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While the Nationalists and the Communists disagreed on who should rule China, they did agree that Taiwan and Tibet were part of China.

Certainly, Communist China wants friendly neighbors, but it has never to this point in time moved into territory that it does not consider Chinese. They sided with North Korea in the Korean War, because we came too close to their borders. They felt threatened. They have no troops in North Korea.

The former Yugoslavia, Vietnam, and China were created by nationalist, internal revolutions that did not come out of the barrel of a Soviet tank.

The OSS fought beside Tito and Ho Che Minh against the Germans and Japanese respectively. A similar relationship was sought with the Chinese Communist, but failed because of a Conservative preference for the Nationalist. Both Ho Che Minh and Mao sought a relationship with the US during the war, but failed on the rock of conservative opposition. Republicans still have hysterics over Communism, but they love the money coming out of China.

At this point, I do not regard China as a military threat, but it is an economic threat. Our greed is destroying us, and they don't have to do a thing.

Pervis J. Casey

Riverside, CA

Jun 19 2007 - 5:28pm

Web Letter

The end of your article "Chinese Mirrors":

Tom Friedman...wrote..."I cannot help but feel a tinge of jealousy at China's ability to be serious about its problems and actually do things that are tough and require taking things away from people." These China watchers always bear watching--for the times they forget to propagandize themselves. [/blockquote]

Great article in general, but I think you're too harsh here at the end, since any change involves "taking things away from people." As surely as Friedman would take away labor protections, and be shocked, shocked, when civil liberties went too, anti-China American liberals would take away America's stunning wealth of cheap Chinese goods. They would doubtless be shocked, shocked, at the subsequent decrease in middle- and lower-class standards of living. (And incidentally, that of the upper class, too.)

Perhaps we could strengthen the social safety net first, and then disengage with China, but that entails higher taxes, and to play devil's advocate, taxes "are tough and require taking things away from people."

Will Warner

Austin, TX

Jun 15 2007 - 10:51pm