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December 15, 1980

Resolution on the Status and Mission of Combatting Enemy’s Ideological Sabotage Efforts During This New Period [Excerpts]

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Ministry of Interior, Socialist Republic of Vietnam

Independence - Freedom - Happiness

No. 02/BNV                  

Hanoi, 15 December 1980


on the Status and Mission of Combatting Enemy’s Ideological Sabotage Efforts During This New Period

Part One

I-The Plans, Organization, Methods, and Tactics That the Enemy Uses to Sabotage Our Ideology

1) -After the defeat of the American imperialist war of aggression against South Vietnam and the defeat of the Chinese reactionaries in their wars of aggression against our southwestern and northern borders, imperialist and international reactionary forces have been continuously attacked and isolated on the international stage.  However, because of their stubborn, warmongering, reactionary character, the imperialists, led by the American imperialists and the reactionary clique in Beijing, have continued to collude with one another in making feverish preparations for war, in launching insane counterattacks against the world revolutionary movement in all areas, and they have made a particular effort to step up their actions aimed at destroying political and ideological unity within the international Communist movement by focusing their attacks on Vietnam, the Soviet Union, and Cuba (three countries that occupy important positions and that form the biggest obstacles to their worldwide counter-revolutionary strategy) and on carrying out counter-revolutionary “peaceful evolution” in Poland.

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Our enemies call their effort to destroy our ideology “psychological warfare”, “ideological warfare”, “a war of nerves”, “political warfare” or a “Cold War”.  These actions form an important part of their overall efforts and they constitute a national policy that is part of the worldwide counter-revolutionary strategy of the imperialists and of international reactionary forces.  Reactionaries who exploit the religions and ethnic feelings in our country and reactionary Vietnamese exiles living abroad are devoting special attention to carrying out actions designed to destroy the ideology of our cadres and our people.

2) -International imperialist forces and international reactionaries are now working closely together to carry out a series of constant action campaigns designed to destroy our people’s thinking and ideology in many areas - political, spiritual, cultural, social, lifestyle, moral, and human feelings and emotions.

The American imperialists assert that now that Vietnam has been unified and is advancing toward socialism, the U.S. has no hope of changing the situation in Vietnam as long as the current generation, or even the second or third generation, of Vietnam’s leadership is in power. However, they believe that they still must patiently continue to attack our ideology in order to damage the prestige of Vietnam’s Communist Party cadres and Party members so that by the time that the fourth or fifth generation of leaders take power, when there has been enough time to forget the pain of war and to forget their class hatred, the U.S. will be able to implement peaceful evolution to destroy the revolution in Vietnam.

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One U.S. newspaper has admitted that the U.S. must employ all types of massive and sophisticated tactics to destroy the ideology of the Vietnamese people and to create “bastards of war” who are inculcated in Western thinking and who they can incite and direct to fight and die for American interests under the illusion that they are fighting and dying for their homeland.

In May 1977 a NATO conference in London (England) passed a resolution on stepping up the sabotage operations of the NATO intelligence agencies directed against the socialist countries. The resolution devoted special attention to working to increase “the trend toward instability” within the Communist world, to strengthening and elevating the role of dissident elements, and to supporting changes in the political forces inside the socialist countries that would benefit the West.

The reactionary Deng Xiaoping and the traitor Hoang Van Hoan have asserted that:

- If China pins its hopes on only military strength, then no matter how large a war of aggression [invasion] it wages, victory could not be won easily, because the Vietnamese nation, which is one nation, has an indomitable spirit - every time the Fatherland is invaded, the entire nation immediately rises up to fight aggression.  This kind of strength is difficult for any force to crush.  However, if we (meaning China) conduct a war on many fronts, coordinating the use of many different measures to strike powerful blows against Vietnamese minds (ideological sabotage) and Vietnamese stomachs (economic sabotage), Vietnam will certainly be defeated.

The enemy’s psychological warfare actions are incredibly dangerous and evil.  They are working to create reactionary tendencies and reactionary thinking, to create an ideology hostile to the revolution. They are working to create a class of the population that is depraved, that wants to live a fast life, that thinks only of its own enjoyment and consumption, that despises labor, that lives lives of sexual depravity and decadence, or at least to cause our people to  become vague in their class thinking, to reduce our controls and oversight, to cripple our people’s will to fight, to reduce trust and confidence in the regime, and to reduce belief and trust in the Party and in our key Party and State leaders. Their goal is to create divisions between ethnic groups and divisions between religions, to create a split between the people and the Army and Public Security, to create a split between our people and the Party and the Government, to create divisions between Vietnam and the Soviet Union and between Vietnam and Laos, Cambodia, the countries of the socialist bloc, and the progressive peoples of the world. 

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They hope to create opposition tendencies and opposition groups, to create rot and decay within the heart of our socialist regime, in order to carry out their long-term, basic plan to take over our country and conquer our people. 

3) -The imperialists and the international reactionary forces have mobilized their entire State [governmental] apparatus, their political parties, and their political organizations to conduct activities aimed at destroying our revolutionary ideology. This includes their intelligence agencies, their counter-espionage agencies, their information, propaganda, and press agencies, their entertainment and cultural agencies, and their organizations that exploit ethnic minorities and religions - these are their most dangerous forces. 

Today the American and Chinese reactionary agencies and organizations that conduct ideological sabotage operations constitute an enormous reactionary political force.  Recently the American imperialists have formed a new specialized professional office that is responsible for conducting research and for luring in, recruiting, and directing those within the socialist countries who are hostile to the revolution to sabotage us from the inside. They did this by merging the U.S. Information Agency with the U.S. State Department’s “Educational and Cultural Office” to form the Information and Cultural Agency (a new center specializing in ideological sabotage) that is directly controlled by the U.S. National Security Council, and they have strengthened their other psychological warfare and ideological sabotage  organizations, such as the Radio Freedom Committee, the Free Europe Committee, the Working People’s Alliance, and Radio Free Asia, that have offices in the capitalist countries, and especially in the ASEAN countries.

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The American imperialists and international reactionary forces have assembled groups of reactionary Vietnamese refugees to publish 117 [Vietnamese language] newspapers in 14 imperialist and capitalist countries to spread propaganda opposing the Vietnamese revolution. The Beijing reactionaries have colluded with the American imperialists to assemble exiled reactionaries from the three countries of Indochina (Hoang Van Hoan, Truong Nhu Tang, Sihanouk, Khieu Samphan, Pol Pot, Ieng Sari, Son Sen, Vang Pao, Kong Le) in a plot to form reactionary organizations like the “Indochina Front” to deceive international public opinion and to spread propaganda aimed at inciting reactionaries in the three countries of Indochina.

The American imperialists and the Beijing reactionaries are striving to persuade and then utilize satellite, lackey countries that are members of ASEAN and NATO to oppose Vietnam.  They have assembled Vietnamese exiles, Vietnamese, Lao, and Cambodian refugees, and especially personnel from former puppet psychological warfare organizations who have fled abroad, high-ranking puppet government officials and puppet army officers from the former Saigon regime, dissatisfied intellectuals and cadres, and leaders of reactionary religions and political parties like Nguyen Cong Hoan (former Deputy in our 6th National Assembly), Thich Giac Duc and Thich Giac Nhien from the Buddhist religion, Hoang Huu Quynh (an irrigation engineer from our Ministry of Irrigation and Water Projects), etc. to serve as their mouthpieces in spreading propaganda aimed at inciting reactionaries in our country and other people to oppose our regime.

They have increased their use of psychological warfare centers (prime examples being the “Asian Cultural” agency (called ASIA for short), the U.S. Information Agency (USIA for short), the Writers Association [PEN International], news agencies, radio stations, “international development” agencies, reactionary exile organizations, religious organizations and churches, psychological warfare research institutes, philosophical [theoretical] research institutes, ethnic studies institutes, etc.), and they have also used intelligence agents masquerading as clerics, journalists, writers, diplomats, experts, ship’s crewmen, students, tourists, and members of international organizations that operate using different cover names such as “Amnesty International”, “Refugee Relief” “Human Rights Institute”, and other so-called “non-political” [non-governmental organizations - NGOs], delegations studying the effects of Agent Orange, etc. to carry out actions designed to destroy our people’s ideology.

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The enemy is using every means possible to send in spies mixed in with delegations and groups that visit our country and among overseas Vietnamese returning home to conduct ideological sabotage operations.  The enemy is feverishly trying to contact and recruit former puppet army and governmental officials, former personnel of enemy psychological warfare organizations, reactionaries in the different religions (especially in the Catholic and Buddhist religions), reactionary elements of ethnic minority groups, members of the exploiting class who have refused to be reeducated, lackeys of the Beijing regime, dissatisfied, opportunist individuals who have been corrupted and have become reactionaries, etc. to participate in their efforts to sabotage and destroy our ideology.

Our enemies are now plotting to use religions organizations, religious issues, and ethnic issues as a “club that will break the back of the Communists.”

In our country the enemy is exploiting the Catholic religion, which has fabricated and disseminated “letter from the Virgin Mother” along with fabricated stories about “appearances by the Virgin Mother” and the “Five Small Families” story to pull together and incite Catholic believers to oppose the regime and to flee abroad.

During the time period that the Pol Pot-Ieng Sari clique was conducting a war of aggression against our southwestern border, the reactionaries spread propaganda designed to slander and distort our Party’s ethnic policies in an effort to incite the Cham and Khmer Krom ethnic minorities in our country to rise up to oppose our government.  During their war of aggression against our northern border, the Chinese expansionists put out the slogan, “drive out the Vietnamese ethnic group, annihilate the Tay ethnic group, rescue the ethnic Chinese, and forgive the Nhang ethnic group” as part of their scheme designed to create divisions between the different ethnic groups.

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They put out propaganda that said “China is the true Fatherland of the Meo [Hmong] people”, to incite the formation of an opposition force to establish “the autonomous Meo kingdom,” and to stir up narrow-minded ethnic nationalist ideology among backward and dissatisfied elements among the ethnic minority groups in a scheme designed to create riots, violence, and disorder in order to overthrow the government.

The different opposition targets both at home and abroad are colluding with one another to carry out actions aimed at sabotaging and destroying our ideology.  Many of the actions carried out by bad elements inside our country are being directed by imperialists and reactionaries abroad who are supplying these bad elements with technical equipment.  Reactionaries inside our country are actively supplying information to reactionaries abroad to use in propaganda attacks against us on the international stage.  We should take special note of the case in Haiphong in which Nguyen Chi Thien sent a collection of reactionary poems that he had written to an employee of a foreign embassy in Hanoi, and this collection of poems was sent abroad to be published, and of the case of Hoang Hai Thuy in Hanoi, an American spy who, acting under the guise of being an artist, wrote articles and poems that slandered our regime and then gave them to a foreigner to be delivered to exiled reactionaries for them to publish overseas in imperialist and capitalist countries.  A number of targets who are members of the “International Amnesty” organization who visited Vietnam during late 1979 met with a number of former members of the puppet army and puppet government and with bad intellectuals and artists to obtain information and to incite and direct opposition activities.

The enemy pays special attention to using dissatisfied cadres and Party members along with intellectuals, artists, entertainers, youths and children (especially university and high school students) whose revolutionary spirit is weak and who have become depraved and backward, and uneducated elements of ethnic minority groups and religions as unpaid enemy propaganda mouthpieces.  They consider these elements “fertile ground on which to spread reactionary thoughts and ideas and to serve as a strategic reserve force” in their scheme to attack and destroy our ideology.

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4) -The imperialists and international reactionary forces are coordinating their use of various types of equipment and of different forms and schemes for spreading propaganda and for conducting activities designed to destroy our people’s ideology.

They believe that radio broadcasts are an especially important method for spreading propaganda, believing that this is the best method for spreading reactionary political ideas, for influencing large number of people, and for inciting widespread internal opposition and sabotage among all classes of the population, including those who have little education and those who are illiterate.

The enemy has established many broadcasting centers with hundreds of radio transmitters in imperialist and capitalist countries and in areas where revolutionary movements are growing.  In Southeast Asia the American imperialists, the Beijing reactionaries, and the ASEAN nations have set up radio transmitters, including many very modern, powerful radio stations, such as the Voice of American (VOA), BBC Radio, Beijing Radio, Radio Free Asia, Radio Veritas (run by the Catholics in the Vatican), “Democratic Kampuchea Radio”, etc.  Even along our northern border the Beijing reactionaries have established a very powerful radio station that broadcasts propaganda against Vietnam night and day.

The enemy is constantly improving and modernizing his network of radio broadcasting stations opposed to the socialist countries and to Vietnam, the number of stations is constantly increasing, and the enemy is constantly increasing the number of broadcasting hours during which they broadcast reports, opinions, and other items that are designed to adversely affect and sabotage our ideology.  A number of these stations have increased the hours during which they broadcast American-style rock and roll music and propaganda that praises the Western lifestyle in order to sabotage the ideology of our youth and to encourage our people to flee our country (this is especially true of  VOA).  Radio Veritas broadcasts many hours of sermons that propagandize their religious thinking in an effort to strengthen the faith of their followers and to incite Catholic believers to oppose the revolution.

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The enemy is increasing his efforts to send into Vietnam psychological warfare letters and reactionary and depraved cultural publications through the international mail system, through the diplomatic pouch [of foreign diplomatic missions], or through visitors from foreign countries who personally deliver these items to people in our country. Especially dangerous are the psychological warfare letters sent by individuals who have fled our country.

Our inspection of letters sent from imperialist and capitalist countries during 1980 show that in Hanoi alone we have found 51,796 letters containing reactionary content and counter-revolutionary propaganda, and Quang Ninh Province has found 4,500 letters designed to incite opposition to our regime and to encourage our people to flee abroad.

The enemy pays special attention to using books, newspapers, magazines, phonograph records, photographs, and movies to spread propaganda designed to encourage a deprived lifestyle and to plant the seeds of reactionary ideology.  During 1978 our local authorities throughout the country confiscated 22 tons of books and newspapers, 56,417 records and songs, 4,770 tape recordings, 550 movies, and 393 photographs containing reactionary, depraved, debauched content designed to incite opposition and encourage our people to flee the country.  In our large cities, and especially in our capital city of Hanoi, in Ho Chi Minh City, in Haiphong, and in Danang, there are still many instances of underground, secret showings of films that promote sexual and other types of depravity.

The American imperialists and the Beijing reactionaries are trying to exploit our current short-term economic problems by sending leaflets and other psychological warfare materials into Vietnam from the sea, along our rivers, and overland.  During 1980 alone the Beijing reactionaries conducted 200 individual incidents involving the dissemination of leaflets into our country in ten different provinces, including four of our provinces that are deep inside our interior.

Of special significance, after the Chinese reactionaries failed in their war of aggression against our northern and southwestern borders, the enemy’s efforts to sabotage and destroy our ideology have greatly expanded and have involved many extremely dangerous methods and plots.

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The enemy along with bad elements in our society have produced reactionary poems, songs, and jokes, they have spread leaflets, put up posters, and sent anonymous letters with reactionary content, and they have spread vicious, untrue rumors.  A number of bad artists, entertainers, and intellectuals in the south, and especially in Ho Chi Minh City, have used legal [public] forums such as seminars, conferences, newspaper articles, club activities, etc. to spread reactionary propaganda designed to incite opposition to the regime, to support neocolonialist cultural ideas, to criticize the Party’s cultural and educational policies, and to criticize the Party’s leadership.  They have secretly published or re-published books, newspapers, and magazines with superstitious, reactionary, depraved content.  We have recently taken strong action to repress these actions, but these individuals have begun to conduct a type of secret activity that they call “tunnel entertainment”.

An especially serious development is that a number of bad elements and dissatisfied, unhappy cadres have used the newspaper “Tia Sang” [Ray of Light] published in Ho Chi Minh City and a few newspapers published in Hanoi to publish articles with vague, two-sided content to spread stories designed to slander our socialist regime and to slander our Party and State leaders.

Of all the different forms that the enemy uses to conduct his psychological warfare activities, the radio stations, the psychological warfare letters and materials, the word-of-mouth whispering campaigns, and the spreading of unfounded rumors are especially dangerous. 

The enemy regularly exploits those times when the revolution is shifting into another phase, when the revolution’s strategy changes, when a new enemy appears or when there is a change in the revolution’s direct, most dangerous enemy, and when the revolution is having problems to conduct his ideological sabotage operations.  The enemy uses propaganda schemes that are partially secret and partially overt, using a combination of fabricated stories and blatant slanders expressed in vague, ambiguous ways or true events that they then take out of context and distort in order to create suspicion and mistrust, using various methods to besmirch and threaten us combined with efforts to persuade and bribe their targets.

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The enemy exploits the superstitious psychology of religious believers and of backward, uneducated people by using religious arguments to blind them.  The enemy exploits the ardor and enthusiasm of young people by using material goods to seduce them; he uses money, girls, and degenerate books, magazines, and films to entice people to follow the wrong path and even to oppose the revolution.

The enemy is feverishly blockading our economy to try to destroy our economy as part of an effort to make the lives of our people more difficult with the ultimate goal of destroying our people’s faith and belief in socialism.  The enemy is striving to uncover and utilize any other negative factors in our society so that he can use these factors to attack and destroy us ideologically.

5) -All of our enemies make efforts to destroy their opponents’ ideology based on their individual abilities to do so in order to support both their immediate and their long-term goals in their overall counter-revolutionary plans.  However, generally speaking the enemy’s activities are usually focused on the following areas:

- Spreading propaganda that slanders and attacks the policies of our Party and our Government, and especially our economic policies regarding things such as living standards, distribution of goods, travel, salaries, currency, prices, foreign relations, security, and defense as well as our policies for our Party’s cadres.  They accuse us of invading Laos and Cambodia and they accuse us of being lackeys of the Soviet Union. They make up stories to slander our key Party and State leaders and they criticize the armed tools of our dictatorship of the proletariat, primarily our People’s Army and our People’s Public Security forces.

- They make false and slanderous accusations against us, claiming that we have supposedly violated human rights by pushing Vietnamese citizens out of our country and by expelling and discriminating against the ethnic Chinese.  They constantly conduct campaigns that use extremely evil, vicious tactics to incite our people to flee our country.

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- They spread reactionary capitalist theories such as convergence, Maoism, consumerism, etc., and they spread propaganda to incite young people to “live life fast”, enjoying life to the fullest and living only for the moment, and they incite lust of the flesh and the basest desires of our young people.

- They selectively exploit negative factors in our society, they work to deepen and exploit short-term problems and difficulties, and they distort and exaggerate the problems we are having with managing our economy and our society.

The Chinese reactionaries rely primarily on using Chinese capitalists, reactionaries within our ethnic minority groups, and cadres who have vague and weak political positions or who are dissatisfied to spread slanders and fabricated stories aimed at attacking the prestige of our Party and State leaders. They are aggressively promoting the traitor Hoang Van Hoan and are working to persuade those who have fled our country to organize reactionary groups and to spread propaganda aimed at inciting the masses to “totally remake the Vietnamese revolution”. They are assembling exiles from the three countries of Indochina to form the so-called “Indochina People’s Front” in order to conduct actions opposed to the Vietnamese, Cambodian, and Lao revolutions. They are inciting dissatisfied elements from the artistic and intellectual classes who are opposed to us to form a movement to write and produce poems and songs that spread reactionary ideology, and they are inciting the ethnic Chinese and members of our other ethnic minority groups to conduct opposition actions, protests, and acts of violence to oppose our regime and to overthrow it.

Meanwhile the American imperialists rely primarily on the religions, and especially the Catholic religion, and they utilize former puppet soldiers, puppet government officials, members of reactionary political parties, intellectuals and artists from the old regime, and traitors and ralliers to spread propaganda aimed at slandering and besmirching socialism, at promoting capitalism and the Western lifestyle, and at promoting degenerate culture to further their efforts to destroy our spirit of nationalism, to corrupt our youths, our intellectuals, our artists, and our cadres, and to incite counter-revolutionary actions. ….

This resolution on combatting “ideological sabotage” lumps Chinese ideological propaganda, Western propaganda operations, international human rights and humanitarian relief activities, and religious radio broadcasts and religious missionary activities all together with the spreading influence of Western culture and music in Vietnam as part of a vast, insidious effort by Vietnam’s enemies designed to corrupt Vietnam’s society and to weaken its “revolutionary” spirit in order to cause the overthrow or collapse of the Vietnamese Communist Party and government. 

The over-the-top rhetoric used in this resolution illustrates the widespread paranoia that infected the upper ranks of Vietnam’s Party and security apparatus during this period of the Cold War.  It was not until six years later, in December 1986, that the pressures of growing internal dissension (even within the Party), the country’s desperate economic situation, and reductions in Soviet military and economic to Vietnam resulted in the decision by the Communist Party’s 6th Party Congress to shift to a policy of reforms, called “Renovation” [Đổi Mới] reforms and to new Vietnamese efforts to normalize relations with China and the United States.

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Document Information


Những Vấn Đề Trọng Yếu Trong Công Tác Đấu Tranh Chống Gián Điệp Trung Quốc, Gián Điệp Mỹ và Chống Địch Phá Hoại Tư Tưởng [Key Issues in the Struggle Against Chinese Spies and American Spies and in the Struggle Against the Enemy’s Ideological Attacks] (People’s Public Security Forces Document, Printed by the People’s Security University, Hanoi, 12 September 1981), 106-135. Contributed and translated by Merle Pribbenow.


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