With few exceptions, the Western world fears any country that probes too deeply into the business and military corporations that build its economic empires on political and monetary corruption. It should therefore be no surprise that much of the Western media is howling at the leadership of the Vietnamese Communist Party for its audacity in cracking down on those who take bribes or even take funds illegally from the corporations that have been expected to maintain a position of leadership.
In socialist-oriented market economies like Vietnam, China and Cuba, there is generally aweeding-out of corrupt officials who govern state-ownedcorporations, including the leadership that works with foreign business within the context of diplomacy and international trade agreements. In fact, such historical campaigns have been ongoing since the period of Lenin’s New Economic Policy(NEP), which was created in the Soviet Union in 1922 as an economic system that would include "a free market and capitalism, both subject to state control", while socialized state enterprises would operate on "a profit basis", but that did not mean an unbridled marked economy with no serious political constraints.
According to one author describing how the NEP was supposed to have worked for the young Soviet economy: “The N.E.P. was masterfully designed to bring capital into the state, which it did, and to help it prosper economically. However, some socialists believe it may have gone too far with its free-market economic style and possibly could have led the Soviet Union into permanently possessing a capitalist economy, which would have destroyed the socialist priority. The original plan, however, was to have capitalism in place until the economy was strong enough to achieve socialism.” As is well known by both capitalist and communist academic economists, there is always a risk that if there is no profound observation of the leadership who are supposedly guiding the various state businesses and independent capitalist corporations within the socialist state itself, then the “socialist priority” could be destroyed and a reversal to the harsh reality of capitalism within all business institutions would become the bedrock upon which a once-socialist state was ruined. According to the American newspaper The Washington Post
^Vietnam’s Communist Party chief Nguyen Phu Trong has likened his anti-graft campaign to a “blazing furnace,” one that’s caught hundreds of senior officials, business executives and others in its blast over the years. While the country’s position has improved by more than 30 spots over the past decade on a global corruption perception index, it was still at 87th place last year out of 180 ranked. Now as Southeast Asia’s fastest-growing economy seeks to bolster its appeal as a destination for foreign investment in the midst of mounting trade tensions between the US and China, the fight seems to be flaring again.
Nguyen Phu Trong, the General Secretary of the Communist Party, is serious about his objective in apprehending and bringing to justice those who are misusing their positions of leadership to garnish their own personal wealth, particularly in their involvement with Western trade dealers and European and American corporate executives. As Trong says: “Each party cadre and member needs to shoulder the responsibility of being a role model. The higher the position and rank, the more responsibility one must take.” The Washington Post, which is not in any way a voice for a more radical left audience, but is in fact a liberal news outlet, nevertheless gave credence to Trong’s Anti-Graft campaign with these facts about the “blazing furnace” campaign:
In the first six months of 2022, 295 party members were disciplined due to corruption and deliberate wrongdoing, according to a posting on the Party’s website. In the same period criminal proceedings were initiated in 297 cases against 682 individuals for alleged bribery, and more than 9 trillion dong ($371 million) was recovered. Police also have detained a number of executives as part of investigations into alleged fraud tied to corporate bond issuance and trading and stock price manipulation. For example:
In October, police detained Truong My Lan, chairwoman of the real estate conglomerate Van Thinh Phat Holdings Group, and three other company officials for alleged fraud involving corporate bond issuance and trading. The detention led to a brief run on the privately held Saigon Commercial Bank because of its perceived connections with Van Thinh Phat Group. Regulators placed the bank under “special scrutiny” and directed four others to help manage it.
The stark criminal proceedings against both Communist Party members and non-Party members in Vietnam is, from a historical perspective, part of a stage of economic development that is fraught with dire consequences if corruption is not rooted out in the early stages of the socialist market economy.
If one wants to understand fully the underpinnings of the Anti-Graft Campaign, then one must read an important essay by President Nguyen Xuan Phuc, who wrote in 2012: “Furthermore, continuing to build and perfect the socialist rule of law state plays a crucial role in order to ensure institutionalization of the people's will, respect and promote the people's empowerment, control the state’s power, and prevent the risks of corruption and moral degradation. In terms of market economy, the Party and State must pay great attention to all social classes; associate economic growth with the realization of social progress and justice in each step and development policy; unify economic policies with social policies; ensure equality so that no one is left behind.”
We are living in a world of economic upheaval,similar to an earthquake with seismic waves of political unrest across the various continents and the risk of regional and world war. Those countries that survive the upheavalwill be those like Vietnam. The Communist leadership of Vietnam is not afraid of the war against those who desire to corrupt its way of life, and they are ready for the ongoing war of survival.
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