Communist Party chief laments political apathy among 'a segment' of young Vietnamese

By Vi Vu   December 11, 2017 | 02:51 pm GMT+7
Communist Party chief laments political apathy among 'a segment' of young Vietnamese
Nguyen Phu Trong, Vietnam's Communist Party chief, addresses the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union's National Congress in Hanoi on Monday. Photo by VnExpress/Duong Trieu

'They have been manipulated by hostile forces to do things that run counter to the Party and the country’s direction.'

Vietnam’s top leader took the stage on Monday to address the fading interest in politics among the younger generation and call for increased efforts to protect them from “bad and hostile” forces on the internet.

Nguyen Phu Trong, General Secretary of the ruling Communist Party, said: “A segment of young people have lost trust in our revolutionary ideals.”

“They have been manipulated by hostile forces to do things that run counter to the Party and the country’s direction,” Trong said in a 20-minute televised speech at the National Congress of the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union, the largest social-political organization for Vietnamese youth.

The event, which began Sunday in Hanoi with around 1,000 participants, is held every five years. It will conclude Wednesday.

He criticized the Youth Union for failing to keep track of changes in young people’s awareness.

He said that the union, as well as schools and families, need to make education about revolutionary ideals and politics an urgent and ongoing task in order to “evoke patriotism among young people and build confidence in the system.”

“We need to drastically fight wrong information, and boost young people’s immunity to the destruction and distortion spread by hostile forces, especially on social media,” he said.

communist-party-chief-laments-political-apathy-among-a-segment-of-young-vietnamese

Young people browse internet at a bus-stop in Hanoi. Communist Party chief Nguyen Phu Trong has called for increased efforts to protect Vietnamese youth from 'bad and hostile' forces on the internet. Photo by Reuters/Kham

More than half of Vietnamese people are online with active accounts on social media, some of which have been criticized multiple times by Vietnamese leaders for spreading toxic content.”

Vietnam has reached several agreements with Facebook and Google to limit such exposure to Vietnamese users. Communications officials have even expressed support for developing homegrown pages to replace Facebook, currently the most popular social network in Vietnam.

Trong has been spearheading a sweeping anti-corruption campaign that has ensnared a raft of business and political bigwigs, most prominently the former Politburo member Dinh La Thang, who was arrested last Friday for past wrongdoings at state energy giant PetroVietnam several years ago.

 
 
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