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Vietnam congress to pick new leaders

[ 2011-01-18 13:59]     字号 [] [] []  
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Vietnam's government officials met on Monday to choose a new batch of leaders who are expected to oversee a drive to modernize the country's economy. The congress aims to map out the country's direction for the next five years in the face of mounting economic challenges including rising inflation and a weakening currency.

Nearly 1,400 delegates were expected to vote for a Central Committee, which sources say has taken on an increasingly important role as the officials pursue more internal debate, while ruling out significant political change, including multiple parties.

The 200 newly-elected Central Committee members were expected to vote for the party's general secretary and hold a separate ballot for the 17-member Politburo, which sets government policy.

Analysts say Vietnam's years of economic growth have helped the government to win popular support. Former chairman of the National Assembly Nguyen Van An said the makeup of the Central Committee was crucial. "The wrong choice will send us backwrds", he was quoted as saying by the VietnamNet news website.

But critics doubt a significant change in direction by the party that last week affirmed "the key role" for its state economic sector - 25 years after war-shattered Vietnam began a doi moi policy to embrace the free market and move away from a rigid planned economic system.

Calls have mounted for decisive leadership to reform the economy and tackle challenges that include a trade deficit, poor infrastructure and inefficiency among state-owned enterprises.

When congress elects a new Central Committee, they will try to boost the number of young people, women, ethnic minorities and scientists, party official Nguyen Bac Son said. Results from the vote are expected on Wednesday. Congress will also approve a plan to allow entrepreneurs into its ranks.

Vietnam has relied on natural resources and unskilled labour to achieve rapid growth but party leaders spoke last week of the need to move to a more technologically advanced system of production to build a modern industrialized nation by 2020.


1. How many members make up the Politburo?

2. How many delegates vote for the Central Committee?

3. When are results from the vote expected?


1. 17.

2. 1,400.

3. Wednesday.


(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Vietnam congress to pick new leaders

About the broadcaster:

Vietnam congress to pick new leaders

Lee Hannon is Chief Editor at China Daily with 15-years experience in print and broadcast journalism. Born in England, Lee has traveled extensively around the world as a journalist including four years as a senior editor in Los Angeles. He now lives in Beijing and is happy to move to China and join the China Daily team.