A sampling of commentary from around the Pacific Rim:
* New Zealand "I wonder how many New Zealanders wouldn't willingly trade the dubious "freedoms" of gum chewing, the endless diet of sex and violence in our media and the near certainty that we'll be the victim of crime over the next 12 months, for the safety, security and prosperity of a state like Singapore."
--\o7 Letter to the Evening Post, reacting to an editorial condemning the caning punishment of U.S. citizen Michael Fay.\f7 " 'Punishment' is at the heart of the difficulties the U.S. is having with Asia. The offense too often appears to be as much defying Uncle Sam as it is pursuing questionable domestic practices."
--\o7 Editorial in the Herald, Auckland.\f7 * Hong Kong "By imposing these strict laws and fines, the Singapore government has given me freedom , a freedom that I cannot find in many places around the world. My parents never ask where I'm going or what time I'll be back, because they know that in Singapore there is no need to worry about my safety. The most precious freedom is the freedom of the mind and I enjoy such freedom thanks to my government."
--\o7 Letter to the South China Morning Post from a Singaporean youth, regarding the Michael Fay caning.\f7 "When considering the legacy of President Richard Nixon, it is useful to remember the lines from Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, "The evil that men do lives after them, the good is oft interred with their bones." In Mr. Nixon's case, that might appear not to be true. The villain of Watergate in his later years succeeded in erasing many of the memories of his own wrongdoing.
--\o7 South China Morning Post editorial.\f7 "The Sino-American relationship is entering the post-most-favored-nation phase even as the Middle Kingdom is gearing up for the post-Deng Xiaoping era.
The United States, however, has yet to display the kind of leadership and diplomacy that would anchor bilateral ties on something more than mere Machiavellian calculations.
--\o7 Willy Wo-Lap Lam in the South China Morning Post.\f7 "In international terms, Watergate would, given the space of time and reflection, turn out to be only a footnote in history. Richard Milhous Nixon, by contrast, will be remembered as one of the great statesmen of this century."--\o7 Editorial in the Straits Times.\f7