Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao’s response to the Free Tibet protester during his speech highlights how Beijing always sidelines or ignores the welfare of Tibetans and other minorities (News, “China’s Wen Talks Trade, Reforms,” Dec. 11). As China rises as a global power, the U.S. gets more desperate to engage it. As a result, the survival of oppressed peoples such as Tibetans and Uighurs end up being treated as taboo subjects. From Burma to Palestine, from Tibet to East Turkistan, the weak live in fear while the strong smile knowingly at each other and sign pacts to stay out of each other’s business.
University President Lawrence H. Summers showed his courage by asking a protester to respect Wen’s right to speak. I admire you, President Summers, for standing up for him. By the way, did you get a chance to show the same integrity by asking Wen to respect the Tibetan people’s right to speak?
Dec. 11, 2003
The writer is a democracy advocate with the National Endowment for Democracy.