Open letter to Mr. Friedman

Doc McCoy
Nantong, China
From: An Old American Ex-pat in China
To: Thomas Friedman

Truly an interesting recitation of facts with an aura of fantasy tossed in for good measure. And, a lack of understanding of the Chinese people, their culture, traditions and history.

The majority of Chinese people are not yearning for the freedom that you envision for them. Ah, they want a corruption free government; and like all peoples around the world, they want their government to be responsive to their needs, wants, demands and desires - quite often to the exclusion of other people's wants, needs and desires. This is human nature.

Every year China sends tens of thousands of students to America and Australia to study. And, they do study, out performing their American counterparts in everything. Each year, tens of thousands of students return to China. They talk about the excesses of America; not the democratic freedoms you cherish so much and believe that they should too. They see that studying in America has given them a chance for a better future for their families, themselves and their country, in that order. By culture and tradition, they are not interested in politics. Instead, they are interested in achieving a good life, and they go about earning it with a passion like Americans used to do before they discovered "entitlements." They look for opportunities and make their own opportunities either here at home, or abroad. They are achievers; not malcontents.

They truly hate America's meddling in their country's affairs. They do not want the American culture which has created a dysfunctional society and government that can do nothing; accomplish little; and has to rely on military force to achieve its vision for the world. They know that if China were to become what you envision it should be, the country will devolve into civil wars and divide their beloved country.

The Chinese government is not afraid to let the people experience America. They are not afraid of former students becoming dissidents upon their return. They realize that those returning students are even more dedicated to China and Chinese culture than before.

Every country has its dissidents. Every country has people calling for the overthrow of the government in one way or another. Throughout history, this has happened time and time again in China. The devastation wrought by the cultural revolution is still vividly remembered by many; those memories having been passed down to the current generation. In time those memories will fade.

China is slowly changing. For change to be for the benefit of all people, it must come slowly. With change comes new and added responsibilities. Until people know what those responsibilities are and entail, change will not be for the benefit of all the people. It is also part of Chinese culture to resist change except for in hedonistic pursuits.

For those in China who desire information, it is available. I have no problem getting all the information I desire.

I see countless conspiracy theories abounding in America these days. I know enough to ignore those theorists. They are tearing America apart. In China over 80% of the people approve of what their government is doing. In America it is about 20%. That makes it very hard for the government to work in the best interests of all the people. Maybe there is too much information available in America - and not enough people able to differentiate between fact and fantasy.

What the Chinese government is doing today seems to be working - for all the people and the country. Maybe you and others need to concentrate on what is going on in your own back yard instead of worrying so much about the Chinese back yard.

Right now, the Chinese students in America are eating the American student's lunches. When you figure out why that is happening, you may then have a better understanding of China and Chinese culture, traditions and history.

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