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Statement of Concern over Accusations Directed at Chu Hảo and the Knowledge Publishing House


Statement of Concern over Accusations Directed at
Chu
Hảo and the Knowledge Publishing House
(Nhà Xuất Bản Tri Thức)



To: 

Mr. Nguyễn Phú Trọng, General Secretary of the Vietnamese Communist Party and President of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam

Mr. Nguyễn Xuân Phúc, Prime Minister of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam

Central Inspection Commission of the Vietnamese Communist Party

Cc: 

Foreign Embassies in Hanoi


Dear Sirs and Madams: 

We, who have signed our names below, are scholars, academics and researchers, who have dedicated much of our careers and lives to the study of Vietnam. Hailing from universities and research institutes around the world, we are often at the forefront of promoting a deeper understanding of Vietnam, as well as Vietnamese language learning and international educational cooperation. As part of this work, we regularly seek funding and opportunities for Vietnamese students and scholars to visit, study and work at our respective universities, departments and research institutes.

We write this letter to express our profound disagreement and disappointment with accusations directed at Professor Chu Hảo, Director of the Knowledge Publishing House, by the Central Inspection Commission on October 25, 2018, as well as follow-up comments posted on the Commission’s webpage on October 31.

Chu Hảo’s primary work at the Knowledge Publishing House has been to make more accessible major academic works to Vietnamese students and scholars by translating them into Vietnamese. This initiative has been both far-sighted and highly important for scientific inquiry. Such works constitute the foundations of contemporary research and thinking in the social sciences and humanities. In high schools and universities around the world, they represent a body of essential readings across disciplines and subjects. Unfortunately, the language barriers that Vietnamese scholars and, especially, students face when trying to access these works puts them at a significant disadvantage when competing for university admissions, scholarships and research funding.

As researchers and educators from around the world, we reject any assertion that these works present a threat to the stable or peaceful development of Vietnam. Modern education has been founded on an ability to discuss and incorporate a wide range of ideas and theoretical propositions. Restricting or denying people access to these ideas will only reduce the analytical tools available to them and impoverish their intellectual development. Even controversial works must be read and analysed before they can be credibly criticized or refuted.

At a time when Vietnam is vying to be internationally competitive in university education and academic scholarship, we find the accusations made by the Central Inspection Commission to be unfounded and disturbing. In the interests of international cooperation and educational development for Vietnam, we strongly request the Commission to revise its assessment of the important work that Chu Hảo is leading at the Knowledge Publishing House. We also strongly support the open letter to support Chu Hảo signed by former members of the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) and more than 200 eminent supporters.

At the same time, we recommend that the government cultivate wide intellectual discussion of ideas on all topics in Vietnam, and we strongly urge the government to desist from any efforts to harass, intimidate or otherwise punish persons for peacefully expressing their views or opinions.

We thank you for your attention to this matter and we trust that you will respond in a matter that reflects the civility, dignity and educational ambitions of Vietnam.

November 11, 2018



LIST OF SIGNERS


No.

Full Name

Current Position(s) and Institution(s)

Country

1

Pierre ASSELIN

Professor of History, San Diego State University

USA

2

Margaret B. BODEMER

Chair, Viet Nam Studies Group, Professor of History and Asian Studies, California Polytechnic State University

USA

3

Pascal BOURDEAUX

Associate Professor, École Pratique des Hautes Études

France

4

Mark Philip BRADLEY

Professor of History, University of Chicago

USA

5

Pierre BROCHEUX

Professor (retired), Université Paris – Denis Diderot

France

6

Joe BUCKLEY

PhD Candidate, SOAS University of London

United Kingdom

7


BÙI Xuân Quang

Editor, Viet Nam Infos, and Independent Researcher, Paris

France

8

Jim COBBE

Emeritus Professor of Economics, Florida State University

USA

9

Nguyet DANG

PhD Researcher, Erasmus University Rotterdam

Netherlands

10

ĐỖ Đăng Giu

CNRS Research Director (retired),

University Paris–Sud

France

11

ĐOÀN Cầm Thi

Associate Professor, Inalco

France

12

George DUTTON

Professor of History and Director for Southeast Asian Studies, University of California – Los Angeles (UCLA)

USA

13

Dominique FOULON

Carnets du Viet Nam, and Independent Researcher, Lyon

France

14

Laurent GEDEON

ENS de Lyon

France

15

Francis GENDREAU

Demographer (retired), Institute of Research for Development (IRDn), Paris

France

16

Christoph GIEBEL

Professor of History, University of Washington

USA

17

Christopher GOSCHA

Professor of History, Université du Québec à Montréal

Canada

18

François GUILLEMOT

CNRS Research Engineer, ENS de Lyon, Lyon Institute of East Asian Studies, Lyon

France

19

HÀ Dương Tường

Professor of Mathematics (retired), University of Technology of Compiègne

France

20

Erik HARMS

Associate Professor, Anthropology and Southeast Asian Studies, Yale University

USA

21

Bill HAYTON

Independent Researcher

United Kingdom

22

Judith HENCHY

Affiliate Faculty, Jackson School of International Studies, University of Washington

USA

23

Caroline HERBELIN

Lecturer, University of Toulouse Jean Jaurès

France

24

Carina HOANG

Author/Publisher, School of Humanities, Curtin University

Australia

25

Hue-Tam HO TAI

Professor Emerita, Harvard University

USA

26

Rob HURLE

Lecturer (retired), Australian National University

Australia

27

Charles KEITH

Associate Professor, Department of History, Michigan State University

USA

28

Ben KERKVLIET

Professor Emeritus, Australian National University

Australia

29

John KLEINEN

Associate Professor Emeritus,
Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)

Netherlands

30

Gary KULIK

Writer and Vietnam-War Veteran

USA

31

Scott LADERMAN

Professor of History, University of Minnesota

USA

32

LÊ Minh Hằng

Hydrologist (retired), Vietnam Hydro-Meteorological Services

Vietnam

33

LÊ Trung Tĩnh

Engineer

United Kingdom

34

Christian C. LENTZ

Associate Professor of Geography, University of North Carolina

USA

35

Ann Marie LESHKOWICH

Professor of Anthropology, College of the Holy Cross

USA

36

David MARR

Professor Emeritus, Australian National University

Australia

37

André MENRAS (HỒ Cương Quyết)

Documentary Filmmaker and Independent Researcher

France

38

Pamela MCELWEE

Associate Professor, Department of Human Ecology, Rutgers University

USA

39

Edward MILLER

Professor of History, Dartmouth College

USA

40

Dominique De MISCAULT

Artist

France

41

Anthony MORREALE

PhD Student, University of California – Berkeley

USA

42

Jason MORRIS-JUNG

Senior Lecturer, Singapore University of Social Sciences

Singapore

43

NGÔ Như Bình

Harvard University

USA

44

Lam NGO

Information Specialist, Special Collection Services, Leiden University

Netherlands

45

NGÔ Vĩnh Long

Professor of History, University of Maine

USA

46

NGUYỄN Thế Anh

Professor Emeritus, École Pratique des Hautes Études, Paris

France

47

NGUYỄN Điền

Independent Researcher

Australia

48

NGUYỄN Ngọc Giao

Lecturer (retired), Université Paris – Denis Diderot

France

49

NGUYỄN Trọng Hiền

Physicist, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena

USA

50

NGUYỄN Đức Hiệp

Atmospheric Scientist, Office of
Environment & Heritage, NSW

Australia

51

Huong NGUYEN

Editor, The 88 Project

USA

52

NGUYỄN Thanh Lam

PhD, California Institute of Technology

USA

53

Lien-Hang T. NGUYEN

Professor of History, Columbia University

USA

54

Viet Thanh NGUYEN

Writer and Professor, University of Southern California

USA

55

Le Anh Tu PACKARD

Senior Economist (retired), Moody’s Analytics

USA

56

Natasha PAIRADEAU

Bye Fellow, Murray Edwards College, University of Cambridge

United Kingdom

57

PHẠM Xuân Yêm

Physicist, CNRS Research Director (retired), Université Paris–Sorbonne

France

58

Chloé PHAN-LABAYS

Lecturer, University of Lyon 3

France

59

Emmanuel POISSON

Centre de Recherches sur les Civilisations de l’Asie Orientale (CRCAO), Paris

France

60

John PRADOS

Senior Fellow, Intelligence Documentation and Vietnam Projects, National Security Archive

USA

61

Benoit QUENNEDEY

Author of books and articles on East Asia

France

62

Sophie QUINN-JUDGE

Associate Professor (retired)

USA

63

Frédéric ROUSTAN

Associate Researcher, Institut de Recherche Asiatique (IrAsia)

France

64

Christina SCHWENKEL

Associate Professor and Director of Southeast Asian Studies, University of California, Riverside

USA

65

Mark SIDEL

Doyle-Bascom Professor of Law and Public Affairs, University of Wisconsin-Madison

USA

66

Balazs SZALONTAI

Associate Professor, Korea University

Korea

67

Tai Van TA

Former Lecturer and Associate, Harvard Law School

USA

68

Philip TAYLOR

Professor Emeritus, Australian National University

Australia

69

THÁI Văn Cầu

Space Systems Specialist

USA

70

TRẦN Hữu Dũng

Professor Emeritus, Wright State University

USA

71

TRẦN Hải Hạc

Assistant Professor (retired), 
Université Paris XII

France

72

Nhung Tuyet TRAN

Associate Professor, University of Toronto

Canada

73

Qui-Phiet TRAN

Emeritus Professor, Schreiner University

USA

74

Richard TRAN

Assistant Professor, Ca’Foscari University of Venice

Italy

75

TRỊNH Văn Thảo

Professor Emeritus, Aix-Marseille University

France

76

TRỊNH Xuân Thuận

Professor, University of Virginia

USA

77

William TURLEY

Professor Emeritus, Southern Illinois University Carbondale

USA

78

Kieu-Linh Caroline VALVERDE

Associate Professor, University of California – Davis

USA

79

VŨ Quang Việt

Former Chief of National Accounts Statistics at the United Nations

USA

80

VŨ Đức Vượng

Editor, Trồng Người, A Clearinghouse on Education in Vietnam, San Francisco – Sai Gon

USA

81

Peter ZINOMAN

Professor of History, University of California – Berkeley

USA



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