Friday, August 13, 2010

Letter to China's Ambassador Zhang Yesui












August 12, 2010

650 South Sweetzer Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90048


Zhang Yesui
Chinese Ambassador to the United States
3505 International Place N.W.
Washington D.C. 20008

Mr. Ambassador,

This letter is in response to a most disturbing article in the August 12 edition of the "The New York Times," about the impending prosecution of the Tibetan writer Tragyal.

We here in the United States know that somebody being prosecuted in China is going to jail, because you have no concept of individual rights and such politically motivated processes usually result in conviction.

Why don't you let this gentleman go? I'm not well-informed on the politics of Tibet and China, but, like Tragyal, I'm a writer who gives free reign to his thoughts about governance, and mis-governance, both in my country and around the world.

You and I, it is understood, hail from different cultures, but I'm unwilling to accept the idea that in certain places, the thoughts, emotions, and intellectual productions of a human mind have no right to expression in the public sphere.

One thing is jailing somebody for violence against the state, but to snuff them out for writing a book strikes me as beyond the pale.

More importantly, I do not understand how it is your government can destroy the lives of people who circulate their thoughts and opinions regarding the Chinese government's performance.

Is it flawless, your government? Do its many officials, to a person, never make a mistake?

I'll be frank Mr. Ambassador. I tire of reading about the torture, disappearance, summary execution, and long-term incarceration of people whose only difference from me is that they had the misfortune of being born under a system your government finds beyond reproach.

I frequently put-off letters like this, because another article, about another person with the temerity to question the Chinese government's way of doing business, is published to take its place in my catalogue of outrages against human freedom.

So while I'm at it, let me put in a good word for Hu Jia, winner of the Sakharov Price for Freedom of Thought, and Liu Xiaobo another writer for whom I feel truly sorry.

And I extend the same sentiments to other forlorn victims of your repressive state. You know their names better than I.

Your government ought to be embarrassed with the way it deprives China‘s best citizens of the fundamental right to breathe freely, and by extension, with the way it instills fear into each and every citizen.

A child is not a grown up because he wears an adult's clothes, Mr. Ambassador.

And China is neither a modern or humane country simply because it successfully shills cheap goods to people around the world.

Shame on you.

the highway scribe

1 comment:

Yvonne said...

Shame on him is right. I second this.