Sun, Feb 08, 2009 - Page 8 News List

[LETTERS]

Shoes and power

In Chinese politics, there is no space for humorous expression; there is only power space between the dictator and the people ruled.

When a reporter threw a shoe at former US president George W. Bush, he commented that the shoe was size 10. But when someone threw a shoe at Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao (溫家寶), Wen’s response was that it was a “dirty trick,” because he has the power to crush such dissent immediately if the incident had happened in China.

A big government like that of the Chinese Communist Party tortures its people, such as rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng (高智晟), who did not even throw a shoe at the country’s leader, but only spoke his mind. And what happened to him? Severe beatings, electric shocks to his genitals and cigarettes held to his eyes. Now he is missing.

Just think what would happen if someone threw a shoe at a Chinese leader. They would disappear from the face of the Earth within seconds.

NI KUO-RONG

Hsingchu City

Where’s Lee’s US passport?

Former Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislator Diane Lee’s (李慶安) attorney Lee Yung-ran (李永然) has reportedly said that Lee’s taking an oath of allegiance to the Republic of China (ROC) and use of an ROC passport to enter and exit the US since 1994 are concrete acts that prove her intent to relinquish her US citizenship (“AIT’s letters back Diane Lee: lawyer,” Feb. 6, page 4).

But what of her maintaining property in the US? What about her having family members in the US? And what about her being on record as paying what is evidently federal income tax in the US?

According to the Web site of the US Department of State, these are three crucial questions in determining — on a case-by-case basis — if it is a person’s intent to relinquish his or her citizenship. Moreover, there is no documentation that attests to Lee’s renouncing her US nationality. Such documentation is a requisite step in surrendering one’s US citizenship.

It seems to me that another crucial question in this matter is: What is the current official status of Lee’s US passport? Is her passport still valid? Has it lapsed? If so, has she made any effort to renew it? Has she officially relinquished it by turning it in to the relevant US authorities? Has any official US authority divested Lee of her passport — has it been revoked in any way?

Exactly what is the status of her passport?

I pose these questions because holding a valid US passport means that a person is a US citizen. They are equivalent. If a person has a US passport, then he or she is a US citizen or national.

MICHAEL SCANLON

East Hartford, Connecticut

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