Vol 4, No 4 (2020)


Prospects for Vietnam-China relations in light of Digital Silk Road project in Southeast Asia

Kanaev E.A., Terskikh M.A.


The article reveals the specificity of Vietnam’s approach to cooperation with China from the perspective of Digital Silk Road (DSR) as one of the directions of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The actuality of the topic stems from the need to analyze both the SRV response accounting for increased attention to its cyber security and digital competitiveness and interim results of the DSR implementation in Southeast Asia amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Although some elements of the topic, mostly, the DSR specificity and its implications for Southeast Asia, are covered by K. Hernandez, S. Hong, A. Schwartz, C. Diamond, A. Dutta, R. Green, P. Triolo, B. Ly, B. Harding as well as Khanh Lan, Trần Quang Phú, Pedanov V., Mitrokhin M. and other researchers, their works lack a specific Vietnamese focus. From the theoretical and methodological perspective, the research is premised on the synergy of system-historical approach and political neorealism. It is founded on various informational and statistical sources, including those in Vietnamese. This allowed analyzing both long-term trends of global and regional development, and the specificity of Vietnamese policy towards the problem discussed. The academic significance of the paper stems from its analytical focus, as the authors, apart from analyzing the DSR as a BRI direction and assessing its aftereffects for Southeast Asia from the potential risk perspective, specify Vietnam’s approach to cooperation with China on the DSR. In the authors’ opinion, the Digital Silk Road can significantly contribute to the BRI from the perspective of increasing the efficiency of China’s industrial and technological policy and its external economic policy support. The implementation of the DSR in Southeast Asia narrows the possibilities of those countries to pursue an independent policy in the ICT-sphere. Realizing this, the SRV leadership follows a selective course regarding joint Vietnam-China efforts towards the DSR. Simultaneously, Hanoi strives to increase its digital competitiveness. This gives reasons for pessimistic assessments of prospects for realizing the DSR by joint Vietnam-China efforts. The DSR is unlikely to markedly intensify cooperation between Vietnam and China.
The Russian Journal of Vietnamese Studies. 2020;4(4):5-15
pages 5-15 views

Renovation of Vietnam National Assembly during its 14th tenure (2016-2021): situation and solutions

Tran T.M.


Since its establishment in 1946 up to now, the National Assembly of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam (VNA) has always been affirmed as the highest representative body of the people, the highest body of state power. After 70 years of development, the 14th VNA tenure (2016-2021) has inherited many achievements and experiences from the previous period. Along with the country’s increasingly deep renewal process, the 14th VNA tenure has made efforts to renovate its organization and activities to better perform its functions and tasks and contribute positively to the country’s renovation (“Doi Moi”) process. The results are undeniable, but the country’s development and extensive international integration require the VNA to innovate more strongly. Basing on the analysis of renovation effectes during the 14th VNA tenure, either achievements or limitations, the author proposes a system of solutions to overcome the limitations and accelerate the renewal process of the VNA, to create momentum for the country’s solid development in the future.
The Russian Journal of Vietnamese Studies. 2020;4(4):16-26
pages 16-26 views

Impacts of COVID-19 outbreak on Vietnam’s foreign trade

Ha T.L., Bui V.H.


COVID-19 pandemic has been making significant changes to every aspect of human life. As a country of high trade openness, having extensive trade relations with many economic partners, Vietnam’s export and import are severely affected by the wave of the epidemic. Therefore, this paper focuses on analyzing the impacts of COVID-19 outbreak on Vietnam’s foreign trade, apart from that proposing some prospects and solutions for this branch to overcome this global pandemic.
The Russian Journal of Vietnamese Studies. 2020;4(4):27-36
pages 27-36 views

Digitisation of middle-class lives in Ho Chi Minh City: initial findings

Earl C., Maheshwari G., Le T.P.


Ho Chi Minh City is Vietnam’s largest city and one of Southeast Asia’s most rapidly growing regions. The rise of Asia’s middle classes has been newsworthy for years yet Vietnam’s contribution to regional middle-class expansion is largely unknown. What is evident is that middle-class expansion in Vietnam is an urban phenomenon and that Vietnam’s cities are rapidly developing. Digitisation is an important part of city living, ranging from the routine use of personal smart phone apps for communication and delivery services to data capture tools such as fingerprint phone locks, biometric door keys and CCTV. This paper draws on a recent small-scale qualitative study to shed light on who describes themselves as being middle- class in Ho Chi Minh City and in what ways their use of digital apps and biometric tools shape their affluent lifestyles. Based on the initial findings, there are recommendations for future research about Vietnam’s middle classes.
The Russian Journal of Vietnamese Studies. 2020;4(4):37-46
pages 37-46 views

Vietnam’s geostrategic actions under feudal times

Tran K.


Vietnam’s feudal dynasties always combined firm military measures with civilian, flexible diplomacy notably the “diplomatic tribute” and “diplomatic marriage”; where the border protection was the excuse for the Southward territory expansion; using the strategy “people enlarge land ownership first, the state governs later” to confirm the sovereignty. The task of “Southward march” and “Eastward march” not only provided new resources for Vietnam’s growth but also set up a geographical “trap” in Vietnam’s state administration career, especially in solving and balancing the power among the regions as well as in protectingthe national sovereignty and border security on both land and sea. However, the lack of strategic vision in developing national synergy limited Vietnam’s strategic space, pushing the country backward and becoming a French colony.
The Russian Journal of Vietnamese Studies. 2020;4(4):47-57
pages 47-57 views

Musical instrument đàn bầu as a symbol of ethnic culture in Vietnam and beyond

Starikova E.O.


The article focuses on đàn bầu, the traditional Vietnamese single-string musical instrument. It examines the construction features of đàn bầu, the playing technique, analyzes the reliable information on the history of đàn bầu, defines the place of đàn bầu in the system of Vietnamese musical instruments in old and contemporary Vietnam, and argues that đàn bầu has the function of an ethnic marker for the Vietnamese diasporas overseas. The article examines the role of đàn bầu using the example the Jing community, i.e., Vietnamese people living in China, in the border areas with Vietnam. The playing technique is examined on the experience of the author, who learned to play the Vietnamese monochord during her study in Hanoi in 2007. The article is relevant because Vietnam is currently preparing a dossier for the recognizing đàn bầu as an intangible cultural heritage of humanity. In addition, on November 1, 2020, a regulation on the protection of the tangible and intangible cultural heritage of the Jing people, including the single-string musical instrument duxianqin (a Chinese name for đàn bầu), entered into force in China. Folk music is important in modern Vietnam in terms of the national identity construction, that is why giving đàn bầu heritage status in China creates a tense situation around the most famous and significant instrument. The article uses both primary and secondary sources on the topic, including Lê Quý Đôn's manuscript "Kiến Văn Tiểu Lục" (1777) in Hán văn.
The Russian Journal of Vietnamese Studies. 2020;4(4):58-70
pages 58-70 views

The first encounters of Vietnam with the Western literature in the 17th century (a case study of Jeronimo Maiorica’s Nôm hagiographic writings)

Tran T.P.


The article discusses the first meetings of Vietnam with the West through the Catholic literature, which partly shows the multi-dimensional nature of the relation of Vietnam with the West in the early 17th century, i.e., in the pre-colonial period of Vietnam. The activities of the first European people arriving to Vietnam in the early 17th century were related with Christian missionaries. Due to the adaptation of Christian literature and the collaboration of the European Jesuits with the Vietnamese writers in creating Catholic Nôm texts, the first steps of Vietnamese Catholic literature were made, leading to the big changes of Vietnamese literature in the succeeding centuries. Jeronimo Maiorica and some of his Nôm hagiographic works as expression of acculturation of Vietnam in the seventeenth century will be examined from a Western-Vietnamese comparative viewpoint.
The Russian Journal of Vietnamese Studies. 2020;4(4):71-80
pages 71-80 views

Frank talk about Vietnam’s past and present (overview of the international online conference at the IFES RAS on the 75th anniversary of the DRV)

Burova E.S., Mazyrin V.M.


The article reviews the leading Russian and Vietnamese experts’ evaluations on some aspects of the August revolution history, the current international and socio-economic situation in Vietnam, as well as processes in cultural and artistic realm. The experts noted that Vietnam has had great achievements in its integration into the world community, social progress and development, though this process has posed the challenges to its economy and culture.
The Russian Journal of Vietnamese Studies. 2020;4(4):81-85
pages 81-85 views

Russian scientists focus on Vietnam (Vietnamese discourse at online scientific conferences in the late 2020)

Nukulina E.V.


The review describes reports on Vietnam at international conferences “Languages and Cultures of Asian and African Countries”, “70th Anniversary of Vietnam-Russia Relationship in the Science and Education”, Maklay Readings 2020 and “The Interaction of Christianity with the Traditional Spiritual Values of the South and East Asian countries. History and Modernity».
The Russian Journal of Vietnamese Studies. 2020;4(4):86-91
pages 86-91 views

On the defense of dissertations

Nikulina E.V.
The Russian Journal of Vietnamese Studies. 2020;4(4):92-96
pages 92-96 views

Thinking about Vietnam. Review of the book of A.S. Zaitsev “Half a Century with Vietnam. Notes by a Diplomat”

Sokolov A.A.


The article reviews the book “Half a Century with Vietnam. Notes by a Diplomat”, in whichA.S. Zaitsev, one of the first Soviet scholars on Vietnam, shares his memories of working in Vietnam in the60s-70s, of travelling to this country in the 80s, of meetings with famous Vietnamese and Soviet eminent figures. Readers will learn a lot of interesting and useful information not only about Vietnam, but also about the most important events in the world history in the second half of the 20th century, of which Vietnam became a part.service.
The Russian Journal of Vietnamese Studies. 2020;4(4):97-100
pages 97-100 views

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