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Changing China

August 01, 1993

Robert Elegant wrote a very informative article on today's China ("A World of Change in China," July 11). However, I would like to make the following corrections:

1. All reporters mistakenly call the baggy uniform a Mao uniform. The Chinese call it "Chung Shan dress" because, supposedly, it was designed by Sun Yat-sen (or Sun Chung Shan in the Mandarin pronunciation) and has been worn by Chinese since the 1920s.

2. The Sung (South) Dynasty actually established its capital in Hangzhou (not Nanjing).

3. I traveled to China 16 times between 1978 and 1992 and I have relatives and friends in many cities. I do not have the impression as Elegant stated: " . . . the obvious suppression of thought and speech can be disturbing to outsiders, as well as Chinese." All people I met can and dare to say anything they want, including criticizing their government.

K. C. WU

Westminster

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I dispute Elegant's characterizing of Tsingtao beer as coming from Tientsin. It's always been brewed right in Tsingtao. HEINZ J. PULVERMAN

Los Angeles

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Having just returned from a 15-day tour of China plus a 2-day stay in Hong Kong, I read Elegant's article with interest. There were several judgments that go contrary to my own experiences.

For instance: He severely criticizes the guides of the official China International Travel Service (CITS). Our tour group dealt with 10 of them and all of us were impressed with their knowledge plus mastery of English.

Then, there is the matter of domestic air travel. We flew with four different domestic carriers and the service was good, the plane clean and the only thing we noticed as far as the flights were concerned is that the pilots lacked some experience in landing their planes smoothly.

KURT G. WUNDERLICH

San Juan Capistrano

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