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A letter from a reader about Li Shaomin arrest

On February 25, Li Shaomin, a scholar who earned his Ph.D. from Princeton, was arrested in Shenzhen, China. Li Shaomin is an American citizen, like his wife, Liu Yingli, and 9-year-old daughter, Diana, who've suffered untold anguish since his "detention." He was recently charged with espionage by the Chinese government. Li Shaomin represents all that America could ask for in a citizen, yet he languishes, in China.

Upon completion of his doctoral work at Princeton postdoctoral stint at Harvard, Shaomin joined my staff at AT&T. His ready smile and keen intellect won him many friends -- I am honored to be numbered among them.

Recently, 100 of his colleagues at the City University of Hong Kong sent a petition to Jiang Zemin seeking his release. Over 250 people in the Princeton community sent a petition to China's ambassador with a similar request, and President Shapiro of Princeton University sent a letter to Jiang Zemin expressing his concern. Despite this, press coverage of Shaomin's plight has been comparatively scant.

Americans believe, and take pride in a tradition of a vigilant press and a responsive government. But where is that vigilance and action in Shaomin's case? Unlike the intense negotiations that surrounded the crewmen in Hainan, or the calls of President Bush and Secretary Powell for Ms. Gao's release, Shaomin seems to be slipping off the radar screen of his adopted country.

We have developed a web site that simplifies the signing of petitions to China's Ambassador to the US, and to the entire New Jersey Congressional Delegation. The URL is http://www.atdinc.com/Li_Shaomin_petition_FR.htm

I am outraged by Li Shaomin's illegal detention, and my sentiments are shared by his many friends and colleagues.

Americans believe that we take care of our own. Can this truly be said to pertain to the case of Li Shaomin? He is one of us.

Salvatore F. Cordo
Bloomfield, N..J

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