The Tech - Online EditionMIT's oldest and largest
newspaper & the first
newspaper published
on the web
Boston Weather: 28.0°F | A Few Clouds


A Warm WelcomeFor Premier Zhu

I am writing in response to the article by Kris Schnee (“A Cautious Welcome for Premier Zhu,” April 9). Although I agree with the points raised about China’s repressive internet policies, I am very much offended by Schnee’s accusation of China as a country where “science is stolen rather than learned.” Earlier in his article, he himself was conscious enough of his accusation to use the word “suspected spy Wen Ho Lee.”

We all know the fact is that no concrete proof has been found against Lee in the spy case. The Chinese tested their first A-bomb in October 1964, their first H-bomb at the end of 1967, and their first satellite launch in 1970 all independent of the Cold War superpowers. The United States and China didn’t establish contact until 1972 when President Nixon visited China. Schnee’s baseless accusation can only be interpreted as a purposeful insult. Schnee went even further by ending his article with such offensive ridicule as “guard[ing] all of the laboratories carefully,” a statement which made me suspect the real intention of his article.

I am surprised to find the existence of such xenophobic sentiment on a campus that cherishes open-mindedness. The advance of science and technology is vitally dependent on the free exchange of ideas and information within the global science community. If we permit this type of sentiment to spread in the most respected technical institution of the world, then it won’t be too long before constructive progress in global scientific development is irrevocably handicapped by hysteria.

Those who are interested in a balanced assessment of the Sino-U.S. relationship may refer to the recent speech by President Clinton, in which he strongly refuted the so-called “containment” policy and instead advocated a “strategic partnership” and “constructive engagement” with China. In that spirit, we should warmly welcome Premier Zhu to our campus.

Qiutao Wang G
Xiaobo Li G