Letters to the Editor - January 4
The Washington Post Publishes Dr. Yang Jianli's Letter Responding to Former president Jimmy Carter's Jan. 1 op-ed, "How can we avoid a modern-day Cold War,"
Former president Jimmy Carter is proud of his role in establishing relations with the People's Republic of China. But, worried about deteriorating relations between China and the United States, he reverted to the submissiveness and moral equivalence that characterized his presidency and put the free world at risk before a totalitarian competitor.
Mr. Carter described the United States and China in neutral terms, as two essentially similar economic superpowers that must find a modus vivendi, ignoring the fundamental differences between the two societies, including China's devastating human rights abuses and increasingly aggressive militarism. As if to answer the former president, on Wednesday, President Xi Jinping, calling forth Marxist-Leninist historical determinism, said unification with Taiwan was "the great trend of history" and continued: "We make no promise to abandon the use of force, and retain the option of taking all necessary measures."
Forty years ago, American leaders normalized relations with Communist China in the hope that China would prove a good citizen of the international community, but, sadly, that has proved not to be the case. In this situation, more moral clarity and strategic resolve than Mr. Carter can muster are needed, for the sake of both the Chinese and American people.
Jianli Yang, Washington
The writer, a survivor of the 1989 Tiananmen Square Massacre and political prisoner of China from 2002 to 2007, is founder and president of Citizen Power Initiatives for China.