Communist Party of Viet Nam

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The Communist Party of Vietnam (Vietnamese: Đảng Cộng sản Việt Nam) is the ruling party of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. [1] It is the sole legal party.

At the Founding Congress, it was formed in 1930 but, on orders of the Comintern, changed its name to Indochinese Communist Party (ICP), and subsequently changed names several times with changes in the regional government through war and diplomacy. Currently, it is defined by the Constitution of 1980 as

the only force leading the state and society and the main factor determining all successes of the Vietnamese revolution.

Early history

In February 1930 in Hong Kong, Ho Chi Minh presided over the founding congress of the VCP. At the direction of the Communist International (Comintern), the party's name was changed shortly afterwards to the Indochinese Communist Party (ICP).

The party platform included:[2]

  1. overthrow of the French
  2. establishment of Vietnamese independence
  3. establishment of a workers', peasants', and soldiers' government
  4. organization of a workers' militia
  5. cancellation of public debts
  6. confiscation of means of production and their transfer to the proletarian government
  7. distribution of French-owned lands to the peasants
  8. suppression of taxes; establishment of an eight-hour work day
  9. development of crafts and agriculture
  10. institution of freedom of organization
  11. establishment of education for all

These proposals were made at a time of worldwide economic depression. While Vietnamese urban proletariat had increased four times. working conditions and salaries had improved little. The number of strikes rose more than tenfold, and French investors, avoiding risk, withdrew their capital from Indochina. The tax burden on peasants was regressive, and it was also a time of floods and famine. Even the colonial government cut its staff by one-seventh and salaries by one-quarter.[2]

First National Party Congress

This was held in Macao, secretly, simultaneously with the Seventh Congress of the Cominterm. At that Cominter Congress, the doctrine was changed from a united front for world revolution to an anti-fascist front. The Macao meeting, therefore, only made provisional recommendations until receiving policy from Moscow. Under this strategy, the ICM regarded all nationalist parties as potential allies.

Second National Party Congress

Held in Tuyen Quang, a former province of the North controlled by the Viet Minh during the [[First Indochina War] (also known as the Viet Minh War). It reestablished the ICP, which had been officially dissolved in 1945 to obscure the party's communist affiliation, and renamed it the Vietnam Workers' Party (VWP, Dang Lao Dong Viet Nam).

Third National Party Congress

Held in Hanoi in 1960, it formalized the goals of creating a socialist society in the North and conducting a revolution in the South.

Fourth National Party Congress

This was held in December 1976, was the first such congress held after the country's reunification. Reflecting the party's sense of rebirth, the congress changed the party's name from the Vietnam Workers' Party (VWP, Dang Lao Dong Viet) to the Vietnam Communist Party. It set a formal policy of unification of the North and South, with a new Party Statute with a goal to "realize socialism and communism in Vietnam." It further described the VCP as the "vanguard, organized combat staff, and highest organization" of the Vietnamese working class, and a "united bloc of will and action" structured on the principle of democratic centralism.

There was much emphasis on economics. The Fourth National Party Congress transferred the party's emphasis on heavy industry, initiated at the Third National Party Congress, to light industry, fishing, forestry, and agriculture.

Other objectives included:

  • centralized economic management
  • better use of prices to regulate supply and demand
  • budgets to implement economic development programs
  • tax policy to control sources of income
  • banks to supply capital for production.

The role of the military was redefined between party pragmatists, who saw the army as a supplement to the labor force and the more doctrinaire theoreticians, who saw the military as a fighting force, with which economic missions would interfere.

Fifth National Party Congress

While the March 1982 Congress restated Vietnam's alignment with the Soviet Union but revealed a breach in party unity and indecision on economic policy. Six Politburo members resigned, including:

  • Vo Nguyen Giap, defense minister and former chief military strategist in the wars against France and the United States
  • Nguyen Van Linh, future party general secretary who later returned to the Political Bureau in June 1985.

Sixth National Party Congress

Held in December 1986, there was much self-criticism over the party's failure to improve the economy, and a balance was sought between the positions of radicals, who urged a quicker transition to socialism through collectivization, and moderates, who urged increased reliance on free-market forces.

Three senior leaders retired, but took up undefined advisory roles:

  • VCP General Secretary and President Truong Chinh
  • second-ranked Political Bureau member and Premier Pham Van Dong
  • party theoretician and fourth-ranked Political Bureau member (without government portfolio) Le Duc Tho, aged seventy-five.

Foreign Affairs

Vietnam and the US established diplomatic ties on July 12, 1995 and first exchanged ambassadors in 1997. [3]


  1. Cima, Ronald J., ed. (1987), The Vietnamese Communist Party, Vietnam: A Country Study, Library of Congress
  2. 2.0 2.1 Cima, Ronald J., ed. (1987), Ho Chi Minh and the Communist Movement, Vietnam: A Country Study, Library of Congress
  3. {{ | author = Communist Party of Vietnam Central Committee | title = Vietnam and the US promote bilateral relations | date = 25 June 2008 url=}}