Opening of Hanoi Office of the Asia Institute: Why Vietnam?

The Asia Institute opened it Hanoi office on Friday, December 14, 2018, complete with a series of speeches by dignitaries and a symposium on Vietnam’s importance.


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NguyễnThị Thu Hường

Head of Division of Scientific Management and International Cooperation

Vietnam National Institute of Culture and Arts Studies

 Emanuel Pastreich


The Asia Institute


Jung Woojin


The Asia Institute



NguyễnThị Thu Hường

What led you to plan for an Asia Institute office in Vietnam?

Emanuel Pastreich

The decision to open an office in Hanoi for Asia Institute has tremendous historical significance. We have witnessed many efforts to integrate Vietnam into some abstract international order before, and international institutions have served their limited role. But especially with regards to the United States, or other developed nations, none of the institutions leading those exchanges have treated  Vietnam as an equal, or imagined that Vietnam itself can be a central player in a larger architecture for peace and the betterment of humanity.

NguyễnThị Thu Hường

Why do you think Vietnam will play such a critical role? What led you to this realization?

Emanuel Pastreich

When I started my undergraduate studies at Yale University in 1983, I wanted to study Vietnamese, but there were no classes offered. Ultimately, I decided to study Chinese and to focus on Asia. That work would also lead to studying Japanese and Korean for many years and research and advocacy throughout Northeast Asia.

I wanted to study Vietnamese since high school because I was aware of the tremendous damage that the United States had done to Vietnam, and the blind cruelty that United States policy supported. The causes were diverse, but part of the reason lay with the total ignorance about Vietnam as a nation. People did not know that Vietnam had a proud history or that it had been subject to brutal colonialism. That ignorance meant that it was easy for them to accept myths and fictions.

We still have this problem even today at international think tanks. American experts talk about Vietnam buying weapons systems, or being part of a free trade system, but they know nothing about Vietnam’s tremendous tradition of good governance, about its intellectual tradition and its art and literature dating back thousands of years. They may suggest how Vietnam can adopt Western policies, but they will never imagine that diplomatic policies of the Ly Dynasty could be helpful to Europe or the United States. They have not even started to consider what treasures lie in Vietnam’s history.

We are extremely excited to launch the Vietnam office of the Asia Institute now. We see the tremendous intellectual vigor of Vietnamese scholars, government officials and students as a tremendous blessing. We expect to gain many inspiring ideas about what directions Asia, and the world, can go from our friends here.

NguyễnThị Thu Hường

What is it about Vietnam that suggests it is ready to play such a role?

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Invitation to the Opening of the Asia Institute Vietnam Office Friday January 12, 2017 (10 AM – 11:30 AM)

 Invitation to the Opening of the Asia Institute Vietnam Office

Friday January 12, 2017 (10 AM – 11:30 AM)

Vietnam National Institute of Culture and Arts Studies (VICAS)


The Asia Institute announces the opening of the Asia Institute Vietnam Office in Hanoi on Friday, January 12, 2018. This office will be run in partnership with the Vietnam National Institute of Culture and Arts Studies (VICAS) of the Vietnamese Ministry of Culture.

Vietnam has emerged as one of the most dynamic nations in Asia, astonishing the international community with its economic vitality, its intellectual vigor and its commitment to building a rules-based order in Asia.

As Northeast Asia and Southeast Asia play an increasingly important role in global governance and in cultural and scholarly exchange, Vietnam will serve as a critical bridge between nations and as a platform for deep and long-term cooperation at all levels.


The Vietnam office of the Asia Institute is located in the Vietnam National Institute of Culture and Arts Studies (VICAS) and will work closely with Vietnamese experts in a broad range of fields. We will start monthly lectures on critical issues for Asia that offer a unique opportunity for dialogue.

Responding to Vietnam’s new intellectual openness, the Asia Institute invites everyone to join us in this exciting project and to offer us suggestions as to how we can improve our work in the future so promote real integration and cooperation in Vietnam, and throughout the region.

The director of the Vietnam office of the Asia Institute will be Professor Jung Woojin, a founding member of the Asia Institute currently serving as a visiting professor at the Vietnam National University Social Science & Humanities.

You are cordially invited to attend our opening ceremony on Friday January 12, 2017 (10 AM – 11:30 AM).


The opening ceremony will be held at

The Asia Institute Vietnam Office at the

Vietnam National Institute of Culture and Arts Studies (VICAS)

Hanoi 32 Hao Nam, O Cho Dua, Dong Da, Hanoi Tel: (84-4) 8519570 (ext. 303)



Opening Remarks by distinguished figures


“Vietnam’s role in the international community”

(Emanuel Pastreich Founding Director of the Asia Institute)


Ribbon Cutting


Networking time and refreshments




Report on Science Diplomacy Centers presented to Korea Foundation of Science and Technology Societies

The Asia Institute submitted a report detailing concrete recommendations for a possible Korean program for science diplomacy featuring science diplomacy centers that may be developed by the Korea Foundation of Science and Technology Societies and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

This project, sponsored by  Korea Foundation of Science and Technology Societies, involved a survey of best practices for science diplomacy in other nations and concrete proposals for innovative approaches that Korea can adopt to maximize its impact and respond to real needs. We stressed the need to customize such science diplomacy centers to the needs of regions, and countries, and to encourage exchange and an equal dialog on critical issues for our time.

Asia Institute director Emanuel Pastreich served as primary researcher and Asia Institute’s  Rachel L. Stine was research director. We thank assistant researchers Olga Krasnyak, Ibrihim Ahmaid & Kadir Ayhan for their help.

A seminar on the topic of science diplomacy is planned for February, 2018.