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Scholars urged: Teach us a lesson

Update: November, 27/2012 - 10:36


Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung (centre) and representatives at the Fourth International Conference on Vietnamese Studies. — VNA/VNS Photo Quoc Khanh
HA NOI (VNS)— Scholars of Vietnamese studies should make suggestions on how the country should deal with pressing issues of sustainable development, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung said yesterday in Ha Noi at the opening session of the Fourth International Conference on Vietnamese Studies.

Held every four years, the conference has attracted more than 1,000 delegates this year who have come from 36 countries and territories to discuss sustainable development.

"This is a time for scholars to share their knowledge of Viet Nam with the Government and policymakers, and to let the world know about this country, not just as an example for its fight for independence but also for its road to integration," Dung said.

Viet Nam Academy of Social Sciences president Nguyen Xuan Thang said Vietnamese studies had "become a new and increasingly attractive ‘scienceology'".

Many countries have established Vietnamese studies centers and language departments and more universities, even abroad, have put Vietnamese studies into their training programmes, Thang said.

"The need from outside to understand Viet Nam is growing," he said. "This requires reorganizing Vietnamese studies and forming a network to link research and teaching institutions."

Thang said the theme of sustainable development encompassed the tremendous challenges facing the country, such as environmental degradation, climate change, education and economic reforms and culture and language development, among others.

Former Deputy Prime Minister Vu Khoan stressed in his speech that the country has moved to a new stage in the process of integrating into the international economy reflected in the negotiations with various countries on Free Trade Areas.

However, challenges on sovereignty and territorial disputes have been emerging, which require the country to stick firmly to the goal of adhering to international laws and acting through diplomatic negotiations, he said.

Carlyle Thayer, emeritus professor at the University of New South Wales and one of the most sought-after experts on Viet Nam, acknowledged that in more than two decades since 1991, Viet Nam was able to "diversify and multilateralise" its economic relations.

But more importantly, it had been able to forge strategic partnerships with world and regional key players, thus enhancing its international defense and security cooperation, Thayer said.

The three-day conference is divided into 15 panels tackling various challenges such as environmental degradation, climate change, education and economic reforms and culture and language development. — VNS

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