To say “health of the political system” or “stability of institutions” are words that seem academic and scientific, but its main implication in the folk language is the question: when this regime will collapse and under what scenario will it collapse.
That is the special concern of many Vietnamese people today, but no one has a specific answer to this question.
Vietnam has just celebrated the 75th anniversary of the National Day on September 2 with the media of this country giving out various messages, emphasizing political stability.
There is an opinion about the lesson of “no change amid changing environment,” no fundamental changes in institutions needed to ensure the steady development of socialism and ensure the regime remains “strong.”
Other newspapers put emphasis on “solidarity and national interests, national interests first.”
At the same time, according to some observers, the political system led by the Communist Party of Vietnam has faced the challenge of the question of the old, “steady” institutional model outside but inside a crisis.
BBC News Vietnamese noted the opinions of four commentators from Vietnam and overseas:
Dr. Pham Quy Tho – Public Policy Institute, Hanoi: The typical regime in China and Vietnam actually has a very resilient vitality, but the very simple reason is that it maintains totalitarianism, which is often repressive and violent, resulting in people very afraid to comply. Second, it is also flexible, after thirty years of innovation, it always applies the policies known as “wrong-correct,” that is, if you see a mistake, you can correct it and be adapted to the situation every time it is cornered, for example, starvation or when there are urgent situations.
Historian Le Van Sinh – Hanoi National University: Only after 75 years of existence, the current Vietnamese regime has fallen into a state of instability. When assessing the “health” of the regime, some people in the Party’s leadership realize that the regime has systematic errors.
It was a metaphor, rather than showing that a long-delayed political reform led to this situation.
Writer Vo Thi Hao – political refugee in Berlin, Germany: I would like to use an image to say that the current regime properly represents the health of an old man under 80 wearing a Chinese suit, wearing western shoes, having dual Vietnamese nationality and foreign nationality (such as Cyprus) so that if there is a uprising, it can be ready to escape quickly, leaving behind all consequences.
The regime, after 75 years of existing, now carries many incurable diseases but refuses all treatment, on the contrary, is willing to take a knife and gun to chase and imprison doctors who give diagnosis results and medicine to save the lives of this institution.
In terms of foreign affairs, Vietnam is next to a giant neighbor who is strong economically and militarily, and has great ambitions for power and territory, always applies all tricks to sabotage or cause trouble to neighboring countries, and has conducted many acts of infringement of Vietnam’s sovereignty.
Dr. Mai Thanh Son – Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences said “In my opinion, this regime is in the last stage of the natural cycle of “birth-old age-illness-death.”
After all, the health of an institution is no different than human health. The Soviet Union and the Eastern European socialist countries are vivid examples. A host of Latin American countries also fell into that category. The story of Vietnam today has to do with both domestic and foreign affairs. An old body will all produce many diseases.
What about the main advantages and disadvantages of the current institutional model in Vietnam?
Writer Vo Thi Hao: I think that the current regime is capable of responding and eliminating its opposition to keep its absolute power, and know how to turn the power system into a system of making money by power to keep loyal slaves. The Communist Party and individuals in the political system, originally a power separate from the economy, have become increasingly corrupted, and the group benefits that derive from power still bear the name of socialist.
At first, people under the regime, despite being very poor and during the war, still enjoyed free education and health care, but later on, the Communist Party and the state increasingly denied or reduced responsibility for welfare administration but using taxes to take care of the regime instead of social security for the people, even though the people struggled, many people fell into misery, the gap between the rich and the poor is too big.
Director Song Chi said: “There are many ways to go, but the Vietnamese Communist Party is determined to choose the worst one.”
With a long history of 75 years in power in the North and 45 years of monopoly power in the entire country, the Communist Party certainly never wants to change because that change may take its power. The problem is how the nation of 95-96 million will endure, TV director Song Chi commented.
So, how long will the Vietnamese Communist regime survive further That is a question that many people are interested in and is also the title of an article by Dan Chim Viet newspaper with the following analysis:
The Vietnamese communist regime has tamed the nation after more than 45 years of rule over the country with totalitarianism and authoritarianism. Due to the party’s propaganda and indoctrination not allowed people to think and have independent thinking right from the moment of birth, most of the people, including intellectuals, have learned to live under the control and twitch of the regime in a unconscious way. The majority of the people were aware of the wicked totalitarian rule of the communists, but because of their own safety, the family also had to live quietly or worse, to survive.
The communist regime with about 4-5 million party members including military, police, government officials, civil defense, public opinion shapers, etc. along with their relatives, family, followers, middle-class business … The total is estimated to be 20 million or more. This force certainly does not (or not yet) want to change the regime while they are still able to make a living and get rich in the current state, even though many of them also see uncertainty and suffer a lot of pressure and oppression in their life.
However, the most important reason is that Vietnam is next to China, a country with more than 1.4 billion people, always wanting to put the yoke of domination on Vietnam, they find every way to force the communist leadership. Hanoi to depend entirely on them.
Thus the force correlation is 20/74 million (out of the total population is 94 million) which is almost 1 against 4.
However, the faction belonging to the regime, despite being a minority, is stronger in terms of weapons, equipment, and (temporarily) more closely linked in terms of interests, and clearly led. The faction of the people, though nearly four times larger, but the weapon is only hatred, lack of solidarity, no organization strong enough to deal with the Communist regime.
A revolution that overthrows the Vietnamese communist regime from demonstrations that with participation of hundreds of thousands of people in big cities like Saigon, Da Nang, and Hanoi will unlikely happen.
From the above observations, it shows that the Vietnamese communist regime only collapses when one of the following predicted events becomes reality:
1/ An international upheaval in the East Sea (South China Sea) pushes the US-China, due to economic conflicts, being both enemies and friends, into a conventional war which attracts the participation of Japan, South Korea, Australia, and Taiwan as well as Vietnam to take part in the war.
The Vietnamese communist regime at that time was forced to choose side, China or the US. Either side, the CS regime will collapse
2/ The “self-evolving and self-transforming” in the communist party occurs stronger, more violently, more quickly when the country’s resources are exhausted, there was nothing to sell, the budget was empty, there was no more money to pay the police, the military, the civil defense, the public opinion shapers, etc. The country is disintegrated because the projects of damaging the environment in China’s plot in the last stage are being massively implemented. A series of middle and senior leaders of the regime will flee.
As the national resource pie becomes smaller and smaller, the number of people eating more and more, the new communist leaders are forced to scramble to find a way to take back what their predecessors have corrupted and repented of revealing and draining the work in recent decades. That is also the reason why the middle-class bourgeois is currently being scanned for assets, and will surely be questioned tomorrow, the first evidence is the retroactive taxation of car dealerships with cars sold later. July 1, 2016.
3/ The Chinese Communist Party is divided and collapsed due to power struggles and settlements among the most senior leaders, then the Vietnamese communist regime immediately collapses due to the loss of economic and political support. The social disorder will happen, blood will be shed. The police and the military will disband. Extreme pain and loss of trust will lead to a new liberal democracy.”
That is the prediction of the Vietnamese Dan Chim page from the end of January 2017, but it seems that this scenario is gradually happening with changes in Vietnam and around the world stemming from the Covid-19 pandemic and fluctuations in Chinese relations with the US, Japan, Australia, and Western Europe as well as the fundamental changes regarding the posture in the South China Sea, and from Hong Kong to Taiwan and India. Let’s wait and see.