China, Vietnam Political Reform Explored at April 14 Seminar

Posted: April 7, 2004 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

In celebration of Asia-Pacific Heritage Month in April and International Week, April 12-17, the Center for Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation and the Department of Modern and Classical Languages will present their Asia-Pacific Studies Seminar on the topic, “The Challenge of Political Reform in Vietnam and China.” The event will be held on Wednesday, April 14, from 12:30 to 2 p.m. in Johnson Center, Room H. The speaker is Col. Bui Tin, the highest-ranking communist officer who accepted the surrender of the last South Vietnamese president in 1975.

Tin was born in 1927 near Hanoi. At the age of 18, he joined Ho Chi Minh’s revolution, fighting against both French and American troops and Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge. In 1965 he became a commentator for the daily Quan Doi Nhan Dan (People’s Army) and the theoretical Tap Chi Cong San (Journal of Communism). Subsequent to the Paris Agreements of 1973, he was made part of the Quadripartite Military Commission to supervise the cease-fire and withdrawal of American troops, and two years later he was present in Saigon to accept the surrender of the South Vietnamese government.

Following demobilization in 1982, Tin became a defense and foreign affairs analyst for Nhan Dan, the Communist Party’s official newspaper, and was named editor-in-chief of the Sunday edition of Nhan Dan in 1988. Tin began harboring doubts about the communist system after witnessing the ruinous effects of the system’s economic policies. On a visit to France in September 1990, he elected to stay abroad to work for the restoration of freedom and democracy in Vietnam. While in exile in Paris he has written several books, including Following Ho Chi Minh, La face cachée du regime, and From Enemy to Friend: A North Vietnamese Perspective on the War.

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