Nguyễn Văn Linh

General secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam (1915-1998)

Nguyễn Văn Linh (1 July 1915 - 27 April 1998) was a Vietnamese revolutionary and politician who served as a political leader of the Viet Cong during the Vietnam War and later General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam from 1986 to 1991. During his time in office, Linh was a strong advocate of "Đổi Mới", an economic plan whose aim is to turn Vietnam economy to a socialist-oriented market economy.



Interview with Time Magazine (21 September 1987)


Excerpts from an interview with Time Magazine (21 September 1987)

  • We want to forget the past, forget that under several American Presidents we were engaged in a brutal war we did not start. We would like to see the U.S. embargo lifted and the two sides sit down and talk over the problems that are left from the war -- problems like both sides cooperating to find the remains of Americans missing in action. We want the Amerasians, all of them, to go to America, if the father wants his child. If the Vietnamese mother wants to go, she will be allowed to go. There is no interest, none, for either country to maintain a gap between us. Step by step, we should move to restore diplomatic relations. Let us put the war behind us and work for a peaceful future.
  • We faced difficulties created by the ravages of 40 years of war. Afterward, we made costly mistakes in our effort to rebuild the country. Now we know the mistakes and their price. We were too hasty, too simplistic, too subjective. We tried to build socialism without going through the necessary period of capitalist development. Today we are correcting those mistakes with a profound and thorough renovation. A policy has already begun that wipes out a centralized bureaucracy based on state subsidies that caused our people suffering.
  • We want to broaden economic cooperation with all countries, socialist or capitalist, on the basis of mutual benefits and without political conditions. International trade is important to our future, especially with our neighbors and with Japan. Many private companies have already established economic ties with Viet Nam. We want to see those expand. I believe we are moving in the direction of the economic integration of Southeast Asia.
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