President Trong calls for greater vigilance, dedication

By Phan Anh   October 23, 2018 | 05:29 am PT
President Trong calls for greater vigilance, dedication
Vietnam's Communist Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong takes his oath of office after being elected as Vietnam's State President during a National Assembly session in Hanoi, Vietnam, October 23, 2018. Photo by Reuters/Kham
President Nguyen Phu Trong has called on the nation to be more vigilant and dutiful than ever as it tackled new challenges.

Party chief Trong was sworn in as Vietnam’s ninth President Tuesday following a secret vote by the parliament. This is the text of his full speech during the swearing-in ceremony.

People may ask what I’m feeling right now, and I would say that I’m both happy and worried at the same time. Happy because the Party and the people have entrusted me with this mission; worried because now I have to live up to my position and do my best for my country.

Some people have also asked me whether I can make any promise. I have sworn an oath already, so I can only say why I’m happy and why I’m worried.

Twelve years ago, on June 26, 2006, at 4 p.m., when the National Assembly voted me as its chairman, I was also happy and worried. I was worried because I’d never been the Chairman of the National Assembly before. At that time, I was the (Party) Secretary of Hanoi and the Chairman of the Central Theoretical Council, which was in charge of the Party’s personnel affairs. In the mood, I recited two lines from the Tale of Kieu:

I think myself but a person of petty fate,

Will heaven agree to our love consummate?

But now, I have three reasons to be worried. First is our country’s current situation. On one hand, we have numerous opportunities and achievements, but on the other, we still face many challenges ahead of us. I’ve said many times before that Vietnam has never had such good potential, position and reputation as we have on the world stage. We have the right to be proud and excited about the achievements of our Party, our military and our people, but we cannot be careless and sleep on our victories. We need to be more vigilant and dutiful than ever. Considering recent global events, it is impossible to anticipate what may happen next, so we shouldn’t be careless.

Secondly, now that I am both the General Secretary and the President, a position that the National Assembly has given me, there is a lot of work to be done. The 8th Plenum of the National Assembly has also decided to create several smaller departments to better prepare for the upcoming 13th National Congress.

Thirdly, given the task at hand, I know my capabilities, knowledge and limitations well, so I’m worried. I am also old. Like our great President Ho Chi Minh once said, the older we get, the less healthy we are, so I’ve always been prepared for that. As such, I ask my comrades, government leaders, the Vietnamese Fatherland Front, the government, delegates and the people to sympathize with and support me. Additionally, relevant agencies like the National Assembly, the government, the Vietnamese Fatherland Front, the judiciary, central and local departments need to cooperate with each other seamlessly while highlighting the teamwork spirit to help me do my job well.

As for me, I will strive to do my best to live up to the affection and expectations that my people have vested in me.

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