National Geographic : 2008 Sep
LETTERS May 2008 China: Inside the Dragon Thank you for the excellent coverage of the good, the bad, and the ugly about China without judging, condemning, or demonizing the country. HAT LAU Palm Coast, Florida I have never read a magazine cover to cover-not until "China: Inside the Dragon" arrived in my mailbox. Fascinating. Beautiful. I wished for more. Alas, there simply weren't enough pages! CAROL FREELAND Lees Summit, Missouri What a waste of time and my money. I subscribe to read about diverse issues in the world, not just about China. BRUCE KOPETZ West Bloomfield, Michigan In 1988 I was a 19-year-old American student in Hangzhou, China. The doors were "open," but no one really had come through them yet. I remember thinking, if everyone here lives like Americans, the planet is screwed. The photo of the suburbs is my prophetic nightmare realized. JASON A. LONG North Oaks, Minnesota !W 1ONA.. IOGRAPH l China SIDE THE DRAGC BPECELL tlpUE By failing to include anything more than a few vague images and incomplete words on the Tibetan struggle, your presentation of China is dis appointing. You deny the reality of millions of Tibetans living under the occupation and human rights abuses of the Chinese government. DANA PETERSON Shrewsbury, Pennsylvania Just back from a nostalgic trip to western China, 83 years after I was born and raised there in a Canadian missionary family. I am pleased to see the multidimensional picture of China, especially the striking portrayal of capitalist economic growth and environmental destruction. Some people may object to your map portraying Tibet as part of China, although maps worldwide have done this since long before the Communist regime. DONALD WILLMOTT Owen Sound, Ontario Your map shows Tibet as a province of China. Tibet is widely recognized as a sovereign nation. The violent invasion, unlawful occupation, and brutal repression of over half a century does not in any way change that. I hope you consider issuing a geographically and his torically accurate map. DANIEL SEYMOUR Rolling Meadows, Illinois You will no doubt receive grief for your reporting on Tibet. The bare fact is that China does have a historical claim. But it would be an under statement to say the Chinese presence is insensitive to local traditions. What is called for is 8 NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC * SEPTEMBER 2008 considerable soul-searching by the Chinese and a good faith effort by all sides to arrive at an accommodation. DICK SNYDER San Diego, California My eyes at first did not see the "disclaimer" on the supplement map regarding Taiwan. That's a good first step, to print a disclaimer in fine print to tell readers there is some contro versy in the world regarding whether Taiwan is a part of China, or China a part of Taiwan. Still, couldn't the map show the two countries in different colors, with the disclaimer saying that while Taiwan considers itself a separate country, China con siders it part of the motherland? DAN BLOOM Chiayi City, Taiwan The issue of the sovereignty of Taiwan as distinct from mainland China is complex. The People's Republic of China claims sovereignty over Taiwan. While Taiwan functions inde pendently, its government has never formalized independence, and Taiwan is not recognized as independent by the United Nations or most countries, including the United States. Although Tibet was auton omous for much of the first half of the 20th century, it is now part of the People's Republic of China. Our map policy is to reflect the reality on the ground. Contact Us Email firstname.lastname@example.org Write National Geographic Magazine, PO Box 98199, Washington, DC 20090-8199. Include name, address, and daytime telephone. Letters may be edited for clarity and length.