Commentary: Vietnamese public was shocked to discover the presence of Chinese flags in Vietnam’s textbooks for elementary students. One may assume that Chinese expansionist ambition wants to flood their products that affirm their hegemony and claims of sovereignty of maritime disputes. Furthermore, it also wants to imprint in the young minds with sublime messages that the mother land’s flag is China.
One has to wonder how such blunder could have taken place in a police-state that all publications have be approved by the censorship department.
Did the censor bureaucrats act on their own initiatives for personal gain? or Did they act on the order from higher up of the hierarchy.
If it was so, was it a tacit allegiance of the Vietnamese Communist Party to China and its China Communist Party.
It is very shocking that nobody has been held accountable for such blunder. Another self-criticism will not suffice. It seems the authorities like not to take responsibilities for their actions, they only need to self-criticize according to the current official directive of the Party for any shortcomings.
No wonders why there is such a mistrust of the Vietnamese citizens with the Party as its leadership role has been increasingly being questioned.
The withdrawal of children books that contained the image of a Chinese flag is not the best and the most effective solution, with those responsible told to take ‘responsibility’ for their actions an official has said.
A children’s book containing an image of Chinese flag Prof Pham Minh Hac, former Minister of Education and Training recently spoke to DTiNews about the issue.
A few days ago, a children’s book was found to contain an image of a Chinese flag. What are your comments about the explanations by concerning parties?
I know about the issue. Apart from the book published by the Dan Tri Publishing House you’ve mentioned, a book that guides children preparing to enter primary education how to learn the alphabet authored by Nguyen Thi Thuy Ha and published by University of Education’s Publishing House also contained images of Chinese flag.
It’s very sad news. But I even felt worse when reading explanations by the concerned parties. You’re all aware that textbooks for children must contain precise contents. Due attention should be made to the publishing of books for nursery children who are often greatly impressed by images.
I do think that the withdrawal of all Chinese flag-contained books is not the best solution to the issue. It’s unacceptable that people said that incident was beyond their control or those books were just pilot editions, or that the issue was not important. They should admit their mistakes with the responsibility falling on several people including the author, editors, the publishing houses and partners as well as the Ministry of Information and Communication’s Department of Publishing. This is one of major issues of the country’s education.
As the book was highly regarded and had absolutely no offensive content about Vietnam nor reference to sovereignty issues, why do you think it’s important to make an issue about it having a Chinese flag in the book?
Even though an image of Chinese flag is just a small item in the book, it carries significant message in terms of education for children. I really don’t agree with an explanation that the maintaining of the flag is to comply with a copyright contract with foreign partners. It’s an unacceptable answer as it proves their lack of responsibility.
Do these answers prove that there are different perceptions about people’s responsibilities?
Like I said above, the responsibility should fall on different people, including the author, editors, the publishing house and their partners. However, the Publishing Department should be the first to be held accountable. Strict punishments should be applied as a good deterrence.