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Vietnam Prime Minister wins peace award, but questions linger

Editor: Li Kun 丨CCTV.com

12-15-2015 18:29 BJT

By Ling Dequan, Researcher, Center for World Affairs Studies, Xinhua News Agency

According to Vietnamese media outlets, Vietnam's Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung was presented the "World Leader for Peace, Security and Development" Award, which was highlighted in websites on Dec. 11-12.


Well-known portals in Vietnam have given lengthy commentaries to the topic. Li Shouen, reporter from CNTV, interviewed Ling Dequan, researcher from Center for World Affairs Studies of Xinhua News Agency, to discuss the ins and outs of related reports.

CNTV: What is the origin of this award-winning news?
Ling: I noticed it on the Vietnam portal,VIETNAMNET and many other sites.

It is reported that the Boston Global Forum (BGF), an institution in the United States, has presented the "World Leader for Peace, Security and Development" Award to Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, and German Prime Minister Angela Merkel, while Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was honored with the "World Leadership for Cyber-security" Award.

The BGF announced the awards at Harvard University on December 12. The report mentioned the jury included John Quelch, Thomas Patterson, two professors from Harvard University, and a Vietnamese person, Nguyễn Anh Tuấn.

The news spread in Vietnam. Some sites published articles entitled, "Prime Minister's honor; Vietnam's honor". Several retired politicians in Vietnam seized the issue, claiming their Prime Minister has become a regional leader. 

Trần Công Trục, former director of Government Boundary Commission under the Foreign Ministry of Vietnam, who is not considered friendly with China, deliberately associated the award with Vietnam- China relations to fan anti-China feeling.

CNTV: After Vietnamese Prime Minister received the prize, what will be the impact for Vietnam and the world?

Ling: The number of Vietnamese netizens accounts for one third of the nation's 90 million population. The award-winning news will largely influence netizens.

However, I am confused. I looked through all central media outlets in Vietnam and official websites of the Vietnamese government, I didn't see any mention of the news. I browsed the world's major English media sites, and I did not find the news either.

Of the 1.5 million Vietnamese Americans, a large number of people fled to the US during the Vietnam War. There was a large number of Vietnamese arriving in the US as refugees.

I noticed that many American media websites in Vietnamese claimed the award was fake news and directed by Nguyễn Anh Tuấn.

CNTV: Who is Nguyễn Anh Tuấn?

Ling: Nguyễn Anh Tuấn, a 53-year-old man, is a well-known figure in Vietnamese IT and media sector. I recognized him from his speeches, actions and experiences instead of meeting him face-to-face.

After he studied in the US, he served as chief editor of VietnamNet,a news portal with the highest click rate in the country. Then he resigned and applied for positions at Harvard University. His official identity is the CEO and chief editor of BGF.

It has been 20 years since normalization of Vietnam-US relations. However, ordinary Vietnamese still find it difficult to visit the US. Applying for a US visa, even a tourist visa, is not easy to obtain for them. It is harder to get work visas and green cards.

Apparently, Nguyễn Anh Tuấn was one of the technical and political elite instead of an ordinary person. He is resourceful in Vietnam and the US.

CNTV: Does this belong to a speculation case via a political network?

Ling: It's difficult to answer, because the outsider person struggles to grasp the core meaning of the event. If I had the opportunity, I would ask my Vietnamese friends to get a more accurate and authoritative response.

But I can talk about the background of the news. The Vietnamese Communist Party will hold its twelfth national congress of CPV (Communist Party of Vietnam).

General Secretary of CPV, Nguyen Phu Trong's met with representatives of voters a few days ago, the 12th national congress of CPV will be held in January 2016.

It's a major event in Vietnamese political life. There are two main contents of the General Assembly. Firstly, to summarize achievements made by the current government during the past five years  and to determine major policies for the next phase.

Secondly, to elect the new Central Committee, political bureau of the Committee, and general secretary. Personnel changes of the 12th national congress of CPV spark greater attention in Vietnam and the world, since this is the largest replacement of the party congress.

The CPV Central Committee is intensifying preparations. The Third Plenary Session of the Eleventh Central Committee of CPV was held on Dec.14.

Vietnamese central newspapers and military army newspaper have published articles to explain CPV's policies, as well as to expose and criticize sabotage and conspiracy and tricks conducted by Vietnamese hostile forces and political opportunists from at home and abroad.

The Vietnam state media articles talked about combating peaceful evolution and color revolutions.

It is expected the 12th national congress of CPV will be held successfully. Guided by the road set by President Ho Chi Minh, the Vietnamese will make new achievements in the path of building a rich, strong, democratic, and civilized socialist nation. 


( The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Panview or CCTV.com. )



Panview offers a new window of understanding the world as well as China through the views, opinions, and analysis of experts. We also welcome outside submissions, so feel free to send in your own editorials to "globalopinion@vip.cntv.cn" for consideration.

Panview offers an alternative angle on China and the rest of the world through the analyses and opinions of experts. We also welcome outside submissions, so feel free to send in your own editorials to "globalopinion@vip.cntv.cn" for consideration.


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