The China Challenge

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China today proves to be a charade centered on massive overpopulation and pollution few in the West understand ["China's Global Reach," August 6].

I've traveled all over China. Seventy percent of its rivers suffer pollution, as many cities pump raw sewage into them. Those rivers are not fit for agricultural, industrial, or human use. Yes, the Chinese will eat us alive economically as they become the manufacturing center of the world, but their environmental dilemmas surpass anything on Earth.

Frosty Wooldridge


Louisville , Colo.  

Thank you for the excellent coverage of the relationship between China and the rulers of Sudan ["The Quest for Oil," August 6]. This was the first time I had read about how the people of Darfur were driven out of their homes in the south where the oil fields are located—oil that Arab rulers of Sudan sell to China. A group of American high school students recently participated in a hearing of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee to bring attention to China's involvement in Sudan and a possible boycott of the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Joseph S. Karol


Glendale , Ariz.  

As a foreign service officer stationed in Hong Kong in the 1960s, I reported to Washington on the nationwide disaster Mao Zedong had brought about in China under his Great Leap Forward economic and agricultural program. Washington was woefully ignorant of what was taking place in China. The cia directed the U.S. Information Agency to kill the report, "Famine: Grim Specter Over China," insisting there was no famine. Decades later, it was acknowledged that the famine had killed as many as 35 million Chinese. Today, China has another Great Leap Forward program underway. If China continues its present growth, it will force the United States into a secondary position among the commercial giants of the world. The United States must decide if it will support the defense of Taiwan, the island republic that has been a stalwart friend for decades.

Wes Pedersen


U.S. Foreign Service (Retired)
Chevy Chase, Md.  

In your otherwise excellent commentaries concerning the People's Republic of China, you didn't mention two important facts: the more than 800 missiles that China has aimed at Taiwan and the nuclear warhead missiles aimed at the United States.

Robert S. Kennedy Jr.


Camarillo, Calif.  

"Is China Taking Over the World?" Yes, it is. One recall at a time.

Ralph M. Gilbert


Macon, Ga.