VietNamNet Bridge – A domestic publishing house was compelled to recall a book meant for children of six years old because it contained the image of Chinese flag.
Page 16 of the book contained an image with Chinese flag.
The book, which was designed for children preparing to enter the first year of primary education, was published by Dan Tri Publishing House in cooperation with Huong Thuy Culture Limited Company.
Dan Tri Publishing House and Dantri Newspaper are independent bodies, despite being under the same management of the Vietnam Study Encouragement Association. Both the director of the publishing house, Bui Thi Huong, and the Huong Thuy Company will be responsible for any future additions.
The introduction of the book said that it was based on the Ministry of Education and Training’s nursery education programme.
However many parents were angered when their children asked them why there was a representation of a Chinese flag, instead of a Vietnamese one, above a school gate on one of the pages.
Nguyen Thanh Giang, Director of Huong Thuy Company, said that they had decided to recall the book due to negative reactions. “Anyone who bought the book will be able to exchange it for another book,” Giang said.
He attributed the incident to the complications of the editing, printing and licensing process, adding that they intended to make some changes to the book. “Right now, though, we’re focusing on withdrawing the book from major stores in Hanoi and HCM City. We’ve asked that bookstores in other areas inform parents and return this version of the book to the publishing house,” he noted.
Bui Thi Huong, Director of Dan Tri Publishing House, said, “This is a translation of a Chinese book, and the contract we signed obligated us to retain all the original content, including images.”
She added that all of the other images contained in the pages were Chinese, so there would have been no reason to replace the image of one flag, adding that the content of the book is good and that the issue of the flag was a minor one. “We will discuss our options for changing some of the content with our partners,” she said.
Pham Tat Dong, Vice Chairman of the Vietnam Study Encouragement Association, the governing body of the publishing house, said, “It’s unacceptable to use a Chinese flag in such a book.”
Ngo Thi Hop, from the Ministry of Education and Training’s Nursery Education Department said, “We’re not aware of the book, but Dan Tri Publishing House must be held accountable for all the content it publishes.”
Nguyen Minh Khang, Deputy Director of Education Publishing House said due attention should be paid to selection of foreign books in Vietnam, and alterations may have to be made to make the book suitable for Vietnamese children.
“Such mistakes are unacceptable in books published for nursery-aged children, who are very sensitive. We need to be very careful with our methods of education,” she added.