Moving Vietnam Forward

By Ashwill, Mark A. | International Educator, May/June 2005 | Go to article overview

Moving Vietnam Forward


Ashwill, Mark A., International Educator


History and politics continue to create challenges, but the Vietnam Education Foundation looks to steer a course toward a better future for Vietnam and improved relations between two former adversaries.

ON THIS, THE 3OTH ANNIVERSARY of the end of what the Vietnamese know as the American War, as we are bombarded with books, articles and TV spedals about the war, I have good news to share with you about Vietnam, the country.

Vietnam, at which the U.S. military threw every weapon in its arsenal short of nuclear weapons, is a country in which 3 million people died in a war that was ultimately about national liberation and not communist expansion. While it entered a new era of peace and unification as a poor, war-ravaged nation with leaders who admitted that "waging a war is simple, but running a country is very difficult," Vietnam is now widely viewed by the international development community as one of the developing worlds great success stories.

Vietnam and the United States are full-fledged partners in a variety of arenas. Two-way trade in 2004 exceeded $6 billion with more than $5 billion in imports to the United States and more than $1 billion in U.S. exports to Vietnam. Last year, Vietnam welcomed in excess of 2.5 million tourists, 272,473 of whom were Americans, a 25 percent increase from 2003, and second only to China. President Bush selected Vietnam as the 15th priority country for his AIDS Relief initiative with an investment of $25 million. There are more than 3,000 young Vietnamese studying in the United States and the U.S. government spends more on educational exchange programs in Vietnam than any other country. The two governments are even cooperating in counterterrorism and law enforcement.

One of the most promising yet little known embodiments of this spirit of cooperation is the establishment of the Vietnam Education Foundation (VEF), a creative and innovative scholarship-for-debt program that will train a generation of Vietnam's most academically gifted young people and likely transform Vietnam's scientific and technological landscape, thus contributing mightily to its development for the remainder of the twenty-first century.

VEF is a model long-term educational exchange program between the United States and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam that provides fellowships for Vietnamese nationals to study at U.S. institutions of higher education at graduate levels in the fields of physical sciences, natural sciences, environmental sciences, mathematics, medicine, and technology, including information technology; and enables U.S. professors to teach in these fields at Vietnamese institutions. In some ways, VEF is a vestige of what the Vietnamese know as the American War, raising the specter of the United States' one-time ally, the Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam)-a country that otherwise lives on only in the hearts and minds of its former citizens, many of whom are now part of the Vietnamese diaspora.

Setting the Stage

In April 1997, during a three-day visit to Vietnam, then secretary of the Treasury Robert Rubin announced that the Vietnamese government had agreed to repay the $146 million wartime debt of the former South Vietnam. Four years earlier, Vietnam agreed in principle to assume the debt from its former enemy as part of a larger agreement that cleared the way for renewed international borrowing by Hanoi, previously blocked by Washington.

As Nguyen Manh Hoa, director of the external financial division of the Finance Ministry, noted at the time, "We had to agree on old debts so we could have new relations, such as new loans and cooperation agreements." In other words, the U.S. government pressured Vietnam, which had no choice but to swallow its pride and set aside principle for the greater good of continued improvement in the two countries' economic relationship, culminating in a bilateral trade agreement four years later.

According to the U. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Moving Vietnam Forward
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.