confucius institute

Every two years China’s quest to boost the popularity of its brand is marked by a well- publicized media event: the Beijing Olympics 2008, EXPO 2010 in Shanghai, the Miss World contest 2012 in Ordos. Looking ahead, China plans to host the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing and a global tourist summit in 2014.

When Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, meeting with his Chinese counterpart Li Keqiang, announced the decision to establish the first Confucius Institute, at Hanoi University, Vietnam, the news stirred considerable controversy among Vietnamese intellectuals. Any move by the Vietnam’s communist government that smacks of dependency on China is likely to prompt protest. However, setting up a Confucius Institute, with its overtones of cultural hegemony, may only be distracting the Vietnamese public from more substantial concerns.

October 29, 2013