Lao Cai - a journey of 115 years of construction and development

After more than a century of construction, development and integration (July 12, 1907 - July 12, 2022), the Party Committee, government, army and people of Lao Cai ethnic groups have achieved great achievements in the career of socio-economic development, ensuring national defense and security, contributing to the cause of national liberation and national reunification, building and defending the socialist Vietnamese Fatherland.

Overview of Lao Kay ancient town on the Red River and Nam Thi River in 1904.

Photo of the Provincial Museum

During the past 115 years of history, especially since the Party Committee of Lao Cai province was established (March 5, 1947), in any situation, Lao Cai people have always been united and assured to follow the path chosen by the Party and Uncle Ho. In the long march against the French, the bandits, under the leadership of the Provincial Party Committee and the support of the Central Government, the Lao Cai ethnic groups heroically fought for the liberation of their homeland, contributing to the victory of the Dien Bien Phu "glorious in five continents, shaking the earth". Next was the period of consolidating the revolutionary government, building socialism in the North, providing human and material resources for the southern battlefield to fight the United States, ending with the historic Ho Chi Minh campaign, liberating the Southern, unifying the country.

Back in history, when it was first established, Lao Kay province consisted of 2 continents (Thuy Vi, Bao Thang), 4 agents Muong Khuong, Bat Xat, Pa Kha (Bac Ha), Phong Tho (Sapa individually was called a special zone belong to Thuy Vy province) with a total area of ​​4,625 km2, a population of 38,000 people in 585 villages, hamlets and neighborhoods in 23 communes and 2 large neighborhoods in the town. Lao Kay town was selected as the provincial capital of Bao Thang province, becoming the political, economic and cultural center of the province.

The establishment of Lao Cai civil province was an important historical event. This event was not merely the establishment of a provincial administrative unit but also created a premise for socio-economic development in a northwestern border province of Vietnam. In particular, the establishment of Lao Cai province also created momentum to promote economic and cultural exchanges between the northern regions of Vietnam and the southwestern region - China.

In order to improve the comprehensive leadership of the party organization, especially the leadership of the resistance war against the French colonialists, in January 1947, the Party Committee decided to establish the Lao Cai Provisional Provincial Party Committee instead of the Party Personnel Committee. On March 5, 1947, the meeting of all party members of Lao Cai province was opened at So Cam (Police Department) near Coc Le bridge in Lao Cai sub-district, Lao Cai town, which was liberated and taken over to be the Headquarters of the Viet Minh Province. The meeting of all party members of Lao Cai province was convened. The conference elected an official Provincial Party Committee consisting of 7 comrades, led by Comrade Le Thanh as Secretary. March 5, 1947 marked the foundation of the Lao Cai Provincial Party Committee, opening an important turning point in the revolutionary movement in Lao Cai. From here, the revolutionary movement in Lao Cai was placed under the leadership of the Provincial Party Committee.

In October 1947, the French colonialists recaptured Lao Cai, under the leadership of the Provincial Party Committee, the army and people of Lao Cai ethnic groups coordinated with the Northwest provinces to fight in many forms, defeating the conspiracy. The evil of the colonialists was "using war to raise war, using Vietnamese people to rule Vietnamese people". In September 1950, the Border Campaign (Operation Le Hong Phong II) broke out, Lao Cai's army and people fought bravely, liberating localities in the province in turn. On November 1, 1950, Lao Cai town was cleared of enemies, Lao Cai was completely liberated, and then destroyed the plot to establish an autonomous "Nung province", an autonomous "Thai province" and an attempt to block the border of French colonialists. That victory not only demonstrated the spirit of solidarity, courage and ingenuity of Lao Cai army and people but also affirmed the wise leadership of the provincial Party Committee.

Sapa town in 1969. PhotoThien Hung

From 1950 to 1955, Lao Cai accompanies and provided human and material resources, contributing to victory in the Dien Bien Phu Campaign. During the years of resistance war against the United States (1955 - 1975), the Provincial Party Committee led the Lao Cai People's Ethnic Groups to both build socialism and fight against the enemy's sabotage wars, and together with the North to perform their duties to support the front line of the South. Lao Cai province was proud to have had thousands of outstanding men enlisting in the army, participating in combat, many people have heroically sacrificed, contributing to the victory of the invaders, the liberation of the South, and the reunification of the country. In the years of 1976 - 1991, Lao Cai belonged to Hoang Lien Son province, the people of ethnic groups in the province continued to promote socio-economic development, build border defenses, and together with the whole country fight the war to protect the northern border land (February 1979), maintaining national sovereignty.

After the re-establishment of the province in 1991, Lao Cai faced many difficulties such as: Low population level (60% of children of the age group could not go to school, there were 14 "white" communes in education); 7/10 districts did not have national electricity grid; 138/180 communes were facing special difficulties, 150/180 communes had no roads to the center; nearly 55% of households were in the category of hunger and poverty; 36 communes did not have medical stations; the border security situation was still complicated... However, after just over 30 years of re-establishing the province, Lao Cai has transformed strongly from a poor, ruined land after the war to become a development driving force, a bright point in the Northwest region and ranked first among 14 Northern Midland and Mountainous provinces. The economy accelerated sharply compared to the first day of re-establishing the province, the average growth rate was nearly 10%/year; total state budget revenue in the area in 2021 reached nearly 10 trillion dong, the average GRDP of people reached nearly 83 million dong; economic structure shifts in the right direction. Culture - society to develop comprehensively; Health and education have made great strides. People's health care work has achieved comprehensive results, reaching the rate of 11.2 doctors/ten thousand people. The number of poor households decreased from 54.8% (in 1991) to 5.31% (in 2021 according to the former criteria); the number of tourists to Lao Cai reached 5.1 million (2019), the people's life in all aspects has been increasingly improved, the rural appearance has been increasingly renewed with 62 out of 127 communes recognized as meeting new rural area standards, 1 district was recognized as a new rural district. The work of building the Party and the political system, national defense, security and foreign affairs has achieved comprehensive results. At the time of its establishment, the Provincial Party Committee had 7 branches and 61 members; by the end of 2021, the entire Party Committee has 14 affiliated party committees; 615 grassroots units and party committees; 2,918 grassroots branches with 52,141 party members; 100% of villages and hamlets have independent branches.

On the new development path, despite facing many difficulties and challenges of a mountainous, bordering province with many ethnic groups living, the Party committee, government, army and people of ethnic groups in the province are always proud of the past. With a strong desire to rise up for fast and sustainable development of Lao Cai, the 16th Congress of Lao Cai Provincial Party Committee, the period of 2020 - 2025 has determined large goals not only for 5 years but also for the whole long-term vision so that by 2030, Lao Cai will be a well-developed province of the country and strive to become a developed province of the country by 2045. To realize the set goals and tasks, the 16th Lao Cai Provincial Party Committee has concretized the objectives and orientations with 18 key projects along with 24 objectives and 7 key tasks, 9 groups of solutions and 2 breakthrough areas to be implemented by 2025. At the same time, implementing the overall planning strategy of Lao Cai province to 2030, with a vision to 2050…

Lao Cai - Cam Duong new urban area today.                   Photo: Ngoc Bang

Looking back on the 115-year journey of construction and development of Lao Cai province, the Party Committee, authorities and people of ethnic groups in Lao Cai province always remember the great merits of their father who sacrificed for the cause of construction, protecting and liberating the homeland, always grateful to generations of leaders, officials and people who have contributed wisdom and effort to build Lao Cai's homeland more and more rich and beautiful. The year 2022 marks a journey of more than 30 years of re-establishing, renewing and developing Lao Cai province, it is the second year of implementing the Resolution of the 16th Provincial Party Congress and the Resolution of the 13th National Party Congress. Proud of the tradition of 115 years of construction and development, each of us more clearly see the responsibility for the future development of the province. The task posed to the Party Committee, government and people of ethnic groups in Lao Cai province in the new period is heavy, but also extremely glorious. With the will and energy, brave spirit, tradition of innovation and creativity, the Party Committee, government, army and people of all ethnic groups in Lao Cai province vow to unite, strive and overcome all difficulties and challenges, continue to write new pages of history, brighten up the traditions of the Party and the nation.

Duong Duc Huy

Member of Standing Committee, Head of Propaganda Department of Provincial Party Committee

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