Party General Secretary Truong Chinh in December, 1986. (Photo: VNA)
Truong Chinh served as Party General Secretary from July to December, 1986. Before the 6th National Party Congress, Mr. Chinh realized the urgent need for Vietnam to renew itself. Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union had begun an open door policy and reduced aid. Vietnam suffered a serious socio-economic crisis.
In that context, Party leader Chinh gathered a group of intellectuals and scholars to do theoretical and practical research on renewal. He was aware of the need to renew economic theory and policy to eliminate red-tape, build financial independence, and create a multi-sector commodity-based economy under State management. Economist Vo Dai Luoc was asked by Party leader Chinh to write a paper on applying Lenin’s economic policy to Vietnam and a paper on “external economic policy in the new period”.
“Party leader Truong Chinh read my thesis many times. At that time, we applied Lenin’s economic policy to Vietnam, which aims to replace red-tape and subsidy by the commodity-money relationship,” Mr. Luoc recalled.
Carrying out the renewal process was difficult because of Party members’ different viewpoints and other factors. Dr. Prof. Le Quoc Ly, Deputy Director of the Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics and Public Administration, said: “Party General Secretary Truong Chinh was consistent in his ideology of economic reform and renovating Communist Party theory. He unswervingly defended his policy against criticism”.
Truong Chinh’s arguments reflected the aspirations and thoughts of the people and many Party members. Pham The Duyet, former Politburo Standing Member and former President of the Vietnam Fatherland Front Committee, said: “Party leader Truong Chinh was consistently dedicated to the revolution and had creative thoughts. He carried out renovation while remaining true to socialism”.