Clarity on China

14 Sep

Re: “Ignatieff’s China blunder,” Editorial, July 8.

You have made statements that are so outrageous they require a response. You state: “Falun Gong practitioners and Christians are jailed and have their organs harvested for profit . . .”

This is an easily refuted Internet myth. I just returned from China, where I teach at Southwestern University of Finance and Economics. A number of my students are openly Christian and proud of it. They are not in jail, they have not had their organs removed, and they are active in student and community social life.

My wife (Chinese) is a Christian and many of our acquaintances in China are also Christians, openly attending church every Sunday and vespers on Wednesday.

None of them has been persecuted.

If the Herald can document a single case of a Christian losing his freedom and losing an organ because of his religion, I’ll eat these words at Olympic Park at noon.

You state: “Self-determination is not allowed for territories like Tibet considered under the jurisdiction of Beijing.” Every province, autonomous region and municipal government in China is “under the jurisdiction of Beijing.”

Tibet has been part of China, under the emperor’s jurisdiction for over 700 years. Until the early 1950s, it was mainly controlled by seven families. The rest of the population were either serfs or slaves. Literacy rates hovered around five per cent. It is now an autonomous region. Between 1953 and today, with a high degree of autonomy, literacy has risen to over 65 per cent.

I encourage the Herald to get its facts straight before making such prejudicial and inaccurate statements.

Thomas R. Bate,

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