Local Business Dealings a Key to Ethnic Peace

The Christian Science Monitor, July 24, 2000 | Go to article overview

Local Business Dealings a Key to Ethnic Peace


Your July 11 article "Nudge toward order in Kosovo" seems a little bit optimistic. I know the former Yugoslavia very well and am continually exasperated when I hear woolly statements from organizations like the United Nations and others talking about building a multiethnic society when their own actions have been questionable.

If there is to be any hope of stability between ethnic groups, forcing people together is not the answer. What needs to be done is fostering of small-scale economic programs between these groups, such as setting up UN-protected markets where traders from both sides can do business. The prospect of trade brings the prospect of prosperity, which does not require handouts or "aid" from international organizations. Business cuts across these ethnic cleavages and would bring stability to the region. Economic sanctions only entrench negative attitudes.

The day that the UN and other organizations start supporting local trade and drop sanctions is the day that relations between communities at their most basic level will start, and grow in some meaningful fashion.

A.P. Gerratt Etterbeek, Brussels

China should change its behavior

Regarding "China's new spin on propaganda - more information" (July 19): The negative image of the People's Republic of China will not be changed by their propaganda methods alone. That requires China to change its behavior. No matter how soon the Office of Foreign Affairs reaches the journalists, behavior such as persecuting Falun Gong believers, imprisoning Roman Catholic bishops, verbally threatening Taiwan, selling components and know- how to aid the Iranian and Pakistani missile programs, forming alliances with Russia to oppose US missile-shield plans, and oppressing Tibetan monks and people will not change China's negative image. It's not foreign reporters who form negative images of China, but its own deeds.

Francis Kai Cupertino, Calif.

Payment to Nazi victims is no solution

Nazi laborers should not accept compensation ("News in Brief," July 7). …

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