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Don't Overestimate China: It's Still Totalitarian

"Sea change on China" (Asian Business, May 21) panders too much to China, a totalitarian power that is no different from the old Soviet Union except for the way it does business. The Bush Administration's policies are correct, given that all China wants to do is strengthen its productive and financial muscle while secretly building up its arsenal to reach that of the U.S. Remember the old communist saying to take as much as possible from the capitalist nations and then defeat them. China's policy toward Taiwan is belligerent and aggressive, and aggression should not be rewarded when Taiwan is a democratic nation in spite of the one-China policy.

Paul Severien

Robina, Australia "What business should be telling the President" (Economic Viewpoint, May 14) correctly points out the contradictions in the Bush Administration's approaches toward globalization. Bush and his many conservative friends often place free-market forces high above government interference in society. However, in international affairs, they failed to see that these same economic dynamics are far more potent and effective than unnecessary political confrontations in helping secure long-term productive and peaceful relationships with countries such as China.

Qiming Han

Hamden, Conn. In the past 10 years, Britain has been more successful than its European neighbors in attracting foreign investment. Your story, "It's time for Tony Blair to get tough" (European Business, May 21), suggests otherwise. European Union economic and labor directives, which have been all too willingly rubber-stamped by the Blair government, have pushed Britain into an economic slowdown, diminishing competitiveness and eroding the manufacturing base. Any attempt to devalue the currency could have adverse inflationary stimulus.

Further integration with the EU is likely to lead to more stringent labor laws, inappropriate interest rate policy, and punitive employment taxes which can only undermine economic progress in Britain. The economic success during Blair's first term is the legacy of the policies of the previous Administration. The effect of the policies invoked during the Blair term will be felt in the second term; the prospects look very bleak indeed.

Shabir Mamdani

Wembley, England As much as I detest federally mandated rules, it is high time for Mr. Bush and friends to get with it ("Don't write off energy conservation, Mr. Cheney," American News, May 14). As some anonymous Frenchman once said, "this is more than a sin, it is a blunder."

Frank Hultgren

Consejo Shores, Belize Rupert Murdoch's strategy is on target, and cable has cause for worry ("Bracing for Rupert's satellite attack," American News, May 21). DirecTV's monthly cost is about 25% less than cable, and it provides a broader spectrum of interesting programs in its basic offering. However, DirecTV subscribers give up their access to local cable channels. Given these alternatives, I plan to switch to DirecTV for the additional programs and to use my savings to attend local events.

Robert Wintermeier

Croton-on-Hudson, N.Y. I am appalled by Alan Greenspan's large surprise cut in interest rates ("The New Economy lives on," American News, May 21). Such surprises only affect the stock market and are an obvious pandering to the whiners who overspeculated, lost, and are now wanting it to be made better. As captain of the economy, his job is to plan a course and make fine adjustments as necessary along the voyage in order to avoid the icebergs and reach the Promised Land. His job isn't to spin the wheel wildly to and fro in response to the cheers or jeers of the passengers and crew.

Charles Herbst

Melbourne, Fla. I couldn't find any reference to earthquakes in ("The future of California," Cover Story, Apr. 30). I've noticed that potential immigrants from other parts of the U.S can overlook power crises, traffic jams, high gas prices, ridiculous house prices, crime, bad schools, overcrowding, high-tech failures, and the economy, but they're terrified of earthquakes. So please play up earthquakes in any future articles about California. We who live here would appreciate it.

Paul Franson

St. Helena, Calif.

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