A Matter of Truth
Henry C.K. Liu
hliu at mindspring.com
Fri Feb 22 08:43:29 MST 2002
Standing beneath a banner bearing the copper Chinese characters for
"self-reliance and social commitment," Bush spoke in measured tones,
trying to avoid lecturing the Chinese. But his unmistakable message was
that the human spirit thrives better in America than in China.
"As America learns more about China, I am concerned that the Chinese
people do not always see a clear picture of my country," Bush said.
"My friend, the ambassador to China, tells me some Chinese textbooks
talk of Americans 'bullying the weak and repressing the poor,'" he
continued. "Another Chinese textbook, published just last year, teaches
that special agents of the FBI are used to 'repress the working people.'
Now, neither of these is true."
While the United States has its share of problems and faults, the
freedoms it offers shine "as a beacon of hope and opportunity, a reason
many throughout the world dream of coming to America," Bush said.
Americans relish their liberty, abide by their laws, limit the powers of
their leaders and respect others' right to religious worship, Bush said.
His declaration, met by silence from the students, rebutted Jiang's
statement, "I don't have religious faith," at a news conference one day
Jiang had been questioned by two American reporters about Beijing's
detention of Catholic bishops. In response, he insisted his government
allows its people to worship freely and that the bishops were simply
"lawbreakers." Aides said Bush had not been convinced and on Friday, he
told students he prays for the day when all Chinese can freely worship.
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