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The Real Friends of China

The visit and address by Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji last Wendesday has generated quite a number of articles and discussions with various opinions in The Tech. Among those authors, it is interesting for the readers to notice that, while the Chinese-named authors were strongly proposing a warm or friendly welcome of the respected Premier, the western-named authors were energetically advocating all sorts of protests with many negative declarations against the Chinese goverment, and the implication Premier Zhu is a bad leader from a bad government.

I cannot help questioning how much real and firsthand knowledge or experience these authors have about China to support all their conclusions. It is especially ridiculous to see that, in the letter by David S. Kelman ’99 [“The Real Enemies of China,” April 16], he labeled those welcoming Chinese students like Qiutao Wang G and Xiaobo Li G (authors of “A Warm Welcome for Premier Zhu,” April 13) as the real enemies of China. Does the author know that Premier Zhu is actually a highly and widely respected leader in his own country? Premier Zhu gains his reputation among most Chinese with his ideas, dedication to the economic reforms and improvements of China, and his integrity and his caring for people’s lives. He also has resolved many realistic and tedious problems or disputes in his many on-site visits or inspections of many local places in China. I know this through my own experience of living many years in China, and also from the experiences of my numerous relatives and friends there.

While it is certain that the Chinese government still has (which government does not?) shortcomings to overcome and some individual cases to resolve in areas including human rights as indicated by the Premier himself in his address and also in Wang and Li’s letter, these improvements will need the constructive collaborations from the government, the people and other friends of China.

It is also worthwhile to remark here that for the reasons of very different cultures and historical traidtions, the Chinese people may very well differ from Americans in the definitions, understanding and standards in issues like human rights and put different things in priority. Only friendly communication and discussion can enhance the mutual understanding among different cultures. I do not think at all that Qiutao Wang and Xiaobo Li are any enemies of China for their welcoming of Premier Zhu and fostering better understanding and discussions about China; I think they are real friends of China.

Yong Chen G