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Sidney Rittenberg, Sr. – Remarks at the Asia Society September 9, 2006

Posted by tkcollier in Geopolitics, Politics.

Sidney Rittenberg, Sr. – Remarks at the Asia Society Hong Kong Center 12th Annual Dinner

Fascinating lecture with Q&A from the American turned Communist, who also spent 16 of his 35 years in solitary confinement as an accused U.S. spy. Click on the link above to read the whole thing.In this excerpt he recounts his role as an interpreter for Mao and a letter to the us government, even as he was fighting our ally and his enemy, Chang Kai Shek:

The first reason was that, “You are the only country in the world after World War II that can give us the kind of reconstruction loans that we need to rebuild our country”, and he said, “We are not asking for a hand-out. We are willing to pay at the going rates of international interest. We have gold”.
The second point was — and I think this is what Ronnie was referring to — he said, “We do not want to be in a position after the war where we have to depend, unilaterally, on the Soviet Union because the Soviets are our comrades, but we are Chinese communists and we do not agree with them on everything. We need to have good relations with both sides of the world.” And, of course, we were too smart; we slammed the door in his face, and if we had not done that, in my opinion, both the Korean war and the Vietnam war would never have happened.

From what I have heard, China’s leaders hope that Hong Kong will become a model for the peaceful, orderly, political development throughout China and I hope that you and China will develop a model of democracy that is not identical with, but much better than, our American democracy.

The Western rights of free speech, free press and electoral choices did not come easy; they were won through centuries of bitter struggle. Since the Magna Carta in England that only gave a few barons the right to present opinions to the king and which the king tried to revoke the next year, 800 years have passed and now we, as free Americans, have the right to choose between George W Bush and the other guy.


1. randy - September 10, 2006

“I really, personally, I have a very strong feeling that, in a sense, the future of the human race depends on China, including the solution of these cultural problems and all the other things that we discussed.”

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