Religion not a problem
I object to portions of the opinion piece on the impact of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) on China ("SARS can modernize China in long term," April 28, page 8).
I do not wish to debate the main topic -- the parts I would like to object against is: "In recent years, China has proven its ability to deal with, or at least suppress, problems related to Falun Gong, AIDS and the protests of laid-off workers. Why should SARS be an exception?" and later "The SARS problem is different from those of Falun Gong, AIDS and laid-off worker protests."
I strongly protest to putting Falun Gong in the same list of `problems' as AIDS and SARS. Perhaps it was not the author's intention to put down the good name of Falun Gong, however, it was certainly very misleading and creates negative impression about Falun Gong for a person new to the subject.
Falun Gong is the practice that advocates high moral standards and has been honored by the governments and the people of the numerous countries, including Taiwan, for its contribution to the stability and morality of society.
There are no problems related to Falun Gong that have ever been mentioned by the government of any country except China. China's human rights record is notoriously poor and it is not only Falun Gong practitioners who suffer greatly from state-sponsored medieval persecution.
I implore you, do not intentionally or unintentionally assist the Chinese government in spreading lies about the "phantom menace" of Falun Gong. The only thing Falun Gong practitioners do, which is regarded by the Chinese government as a "problem" is to tell the truth about the practice and the inhuman persecution that takes place in China. This is a basic human right of any person -- to defend one's good name and then object to being treated cruelly and unjustly.
A different perspective
I am simply in shock after reading Chien Hsi-chieh's (簡錫土皆) article ("Setting a new policy for Taiwan," April 29, page 8). Not only am I shocked, but also worried about the future of Taiwan and its people, should they share his views.
Allow me to offer a different perspective based on what Chien.
Chien wrote: "We shed tears over a disaster that human civilization cannot undo." I watched television and saw only tears of joy flowing from the Iraqis dancing in the streets of Baghdad, realizing their new-found liberation. Baghdad did not fall to pieces. In fact, Operation Iraqi Freedom will go down in history as the war with the least collateral damage.
High-tech weapons were fine-tuned to strike targets with more precision than ever before. Most of Iraq remains unshaken and intact.
Chien also opposes "further wars of invasion by the US against other nations."
It seems Chien failed to realize that the serious consequence of war was authorized in various UN Security Council resolutions and finally in Resolution 1441. The US and Britain were just holding the council to its words clearly stated in the papers.
Chien's idea of the "legal rights of a nation" is quite scary. Should the UN and the International Criminal Court (ICC) determine a nation's legal rights? If that is the belief, then the people of Taiwan should abandon all hope, because we have absolutely no rights internationally. China, a vocal and prominent member of the UN, and its allies have denied all our rights already.