Defence Minister Ngo Xuan Lich (Photo: VNA)


Hanoi (VNA) –
The victory of the southwest border defence war has provided valuable lessons for Vietnam in the cause of national sovereignty protection, Defence Minister Ngo Xuan Lich affirmed in an article published by Nhan Dan newspaper on January 7.

The defence minister, who is also a member of the Party Central Committee’s Politburo and Deputy Secretary of the Central Military Commission, recalled that after the victory of the national liberation war against the US, the people of both Vietnam and Cambodia shared the aspiration for a life in peace, independence and freedom so as to heal the wounds of war and build a prosperous country. But immediately after taking power in April 1975, the Pol Pot regime betrayed the Cambodian people and the national interest, and undertook a series of reactionary, aggressive and extremely brutal policies.

In the country, the Pol Pot regime stripped the people of their rights to freedom and democracy, turning them into slaves, while carrying out a genocide targeting intellectuals, religious followers, ethnic minority groups, overseas Vietnamese and other innocent people, pushing the Cambodian nation to the brink of destruction and threatening the security of countries in the Indochinese peninsula.

Encouraged and helped by reactionary forces, the Pol Pot regime unexpectedly changed their attitude towards Vietnam, sparing nothing to smear Vietnam and incite racial hatred, demanding re-demarcation of the border between the two countries and calling Vietnam their number-one and inherited enemy. From 1975 to 1978, the regime launched various invading attacks on Vietnam’s islands and border areas on expanding scales and increasing frequency, conducting a range of bloody massacres of Vietnamese people along the Vietnam-Cambodia border.

The Pol Pot regime’s acts had violated Vietnam’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, seriously breaking international law and damaging the Vietnam-Cambodia bilateral relationship. At the end of 1978, the Pol Pot government moved 10 divisions to the border with Vietnam in preparation for a general offensive on Vietnam.

In such a situation, at the beginning of December 1978, the Politburo and the Central Military Commission of the Communist Party of Vietnam Central Committee adopted the resolve to defeat the Pol Pot regime to safeguard the peaceful life for the Vietnamese people.

Thereafter, the Vietnamese military and people conducted strong counter-attacks and offensive campaigns, successfully driving the Pol Pot invading troops from Vietnam’s territories.

After that, responding to the pressing request of the Kampuchean United Front for National Salvation (KUFNS), Vietnam’s volunteer soldiers have braved all hardship and sacrifice to coordinate with the KUFNS armed forces in launching a general offensive to liberate Phnom Penh capital city and the entire country of Cambodia from the Pol Pot regime.

According to the Defence Minister, the victory of the southwest border defence war has smashed the wicked schemes of the Pol Pot regime and reactionary forces to firmly safeguard Vietnam’s independence and territorial integrity while helping the Cambodian people escape from the disaster of genocide and thwarting the attempts to divide the traditional solidarity of the three Indochinese nations – Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.

This is also a great victory of the Cambodian people, as well as of the noble spirit of internationalism and the impartial and wholehearted support of the Party, State, people and People’s Army of Vietnam, which opened up a new era in Vietnam-Cambodia relationship – an era of peaceful development and comprehensive cooperation between the two countries based on the principle of peace and respect for each other’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, contributing to maintaining peace and stability in the region and the world.

Minister Lich pointed out that many precious lessons can be drawn out from the victory of the southwest border defence war, which bears deep theoretical and practical significance for Vietnam’s cause of national construction and defence in the current era.

One of the lessons is to always uphold vigilance and closely follow the situation in order to timely detect and defeat any plots and attempts of invasion of hostile forces. The country must be prepared in all aspects to defeat all forms of invasion war and transgression of border, seas and island, as well as conspiracies of “peaceful evolution”, riot and overthrow so as to firmly protect national independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The second lesson is to build strong people-based defence position, especially in strategic and key areas, the border, the sea and islands. Strong defence forces and people-based defence constituted the essential factors in the victory of the southwest border defence war and the joint triumph over the genocidal regime.

It is necessary to make full use of the combined strength of the entire nation and political system along with garnering the support and sympathy of the international community in safeguarding the country’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Third but not last, the Defence Minister stressed the need to build a professional and elite people’s army with increasingly combating capacity. The army must strengthen its political power and absolute loyalty to the Fatherland, the Party and the people, and the Party’s absolute and direct leadership of the army must be maintained and enhanced.-VNA