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Top 10 prominent events of Vietnam in 2021 selected by VNA

The 13th National Party Congress, changes to the anti-pandemic strategy, and efforts to maintain some growth pillars are among the events that have shaped Vietnam in 2021. The following are the top 10 domestic events selected by the Vietnam News Agency.

1. 13th National Party Congress a great success

Party General Secretary and State President Nguyen Phu Trong speaks at 13th National Party Congress. Photo: VNA
Held in Hanoi from January 25 to February 1, 2021, the 13th National Party Congress was highly successful, establishing itself as a congress of “Solidarity - Democracy - Discipline - Creativity - Development” that inspired the aspiration for a prosperous and happy nation, brought into play the will and strength of the great national solidarity, and comprehensively and uniformly stepped up the “Doi moi” (Renewal), industrialisation, and modernisation.

The congress identified national development goals for the next five and 10 years, and by 2045, when Vietnam is expected to become a socialist-oriented developed country.

2. Nearly 70 million voters nationwide cast ballots to elect deputies to National Assembly, all-level People’s Councils

Soldiers on Son Ca island vote to elect deputies to the 15th National Assembly and People's Councils at all levels for the 2021-2026 term, one week earlier than those in the mainland. Photo: VNA

On May 23, 2021, 99.6 percent of the voters nationwide cast their ballots to exercise citizens’ rights and obligations, electing 499 deputies to the 15th National Assembly, 3,721 to the provincial-level People’s Councils, 22,550 to the district-level People’s Councils, and 239,788 to the communal-level People’s Councils for the 2021 - 2026 tenure.

The elections took place in a democratic, law-abiding, and safe manner when the entire political system, people, and army were exerting efforts to fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

3. Changes to COVID-19 prevention and control strategy

The fourth wave of COVID-19 outbreaks, with the emergence of the highly contagious Delta variant, has reversed the previously obtained achievements in the pandemic combat when the numbers of infections and related deaths surged in many localities nationwide, especially those in the south. Facing that fact, the Party and State changed the anti-pandemic strategy from “zero COVID” to the “dual targets”.

The implementation of Resolution No. 128/NQ-CP, issued on October 11, 2021, on safe and flexible adaptation to and effective control of the pandemic for the ultimate goal of protecting people’s lives and health has helped curb virus transmission, recover socio-economic development, and gradually stabilise people’s life.

The country has recorded 1,630,851 infections in the fourth wave of COVID-19, raising the total cases to 1,636,455; meanwhile, the numbers of deaths and recoveries stood at 31,007 and 1,229,684, respectively.

4. Vaccine strategy successfully implemented

As of December 25, 98 percent of the people aged 18 and above had received at least one shot of vaccine. Photo: VNA

The Party and State have mobilised every resource and shown the determination to carry out the COVID-19 vaccine strategy to achieve herd immunity. Many measures have been taken, including setting up a vaccine fund, conducting the vaccine diplomacy, developing home-grown vaccines, and organising the largest-ever free vaccination campaign.

As of December 25, 98 percent of the people aged 18 and above have received at least one shot of vaccine, rising by about four-fold, and 86 percent got the second dose, increasing 25-fold from late August 2021. The vaccination for those aged between 12 and under 18 has also been stepped up.

5. Five important documents on Party building, rectification issued

In the first year of the 13th tenure, the Party issued the Politburo’s Conclusion No. 01-KL/TW on the continued implementation of Directive No. 05-CT/TW, dated May 15, 2016, on promoting the studying and following of President Ho Chi Minh’s ideology, morality, and style; Conclusion No. 21-KL/TW, released at the fourth plenum of the 13th Party Central Committee, on stepping up the Party and political system building and rectification; Regulation No. 37-QD/TW on the things Party members are not allowed to do; Conclusion No. 14-KL/TW on encouraging and protecting cadres who are active and creative, and dare to think and act; and Regulation No. 41-QD/TW on the dismissal and resignation of cadres. Notably, the two last documents feature provisions issued for the first time.

6. National Cultural Conference inspires internal strength, UNESCO continues honouring Vietnamese culture

The National Cultural Conference, held to implement the Resolution of the 13th National Party Congress, identified six concrete targets and 10 key solutions for continuing to strongly inspire patriotism, the will of self-resilience, and the aspiration for a prosperous nation; preserving the national identity and developing Vietnam’s culture in the new period; and capitalising on the enormous internal strength for achieving national development goals by 2030, with a vision to 2045. This event took place on November 24, 2021 - 75 years since the first National Cultural Conference.

On December 15, 2021, the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) officially inscribed the art of Xoe dance of the Thai ethnic group in the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. On November 23, the UNESCO General Conference decided to commemorate the 200th death anniversary of scholar Nguyen Dinh Chieu and the 250th birth and 200th death anniversaries of female poet Ho Xuan Huong in 2022.

7. Vietnam actively takes part in multilateral cooperation mechanisms

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh speaks at COP26. Photo: VNA

At the 26th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 26), Vietnam committed to cutting greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050 and reducing the methane emissions by 30 percent by 2030 compared to 2020, showing the country’s strong political resolve to promote the transition of the economic model to green growth and comprehensively respond to climate change.

Besides, Vietnam has continued making active and responsible contributions within the framework of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA), Asia - Europe Meeting (ASEM), Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), and Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum (APPF). It has successfully fulfilled its second term as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, been re-elected to the UN International Law Commission for the 2023 - 2027 tenure, and become a member of the UNESCO Executive Board for 2021 - 2025.

8. Strong economic fluctuations and efforts to maintain some growth pillars

Worker at an automobile assembly company. Photo: VNA

In the third quarter of 2021, the gross domestic product (GDP) declined by 6.17 percent from the same period last year, the sharpest fall since Vietnam began calculating and announcing the quarterly GDP, due to the fourth wave of COVID-19 infections. The service and industrial sectors in the southern region contracted sharply, and up to 60 percent of the people lost their jobs or experienced income decreases in Q3.

The National Assembly and the Government have issued strong policies to tackle difficulties, assist people and enterprises, and facilitate all resources for investment, production, and business activities in order to realise the twin targets of curbing the pandemic and developing the economy. As a result, Vietnam has reached and surpassed some important economic targets: the budget collection completed one month ahead of schedule, and estimated at 1,471 trillion VND, exceeding 9.5 percent compared to the estimate and 3 percent higher than the Government’s target; exports surpassing 335 billion USD with the trade surplus hitting about 3 billion USD, making Vietnam a country posting trade surplus for six consecutive years; and the attracted foreign direct investment exceeding 29 billion USD. Meanwhile, agriculture remains a solid fulcrum of the economy with a growth rate of 2.8 percent.

9. National population database system put into use for first time

Taking fingerprint samples to make chip-based ID card. Photo: VNA

The national population database system officially became operational on July 1, 2021, serving as an important basis for developing an e-Government, digital Government, and digital society.

Together with the achievement of the chip-based ID card issuance target, this is the first time fundamental information about Vietnamese citizens has been standardised, digitalised, and included in the inter-sector system, serving state management and facilitating activities of agencies, organisations, and individuals in a modern, convenient, and economical manner.

10. Vietnam secures impressive sports achievements amid difficulties

For the first time, the men’s national football team (in red) of Vietnam advanced to the third qualifying round of a FIFA World Cup. Photo: VNA
For the first time, the men’s national football team of Vietnam advanced to the third qualifying round of a FIFA World Cup. Meanwhile, the futsal team earned a berth in the finals of a FIFA Futsal World Cup for the second time and showed a great stride though they had to stop their journey in the round of 16.

Meanwhile, Le Van Cong pocketed a silver medal in the men’s 49kg powerlifting at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics. Nguyen Thi Thu Nhi became the first Vietnamese boxer to win a World Boxing Organisation belt in the women's mini-flyweight title fight./.