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Presidential Address: “The Peoples of Asia”—Science and Politics in the Classification of Ethnic Groups in Thailand, China, and Vietnam

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  26 March 2010

Extract

On a visit to a northern province in the 1950s, Hô Chí Minh, who had spent many years during the war with the French living with upland peoples in northern Vietnam, asked local authorities how many ethnic groups were found within the province. Professor Đang Nghiêm Van, the doyen of ethnologists in Vietnam, has written that President Ho received the following response:

The “scientific” project of ethnic classification undertaken for political purposes in Vietnam beginning in 1958 was comparable directly (and not unrelated) to a similar project undertaken in China in the 1950s.

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Copyright © The Association for Asian Studies, Inc. 2002

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