Vu Khoan - an important public intellectual: US Professor
|Professor Thomas J. Vallely, Director of the Vietnam Program at Harvard Kennedy School (the US) shared his thought with reporters in an interview on June 24.|
That was the thought of Professor Thomas J. Vallely, Director of the Vietnam Program at Harvard Kennedy School (the US), that he shared with reporters in an interview on June 24.
He recalled that at the early 2000s, Deputy Prime Minister Vu Khoan along with many other Vietnamese leaders were in the forefront of the normalization of relations between the United States and Vietnam.
At that time, the Professor worked at the Harvard Institute for International Development, and was involved in informal consultations between the US and the Government and the Party of Vietnam about the country's reform process.
"Mr. Vu Khoan, then as now was quite a vibrant public intellectual about what the path forward would be," he said, adding that Khoan was very active, particularly in the area of trade after Vietnam deregulated agriculture.
The Professor noted that Vu Khoan was a central figure in the bilateral trade agreement that led to the visit by US President Bill Clinton to Vietnam in 2000.
Asked about his impression about the late official, Prof. Vallely said, "He was opinionated. He held his view strongly. He was a two-handed economist. Vu Khoan on the one hand had a single idea, knew the direction that he thought Vietnam should go and he had a good compass for political and economic mechanisms."
He shared that with Vu Khoan, they were not close friends, but they knew each other and he wanted to extend the Harvard community’s and the Fullbright community’s condolences to the family of Vu Khoan over his recent passing.