Letter to the editor

China misrepresented in Stater column and editorial

Dear Editor ,

In Monday’s Daily Kent Stater, the sports reporter gives a “disillusioned” view of this summer’s Olympics. His pessimistic view is not as much from China as a host country as from the Olympics itself, an exhibition of elite sports. One day later, the topic of China is again put in the Forum. This time, the editorial view goes over triumphs and tragedies of recent China. Before I lay out my opinion of this Olympics, I want to point out two factual mistakes from both articles. First, for the Monday article, the phrase “documented underage athlete” is wrong. All of that athlete’s personal documents including her passport indicate that she is over sixteen. Second, for the Tuesday article, the issues of human rights and pollution are not top secrets in China.

I stand in no position to give a fair and comprehensive review of the controversial issues mentioned in these articles, such as Tibet or human rights. From this game, Americans have known more about China, a country with 5,000 years of history. I agree with the sports reporter that this Olympics is not just a sports event. But he sees this Olympics as involved with Tibet or human rights issues, and I see this game as connected with China’s determination to be a more open country. As we have seen in the opening ceremony, the Great Wall, a symbol of seclusion, fell down and became thousands of flowers. There is a strong message from this game – China is willing, and probably eager, to get well with the outside world and with nature. This goal is deeply rooted in this country’s ancient philosophies like Confucianism and Taoism. Recently, as a beneficiary from globalization, China has more reasons to carry on this task.

Surely, China is successful at conveying this message, but the success finally depends on the people outside China, whether they are willing to accept this message.

Dongjin Chen Kent State political science major