A letter from a reader: Democracy in China

November 12, 2007:

You cannot read Professor Yigong Shi's letter in the March 7 issue and Ye Ma's response May 9 without wondering who might be correct.

I was in Tiananmen Square a while back and observed a small incident that might shed some light on the apparently opposing views.

It was early in the morning, and I was surprised at the size at the size of the crowds. As I was wandering about, a young woman pulled a cardboard sign out from under her raincoat. She held it aloft, and many Chinese people were obviously reading it.

Within two minutes police and soldiers were running toward her. She turned and ran into a nearby underground tunnel, the authorities in hot pursuit. No one in the crowd attempted to impede her; in fact they seemed to create a path to ease her escape. No one did the same for the pursuers.

I don't know if they caught her or not. However, I would like to assure both Dr. Shi and Ye Ma that American-style democracy is alive and well in China. When the current government fears one little woman with a message on a piece of cardboard, they already have lost the hearts and minds of their citizens.

E.P.WENZ '47
Mission, Texas

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