Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Scholars slam VN communist party’s rebuke



Scholars slam VN communist party’s rebuke

Scholars slam VN communist party’s rebuke

MORE than 80 international scholars have upbraided Vietnam’s Communist Party for condemning a prominent book publisher whose titles criticised socialism.

Vietnam is one of the world’s few surviving one-party communist states, and though it has embraced market reforms its politics on paper remain strictly socialist.

The group of scholars issued a letter on Wednesday lending their support to 78-year-old publisher Chu Hao, who was denounced last month by the government for printing books on economics and political science deemed out of line.

The government has called for Hao to be officially disciplined and confiscated or destroyed several of the volumes he printed.

The rebuke prompted Hao to rescind his communist party membership of 45 years and sparked concern from the academic community abroad, who sent a letter of protest signed by 81 scholars, academics and researchers in 10 countries to Vietnam’s top leaders.

“We reject any assertion that these works present a threat to the stable or peaceful development of Vietnam,” said the letter.

Hao was accused by the communist party’s central inspection commission of publishing material that “runs counter to the viewpoints, policies and guidelines of the party (and) state”.

The state inspection commission singled out Friedrich Hayek’s The Road to Serfdom for its apparent focus on the weaknesses of socialism and references to the former Soviet Union as a “fascist” state.

It also condemned the publication of Marx: A Very Short Introduction by Peter Singer which the commission said disputes key Marxist ideologies.

Hao has long-been a thorn in the side of the communist party, which he accuses of stifling academic freedoms.

The scholar, who runs the Hanoi-based Knowledge Publishing House, said the party has engaged in “unjustifiable, dishonest and degrading activities” in an open letter responding to the inspection commission last month.

The ideological tussle prompted at least 10 other scholars and former officials to revoke their party membership in support of Hao, who served as vice science minister from 1996 to 2005.

Vietnam’s conservative communist party chief Nguyen Phu Trong has vowed to clean up the communist party, which he said has lost its way after years of mismanagement and high-level corruption.

Dozens of bankers, businessmen and former officials have been thrown in jail under his tenure, though Hao is the most prominent academic to fall afoul of the party under Trong.

MOST VIEWED

  • Prince Norodom Ranariddh passes away at 77

    Prince Norodom Ranariddh, the second son of the late King Father Norodom Sihanouk and former First Prime Minister of Cambodia, has passed away in France at the age of 77. “Samdech Krom Preah Norodom Ranariddh has passed away this morning in France just after 9am Paris-time,”

  • General’s gun smuggling ring busted

    The Military Police sent six military officers to court on November 22 to face prosecution for possession of 105 illegal rifles and arms smuggling, while investigators say they are still hunting down additional accomplices. Sao Sokha, deputy commander of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces and commander of

  • More Cambodians studying in US

    The number of Cambodian students studying at US colleges and universities in 2020-21 increased by 14.3 per cent over the previous year despite the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a recent US government report. The 2021 Open Doors report on International Educational Exchange showed that 848 Cambodian students studied

  • Cambodia, Thailand to discuss border reopening

    Cambodian authorities from provinces along the Cambodia-Thailand border will meet with Thai counterparts to discuss reopening border checkpoints to facilitate travel, transfer of products and cross-border trade between the two countries. Banteay Meanchey provincial deputy governor Ly Sary said on November 22 that the provincial administration

  • Banteay Meanchey gunfight sees 15 Thais arrested, three officers injured

    The Banteay Meanchey Military Police have arrested 15 Thai suspects and their accomplices after a gun battle between two Thai groups caused injuries to three police officers in the early hours of November 21, local authorities said. National Military Police spokesman Eng Hy said that according to

  • PM: Do not defile Tonle Sap swamp forest or else

    Prime Minister Hun Sen ordered police to arrest anyone – including government officials – involved with the deforestation of the flooded forests surrounding the Tonle Sap Lake because it is an area important to the spawning of many species of fish, among other reasons. Speaking in a