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U.S. Relations With China

June 27, 1989

There's one thing we can do, other than just wring our hands over the China holocaust, still in process. We can protect the students here.

Now they are being photographed, spied upon, tracked down and threatened by undercover operatives of the ruling murderous junta. Retaliation is threatened when these students return to China, and/or immediately against their families now in China.

But the Chinese students and the Chinese-American community know these infiltrators, and they can be apprehended and deported. The attempt to bring the China wars into this country can be stopped at the water's edge.

Our laws are clear on the matter: The Chinese students (as well as all aliens) enjoy the full protection of the U.S. Constitution while here. International law is clear on the matter: Representatives of a foreign government have no right to carry out acts of political repression in another country.

The slaughter of Beijing students was an expensive act. Expensive to China, since it is consuming its bright children and since it has repudiated the international cooperation that made the China miracle. And expensive to the rest of us, since debts to the new China must now be written off, exploratory plans torn up, and a new and fretful economic frontier established.

But better we should accept these minor inconveniences. Better nearly anything but that China slip into the national psychosis that impelled Germany to challenge the world 50 years ago. True, the unfolding drama as yet lacks a credible Hitler among the ruling Chinese hard-liners. But we do have in George Bush, ably seconded by British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, a credible Neville Chamberlain for the necessary appeaser role. American outrage transmitted through this mouthpiece becomes a squeak.

DAVID ALAN MUNRO

Laguna Beach

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