism.
Although not simultaneously accompanied by an articulated policy of increased political liberty (such as political glasnost accompanied economic perestroika in the Soviet Union), the Communist government has nonetheless tacitly permitted many personal freedoms much greater than in the past since the beginning of the Đổi mới era.
The supreme party organ is the National Congress, which has been held every five years since 1976. Due to the war footing during the wars against French and U.S. troops, the first four congresses were not fixed to the common time schedule. Since the Foundation Conference, 10 national congresses of CPV have been held:
|National Congress||Date||Location||Number of
|Number of total
|1st Congress||27 - 31/ 3/1935||Macau (China)||13||600||Restoring the Communist movement in Vietnam.|
|2nd Congress||11 - 19/02/1951||Tuyên Quang||158 (53 alternates)||766,349||Changed the name to Labor Party of Vietnam.|
|3rd Congress||05 - 12/ 9/1960||Hà Nội||525 (51 alternates)||500,000||Building the Socialism in North Vietnam, carrying out the revolution movement in South Vietnam.|
|4th Congress||14 - 20/12/1976||Hà Nội||1008||1,550,000||The First Congress held after the unification of Vietnam. Name changed back to the "Communist Party of Viet Nam".|
|5th Congress||27 - 31/ 3/1982||Hà Nội||1033||1,727,000|
|6th Congress||15 - 18/12/1986||Hà Nội||1129||~1,900,000||Promote the đổi mới (innovation) policy.|
|7th Congress||24 - 27/ 6/1991||Hà Nội||1176||2,155,022|
|8th Congress||28 - 01/ 7/1996||Hà Nội||1198||2,130,000|
|9th Congress||19 - 22/ 4/2001||Hà Nội||1168||2,479,719|
|10th Congress||18 - 25/ 4/2006||Hà Nội||1176||~3,100,000|
The Politburo, currently consisting of fourteen members, determines government policy, while the Secretariat, currently consisting of eight members, oversees day-to-day policy implementation. The Party's Central Military Commission, which is composed of select Politburo members and additional military leaders, determines military policy.
The activities of Politburo and Secretariat are directed by the Secretary-General (called First Secretary 1960-1976). The Secretary General is considered the Party's leader, though between 1951 and 1969, the position of President of the Central Committee, held by Ho Chi Minh, was considered supreme.
Although there has been some effort to discourage membership in overlapping party and state positions, this practice continues. Currently four Politburo members hold high positions in the government.
List of Party leaders
Hồ Chí Minh was Chairman of the Communist Party of Vietnam from 1951 to 1969. The position of General Secretary (called "First Secretary" for the period 1960 to 1976 ) was held by:
- Trần Phú (1930-1931)
- Lê Hồng Phong (1935-1936)
- Hà Huy Tập (1936-1938)
- Nguyễn Văn Cừ (1938-1940)
- Trường Chinh (1941-1956)
- Lê Duẩn (1960-1986)
- Trường Chinh (1986)
- Nguyễn Văn Linh (1986-1991)
- Đỗ Mười (1991-1997)
- Lê Khả Phiêu (1997-2001)
- Nông Đức Mạnh (since 2001)
Current party leadership
The present Politburo, elected in April 2006, consists of:
- Nông Đức Mạnh, Secretary-General of the Communist Party
- Nguyễn Minh Triết, Secretary of the Ho Chi Minh City Municipal Party Committee (until 2006), President of Vietnam (since 2006)
- Nguyễn Tấn Dũng, first Deputy Prime Minister, then Prime Minister of Vietnam
- Nguyễn Phú Trọng, first Secretary of the Hanoi City Municipal Party Committee, then Chairman of the National Assembly
- Trương Tấn Sang, Head of the Party's Central Committee's Commission of Economic Affairs, then Standing Member of the Secretariat of the Party
- Lê Hồng Anh (General), Minister of Public Security
- Phạm Gia Khiêm, Deputy Prime Minister
- Phạm Quang Nghị, first Minister of Culture and Information, then Secretary of Ha Noi Municipal Party Committee
- Nguyễn Sinh Hùng, first Minister of Finance, then Deputy Prime Minister
- Nguyễn Văn Chi, Head of the Party's Central Committee's Commission of Inspection, later also Secretary of the Communist Party
- Hồ Đức Việt, first Chairman of the National Assembly’s Committee for Science, Technology and Environment, then Head of the Party's Central Committee's Commission of Organisational Affairs)
- Phùng Quang Thanh, first Deputy Minister of Defense and Chief of the General Staff, then Minister of Defense
- Trương Vĩnh Trọng, first Head of the Party's Central Committee's Commission of the Interior, then Deputy Prime Minister and Secretary of the Communist Party
- Lê Thanh Hải, first Chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City People's Committee, then Secretary of Ho Chi Minh City Municipal Party Committee
The Secretariat of the Communist currently consists of:
- Nông Đức Mạnh
- Trương Tấn Sang
- Trương Vĩnh Trọng
- Nguyễn Văn Chi
- Hồ Đức Việt
- Lê Văn Dũng, senior lieutenant-general, Chairman of the Political General Department of the Vietnam People's Army
- Tòng Thị Phóng, first Chief of the Party's Central Committee's for People Campaigning, then Deputy Chairwoman of the National Assembly)
- Tô Huy Rứa
At the ninth conference of the Party Central Committee, which closed in 2009 Hanoi, Tô Huy Rứa, Chief of the Central Committee for Propaganda and Education, was elected to the Politburo. Ngô Văn Dụ, a member of the Central Communist Party Committee, Chief of the Central Communist Party Committee Office and Hà Thị Khiết, also a member of the Central Communist Party Committee and Chief of the Central Committee for People Campaigning, were elected to the Secretariat of the Central Communist Party Committee.
- Nhân Dân (The People)
- Tenth National Congress of the Communist Party of Vietnam
- Politburo of the Communist Party of Vietnam
- Central Committee of the Communist Party of Vietnam
- Smith, R.B., 'The Foundation of the Indochinese Communist Party, 1929-1930', Modern Asian Studies, 32,4 (1998), p.799
- Ho Chi Minh and the Communist Movement
- Firmly holding to the socialist orientation Đảng Cộng sản Việt Nam
- 11th National Congress of Communist Party of Vietnam draws wide attention
- [For Vietnam, Sustainable Development a Growing Challenge World Politics Review
- Vietnam latest news - Thanh Nien Daily