Phạm Văn Đồng

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Phạm Văn Đồng
Phạm Văn Đồng 1972.jpg
Pham Van Dong in 1972
Chairman of the Council of Ministers
In office
2 July 1976 – 18 June 1987
Preceded by Post established
Succeeded by Phạm Hùng
Prime Minister of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam
In office
20 September 1955 – 2 July 1976
Preceded by Hồ Chí Minh
Succeeded by Post abolished
Deputy Prime Minister of Vietnam
In office
25 June 1947 – 20 September 1955
Member of the Politburo
In office
1951–1987
Minister of Foreign Affairs
In office
April 1954 – February 1961
Minister of Finance
In office
16 August 1945 – March 1946
Personal details
Born (1906-03-01)1 March 1906
Đức Tân village, Mộ Đức district, in Quảng Ngãi Province, Indochina
Died 29 April 2000(2000-04-29) (aged 94)
Hanoi, Socialist Republic of Vietnam
Nationality Vietnamese
Political party Communist Party of Vietnam
Awards Vietnam Gold Star ribbon.png Gold Star Order

Phạm Văn Đồng (About this sound listen; 1 March 1906 – 29 April 2000) was a Vietnamese politician who served as Prime Minister of North Vietnam from 1955 to 1976 and, following unification, as Prime Minister of Vietnam from 1976 until he retired in 1987 under the rule of Lê Duẩn and Nguyễn Văn Linh.[1] He was considered one of Hồ Chí Minh's closest lieutenants.[2]

Early life[edit]

According to an official report, Dong was born into a family of civil servants in Đức Tân village, Mộ Đức district, in Quang Ngai province on the central coast on 1 March 1906.

In 1925 at the age of 18, he joined fellow students to stage a school sit-in to mourn the death of the famous patriotic scholar Phan Chu Trinh. About this time he developed an interest in the Communist party and in the unification of Vietnam. In 1926, he traveled to Guangzhou in southern China to attend a training course run by Nguyen Ai Quoc (later to be known as Ho Chi Minh), before being admitted as a member of the Vietnam Revolutionary Youth Association, the predecessor of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV).

In 1929, he worked for the revolutionary association in Saigon. In the same year, he was arrested, tried by the French colonial authorities and sentenced to ten years in prison. He served the term in Poulo Condor Island Prison until 1936 when he was released under the general amnesty granted by the government of the Popular Front in France after its recent electoral successes.

In 1936, he was released from prison, operating in Hanoi. In 1940, he secretly went to China with Vo Nguyen Giap, joined the Indochinese Communist Party and was tasked by Ho Chi Minh to build a base at the Vietnam-China border.

In 1945, at the National People's Congress of Tan Trao, he was elected to the Standing Committee of 5 members of the National Committee for the Liberation, preparing for the August Revolution.

First Indochina War[edit]

He joined the Indochinese Communist Party in 1940 and then continued to take part in activities led by Ho Chi Minh. After Ho Chi Minh rose to power during the August Revolution in 1945, Pham Van Dong was appointed minister of finance of the newly established government of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (DRV), a position he occupied until 1954. Before he assumed the position of Minister of Finance, On May 31, 1946, he was the head of the delegation of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam at Fontainebleau (France) instead of Nguyen Tuong Tam who did not undertake the task, seeking an independent solution for Indochina. However, the conference failed because France did not give a definite answer to the deadline for the referendum in Cochinchina.

The first Indochina War erupted and he was appointed as the Special Envoy of the Central Committee of the Party and Government in South Central Vietnam. In 1947, he was elected as alternate member of the Central Committee of Indochinese Communist Party (official commissioner since 1949). From July 1949, he was appointed Deputy Prime Minister.[3]

In 1954, he was appointed Head of the Government delegation to the Geneva Conference on Indochina. The contribution of the Vietnamese delegation led by him was extremely important, creating breakthroughs that brought the Conference to success. Throughout the 8 plenary sessions and 23 very tense and complex sessions, with the spirit of initiative and efforts of the Vietnamese delegation, on July 20, 1954, the agreement was suspended in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos have been recognized for respecting the independence and sovereignty of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.

In September 1954, he served as Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, Head of Foreign Affairs of the Central Party. From September 1955 he was the Prime Minister of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam and since 1976 has been the Prime Minister of Vietnam, the Vice President of the National Defense Council until his retirement in 1987. He was a member of the National Assembly from 1946 to 1987.

Following the defeat of Japan, nationalist forces fought French colonial forces in the First Indochina War that lasted from 1945 to 1954. The French suffered a major defeat at the Battle of Dien Bien Phu in 1954 and peace was sought. In May 1954, he led the delegation of the Ho Chi Minh government to the Geneva Conference. After intense negotiations a peace treaty was signed and the French forces withdrew from direct conflict with the newly-independent North Vietnam. He signed the peace accords with French Premier Pierre Mendès France.

Second Indochinese War[edit]

During 1954 he served as Vice-Premier and Minister of Foreign Affairs. At the 5th session of the DRV First National Assembly convocation (1955), Dong was appointed as Prime Minister. He is well known for being one of the leaders of North Vietnam during the war with the United States. He was known to have close links with the Chinese government, which helped fund the conflict with South Vietnam. He was also one of the figures involved in peace talks to end the conflict under the administrations of Lyndon B. Johnson and Richard Nixon.

Later life[edit]

In general, Pham Van Dong was considered a staunch communist and a great nationalist leader, one of the most faithful disciples of Ho Chi Minh and a major figure in Vietnam's fight for independence and unity. He was known as a politician who tried to maintain a neutral position in the various conflicts within the party, particularly after the unification of Vietnam in 1975.

Although retired from public office, he served as an Adviser to the Party Central Committee from December 1986 to 1997. He often urged the party to make greater efforts to stop corruption, which is still a widespread problem in Vietnam today. He gave advice on similar issues, even after his term as an adviser to the Central Committee had ended.

As he became older, his vision deteriorated, and he was blind for the last 10 years of his life. After several months of illness, he died in Hanoi on 29 April 2000, at the age of 94. His death was announced by the Vietnamese Communist Party and the Vietnamese government a week later on 2 May. Commemoration and funeral services were held on 6 May 2000, in Hanoi.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ronald B. Frankum Jr. (2011) "Phạm Văn Đồng", p. 141 in Historical Dictionary of the War in Vietnam. Scarecrow Press. ISBN 0810867966
  2. ^ David G. Marr (2013) Vietnam: State, War, and Revolution (1945–1946) University of California Press 0520954971. p. 166: "Replacing him with Phạm Văn Đồng, probably Hồ Chí Minh's closest lieutenant, would help to ensure that the ongoing struggle in south-central Vietnam served national strategic interests."
  3. ^ "trang 109, cuốn Phạm Văn Đồng Tiểu sử". 
Preceded by
New office
Prime Minister of North Vietnam
1955–1976
Succeeded by
Himself as Prime Minister of Vietnam
Preceded by
Vũ Văn Mẫu – Prime Minister of South Vietnam and Nguyễn Hữu Thọ – Provisional Revolutionary Government of the Republic of South Vietnam and himself as Prime Minister of North Vietnam
Prime Minister of Vietnam

Vietnam
1976–87

Succeeded by
Phạm Hùng