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But a good society reside with a series of interviews with authorities on a one of their designed to strengthen our understanding of people and ideas. Your host on the cons cried series is a noted author and award winning broadcaster Lee Graham. Here now is Mrs. Graham. Our eyes are very much focused on all parts of the world. One cannot withdraw even if one would like you to take a breathing spell to parts of the world which are constantly in the news and very much in our minds are Vietnam south and north. Since the division of partition in 1954 and China. Our guest on this program is an unusual man with a background of which we welcome because we have not had the privilege of speaking to someone of his experience and accomplishments before on this Asia Society present series. Let me introduce him to you. He is Tran Van Zene professes ean was born in one way which is the Imperial City in
Vietnam. He comes from a family of outstanding scholars. He was educated in Vietnam and during the National Student Movement when both the French and Japanese occupied his country he fought with the Vietnam Liberation Army. Then in 1951 began to serve his government in foreign service. Among the many places he served were Rangoon he was consul general Rangoon capital of Burma and he was shot in Washington D.C. That was his last position with his government. He left the Foreign Service in 1964 to become a journalist and freelance writer contributing to many outstanding publications in this country where he has been residing more or less all of the time since 1964 in 1968 he became professor of humanities the State University of New York in Old Westbury is a co-author of several books about Asian affairs and he wants very
much to talk to us about Vietnam and China and perhaps tell us some illuminating things about which many of us would like to know. Now Professor Singh When you left the government service of your country was it because of any disappointment or disillusionment you felt with the present government. Yes I think there was a very basic disagreement between what I thought at the time to be the right policy and what the government of the time thought about our cooperation with the U.N. at the state. As you know in 1960 for the American military participation in Vietnam increased very rapidly and my position was if the U.S. decided. To escalate it from the Syrian aid to mediate land he should have. More or less what he may call in the security treaty the finding the
number that American to be stationed in Vietnam the time line be stationed there for example and I propose that lat time that the number of American soldiers should not be of a toilet a thousand and for three years the American troop withdrawal. I laugh for after three years we don't have any American troops in Vietnam. The reason is if you have foreign troops in your country than how you could turn people and your Godman is independent is continuing the tradition of. There is stubborn fight in the US foreign domination and the same time and I don't want to say that I told you what I was so i'm tired i thought it American participation in Vietnam increased it my provoked the intervention of China which in my opinion would lead to a real disaster. I mean I have it now or in the
next few years if this trend of military participation a police country in Laos and Vietnam continues. I could go back for a moment to the occupation by both Japan and France up your territory. Japan occupying the country nine thousand forty to forty five having to leave at the end of will too because they were defeated the French as you pointed out to me. Well they have an 18 84 on the 1954 when the partition took place. Of the two would you say that you know people like nothing anyone like someone to occupy his country. Did you get along better with the Japanese authorities or the French. I was with the friends who get on very well and on the contrary 11 you know understand the French country speak French and read Vakil and old regime and all of us speak crash very well. But we disagree with a friend on mine issue lottery don't
wonder to colonise we are about to see God in an issue. With the Japanese I must confess up on my person I spray and as I understand our allies it it was a very very very and I was silent on person and I and small bitterness and more anger at last time not now. I gave that up and it's because of the occupation the Sharks look very brutal so it's not that one would get along better with someone of another age and country. Yes I am living in any kind of ration Maisie's in politics you know. It may happen in one country when you have a conflict between races but on international relations I would not say that because we are in the same. Color of skin. We understand each other better. You know there is. You think that's a myth. Does North Vietnam receiving aid now military aid from both Russia and mainland China.
Yes but less a difference in the nation. Eight I think the Russian supply self escape that weapon like so fast and heavy equipment and. Probably buying what the Chinese supply a small economic aid as food and. Bindon draws for the Vietnamese and so I think this is different in the nature of the two countries. Does it seem to prefer its relations with and friendship with China to that of Russia since Russia and China are not getting along well these days. A choice has to be made in a White House and I think they're perhaps you know it would be very difficult for the Gottman in her note to make tries publicly because of course as long as the American remain there. Not Vietnam who
need most. The Soviet Union and China. But if you ask the Vietnamese in Korea now what is his feeling cause for examined the Russians signed it. Perhaps he could relate that to the Chinese much better than the Russian he knows a Chinese country and most of the Vietnamese traditions and was more or less a kind of free form and the Fifeshire and Chinese custom. So here are very close to each other. So there was a case of racial harmony. I don't know what I wrote on homily I used not just proximity Yast you know contra harmony in many ways this model of car example I used like Lasik and there are some people in their lives country and Italy for example. Although it is it has no common border. Many people in here have very much close to the Italians are
polite matter to the Irish and have well the U.S. has always segments of you know Irish people who came here have absorbed into the United States but remain sentimental ties exactly the same thing with the Vietnamese people and the Vietnamese people. All recently came a long time ago for 5000 years ago came from China and yet retain a certain cultural characteristic common to both countries. However speaking French and the Vietnamese I would say that one thing about having common is that you have very fine poets. Yes you have. Yes both. Both nations have that almost an excess of thought and he have every very claim to be a part of course you have some very good and some of us with the feeling of people that you wish to write poetry to write a boy to understand through poetry rather learn through prose.
No and that's a very good observation. When we go back to China and Vietnam the ties there are closer emotionally and racially culturally. Why did you choose that as a topic to discuss. Did you feel that seems to be no real problem that last several reason. Yes the first one was last week and you know if I look beyond the problem of today. I see in the next 10 years very important human despair a man carried by two countries one the UN at the state the old China the United States having a certain degree of self escape the development of technology and science is trying. I'm talking now people not administration policy that people are trying now to humanize a technological society. You see them on the student movement
you see in every field of American activities in dress in education is a process of humanisation of America in China and the experiments is almost. The revised shine I was trying actually to be in at the acknowledged in society but on the communion basis not on the Indian bases because normally if you want to be in a technological society you have to make people walk very hard because I have incentive and they said well if I was hot enough I have a house of my God on it and then you produce investment and all this but the Chinese are trying something it seemed interesting that produce machine but land grade it's really not belonging to a larger group of people rather land a house or even a family. Last year what I call the commune and development of technology. So.
You must ask me why I don't talk about the Soviet Union. I'm not really interested in Soviet Union because I know exactly what is going to happen and I don't have the same problem like the Americans develop technology and size of a huge bureaucracy. People get unhappy unhappy every day on DOLLAR have Martin Mark and then later have to find a solution for lap. But if the Chinese experiment and the American experiment succeed sincerely I hope most country to succeed land we own Vietnam liaise African Australian whoever leaving the least planet would have a very good life. The second reason is much more immediate. When the US troops and the US command in Chinese on Vietnamese army the South Vietnamese army to invade Laos. I was very worried about the prospect of the Chinese participation in the war in Vietnam.
Because militarily speaking you don't need to. Be a gender and intelligence officer to know about it. It would not be it would be extremely difficult for the Vietnamese army the South Vietnamese army to win any major bout in Laos and now it is clear that you are going anything at the same time. What we do next. We try Cambodia. Try not to go to Laos. Maybe the next up some gender in that way about the dry not Vietnam invaded North Vietnam. Guy I know but landing on some beastie not here and I think a lot happened so I know I would intervene. Why are you convinced that China would intervene at that point although she has not up to this point. I thought I was to have border first I believe that the Chinese cannot afford to base Mormon
Dulac not react normally army and people in doubt they stake it very high. That perhaps is a sentiment and reason. Second reason Russia small fundament and it is a question of security for China I kind of see how anybody in this country could I allow the Chinese to defeat the Canadian army and moving to try New York. China would feel threatened by naming a lush island invasion or even some kind of military presence in that from America in that there are not Vietnam on top. As we all know are lies a conflict between China and a show of a union and it almost fall to China to prove to the Vietnamese lottery Kundu backed out to hand you rather lie and destroy the union. And among the people who are related to the
show the union are to the Chinese lies or fear. Wish my not be justified at all that the Soviet Union and America and making a private nearly died to tell on the Chinese into a boat full of bodies and one would be colonize a prize or surprise or something like that. I was about to ask you just the question you more or less answered it. What would make China. But not so yeah. Why would China not fear the fact that if she did take action against the United States if the United States invaded or didn't the military duty or work there in North Vietnam that Russia would not come it would be Russia and the United States against China. I'm just saying is that not something that China would see it would that not be a deterrent a U.S. fear are North Korea required to the problem of communication relation between nations and people. And
extends in the prayer relation between India and for example the person most of the time because I don't know his intention. You know the fear has always something to do with the element of unknown. Alas is why it's no use for us to speculate and to find out what the scientists doing. But to find a way of communication. Nobody I believe you said that is saying that China may have this fear that there is a secret pact between Russia and the United States and having that theah that might be a deterrent to her taking any further steps because you see. It would be a convent hunting yet only in the Chinese thinking. I especially on a military matter. The Chinese believe that finally if you have to hide is the power man regime bought and then the power of weapons lease is
perhaps the most important things behind the Chinese and the not Vietnamese army on the U.S only equipment although all are fascinated by the American helicopter and all grind of Logies thick underbrush until you need them to be here already have no others and not only are numbered of the quality of man because after all and you see the Vietnamese are not Vietnamese. 19 million people unleashes something very strange. I would not go as far as to say that maybe more humanity in last and in the in the communists army allowed alone in government it's army. The commander of the godless army really believes that man is important that we don't know but when a man is fighting a war I believe he's told a victory and defense and attack are important and as much as he may care for his men afraid he puts that second I don't know.
Here's the question why should there be a difference in the military behavior which there seems to be between the North Vietnamese Army and the South Vietnamese army. If I was I would have to our last question has been is not explained here but it is a question of cause of motivation is if you take a precise location you have in many cases I know of. In one family. With the same father and mother one son is with the National Liberation Army the Viet Go Army on it though on is with the North Vietnamese army out of the army to the South Vietnamese army so here are three young people and coming down at exactly the same background. So how come the one who is now with the National Liberation Front and the not Vietnamese army all fiercely fighting bet their land no one in the south and I watched and I ask you I think the reason is for us to have to look up the
definition of the army the army is not a group of people who we call band. An army is a group of people who carry for a purpose which is historically acceptable and nationally understandable for example in a tone just who carried out far the army of not Viet Nam. I think he has least to operate the he's he will stone and he believe it a lot. It's impossible for him to preserve his identity as a Vietnamese. I asked low as American stayed at night with their troops allegedly pulled the Asian now by an unknown is so he said that in order to protect my own I don't pity I have to fight at the same time the South Vietnamese army was exactly in their bodies and forced
their leader of the South Vietnamese army except one or two most of their gender and their has for quit a friend is mean that you already at once betray your country. Now you're going to need to fire with American land you betrayed your country twice so how those soldiers could local police people and their leader who could actually realize the historic and process of his nation. So I think the problem that you cite the difference in motivation. That's also a problem of training as well as. Many people and said Let why an American trained Is this our Vietnamese army since 1954. Why don't we fight I just gave you one. Example which I know personally. In 1961 the one I was temporarily at last time in China and I was a member of the National Security Council and so I participated on the military deliberations and I was minister of information as well.
Who got a report that a Latin American train the Vietnamese to be dropped from the helicopter. You no doubt run fied and things like that. What recon that the mobility in the army. He got very powerful no Vietnam he turned and I've gone into the Vietnam War so unjust would take five or ten minutes from the time he was dropped from the helicopter to the time he could run for cover. In the meantime he was given. So nobody understand why. So I make a trip to LA and I interview the private not the corn and other guys with why I don't do it and almost owner said to me that's all our lives he have been on the ground. He never been above ground. So it took at least half an hour to immunize.
So the kind of training given by the US to sarve your power actually weakened the South Vietnamese army lost to I think the Vietnamization is going to because you can not fight in Vietnam the Vietnam the my the American mettle by the American logistic and I've been by the American people. There is too much perhaps which is. Incomprehensible to many people and therefore these are obstacles to the proper training. Yes and I don't use other people mentally with their ideas and even you know the problem of languishes enormous problems you know the English language. How do you have families Ultracet. Understand it so I can last many many handicap. That's why I don't believe that your family zation going to sleep. It's most unfair to ask you a question for which you have a 30 seconds to answer but quickly. What does North Vietnam want. One very simple thing that the North Vietnamese won the Americans to go home.
And so in the next few years the whole country most not will be re-united about Laos Cambodia and Thailand How about the whole of India China I think North Vietnam would like Laos Cambodia not release its main let no foreign troops from a country which is hostile to North Vietnam should have left but I don't lean left not right now. Would have any doubt of the ambitions are you Barry and he should be glad when the was although not yet numbed remains reasonably good. Complete with nose and had the potential to be any better in book Falling not yet though. I very much appreciate your candid comments on this program. Our guest has been a professor than again for pethidine at the present time is professor of humanities at the State University of New York and Westbury. As you can hear it is an inexperienced person in handling Asian affairs. Eve was born in Vietnam. Thank you and goodbye. Thanks. That concluded tonight's edition of the ATR society presents with league.
This series comes to you through the cooperation of the Asia Society. If you would like to comment on tonight's program or would like further information about the society and how you can participate in its many interesting activities please write to Mrs. Graham. WNYC New York 1 crippleware 0 7 and make a note to join us again next week at this time for another edition of the Asia Society. Present. Her. Her her her. This is the national educational radio network.
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Asia Society presents
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University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Asia Society presents is a series of programs from WNYC and The Asia Society. Through interviews with experts on Asian affairs, the series attempts to strengthen listeners understanding of Asian people and ideas. Episodes focus on specific countries and political, cultural, and historical topics.
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Global Affairs
Race and Ethnicity
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Host: Graham, Leigh
Producing Organization: WNYC
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University of Maryland
Identifier: 69-6-75 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
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Duration: 00:26:55
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