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Tendency of Cambodia-Vietnam relations after the 13th National Congress Party of CPV

Uch Leang / Share:
Illustration: Liskonogaleksey/Dreamstime.com

The Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) will convene its 13th National Congress from January 25 to February 2, 2021.  The decision on the congress was made by the Party Central Committee during its 14th plenum which was held from December 14 to 18 in Hanoi.

The 13th National Congress will vote to select 180 members from 1,587 delegates from across the country for the Central Committee, which in turn, will pick the politburo from that group  and for the party general secretary.

At the plenum, the committee will discuss and adopt reports to be presented at the 13th National Congress, including a political report, a report evaluating the implementation of the 2011-2020 socio-economic development strategy and the building of the 2021-2030 socio-economic development strategy, and a report reviewing the realisation of socio-economic tasks during the 2016-2020 period and orientations and tasks for 2021-2025.

The implementation of 10-year socio-economic development strategy 2011–2020 of Vietnam will reveal that  the world and regional situation have been complicated than forecasted. Public debt crisis was very  serious in many countries, the world economy recovered very slowly; risks in international monetary and financial markets increased; many countries have intensified trade protectionism in recent years. Science and technology developed rapidly, the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the digital economy became one of the major development trends of the era. In the last year of the Strategy period, the Covid-19 pandemic occurred globally  and the world economy fell into recession,  the consequences of which will last for many years.

Domestically, in the early years, the economy was potentially risky, inflation was high, public debt increased rapidly, and bad debt ratio was high; production and business faced many difficulties. The impact, influenced by external factors increased,  competition increased fiercely, while the openness of the economy was high and  resilience became   limited. Climate change, natural disasters and epidemics are more complicated. Especially in 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic has severely affected almost all sectors, fields, and economic and social activities were delayed, people’s lives faced many difficulties.

Foreign relations and international integration have been proactively implemented, actively, comprehensively, synchronously and with important results in many aspects; together with national defense and security, maintaining a peaceful and stable environment, maintaining independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity, enhancing Vietnam’s reputation and position in the international arena; is an important driving force for socio-economic development and increase national aggregate strength, contributing to early and remote protection of the country. Build and manage the border of peace, friendship, cooperation and development with neighboring countries; resolutely, persistently fight and settle territorial border disputes by peaceful means, on the basis of diplomatic processes and international law, to promote the full implementation of the Declaration of the parties in the East Sea.

Until today, CPV and State have established diplomatic relations with about 247 parties in 111 countries around the world. There are about 98 Foreign Embassies and Consulates spread all over the world and 95 Foreign Embassies and Consulates placed within the territory of Vietnam. Vietnam always participates in many issues in the regions and the world.


Cambodia and Vietnam Relations

Cambodia and Vietnam are two neighbouring countries that share land and sea borders. They have   a traditional relationship of solidarity, sticking together and helping each other for a long time in history. In recent years, with the good neighbourly relations, sustainable cooperation between Cambodia and Vietnam has achieved many successes with comprehensive results in most fields.

The leaders of the two countries also highly appreciated the historical significance of the signing of two legal documents recognising the achievements (84%) of demarcation of the land border between the two countries, and at the same time agreed to accelerate completing the necessary procedures for the two above documents to take effect soon and continue to negotiate to settle the remaining border areas that have not been demarcated, to build a peaceful Cambodia-Vietnam border and also affirmed that they will coordinate closely, effectively, and support each other in international and regional issues, especially within the framework of ASEAN cooperation and ASEAN-led mechanisms, United Nations, WTO, ASEM, and Mekong Sub-region cooperation mechanisms.

In 2020, despite the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the relationship between the two countries still achieved many important results. Up to 2020, bilateral trade between Cambodia and Vietnam grew 0.84% compared to 2019 and reached to $5.33 billion. Vietnam has 184 investment projects in Cambodia with a total capital of about $2.76 billion, ranking third among 78 countries and territories that Vietnam has invested in (after Russia and Laos). Vietnam started investments in Cambodia from 2005 and from 2015 up to now, has achieved up to 10 projects with total capital between $30-70 million per year, mainly in agriculture, banking and telecommunications. The two countries also witnessed several developments in other sectors such as tourism, people-to-people exchange and culture, education-training and health collaboration. With a long-time cozy bilateral relation in history and the goodwill from both countries, bilateral relations will continue to develop and reach a new high  in the future.


Trajectory of  Cambodia-Vietnam relations after the 13th National Congress

After the 13th Congress, Vietnam will have a new leadership team, but I believe that Vietnam will continue to implement the previous and next policy cycle of always supporting Cambodia as a peaceful, independent, neutral manner.

Cambodia-Vietnam relations has vital meaning to the cause of protecting, building and developing of each country, bringing practical benefits to the people of the two countries and contributing to the maintenance of peace cooperation and development in the region and around the world.

With a long tradition of solidarity and important achievements has achieved in the past year, together with the political determination of senior leaders of the two countries, I believe that good neighbourly relations with traditional friendship, comprehensive and long-term sustainable cooperation between Cambodia and Vietnam will overcome all difficulties and challenges and get more great results.


UCH Leang, Department Asian, African and Middle East Studies of International Relations Institute of Cambodia of Royal Academy of Cambodia.

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