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A Line of Distinction

August 24, 1986

In your interview with me (View, Aug. 13), there are a few inaccuracies, two of which I would like to correct:

1. I am not a visiting lecturer, but a visiting scholar at Stanford.

2. The coal-mining city of Tangshan had a population of 800,000 before the earthquake, of whom about 200,000 are widely believed to have perished in the tremor. Now, a practically new Tangshan has been built up.

More important, I did point out that a line of distinction should be drawn between the period of "cultural revolution" and the post-"revolution" period. Since 1977, much progress has been made toward justice, democracy, rule of law and economic revival and development. This fact has been acknowledged and reported in the United States and the world in general. The progress is sometimes tortuous and admittedly slow, but is steady. Under the circumstances, this is as it should be.

I do hope that more people in the United States will recognize the world-historic significance of the China Experiment for open, democratic socialism, now unfolding before their very eyes, and that my American colleagues will record this unmatched drama with sympathy and understanding.

XU CHENGSHI

Palo Alto

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