Columbia International Affairs Online: Policy Briefs

CIAO DATE: 04/2011

Vietnam's Eleventh Party Congress: "Socialist Orientation" and Market Reform

Nguyen Manh Hung

February 2011

East-West Center


Many outside observers of the Eleventh Congress of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) dismissed the results as "new wine, old bottle." There was no major change of leadership, and the same small circle of top leaders simply switched positions and will continue governing the country for the next five years. The CPV still "determinedly and resolutely" adheres to the doctrine of Marxist-Leninist socialism, rejecting any hint of a multiparty system. There were, however, some noticeable differences between this past Congress and previous ones. Nguyen Manh Hung discusses some of the behind-the-scenes ideological debates at the Eleventh Congress and the possible political and economic ramifications for Vietnam going forward.