Letters: Cover-ing China

Just received the Winter 2011 issue of On Wisconsin. Did not like the cover at all. The content of the story [“Delicate Balance”] is fine, and the graphics inside the magazine are fine, but the cover glorifies the People’s Republic in a way that’s just inappropriate. It would’ve been more appropriate to use a graphic like the one on page 22 as the cover art.

Alan Cobo-Lewis MS’90, PhD’92
Orono, Maine

Really enjoyed the most informative and interesting article “Delicate Balance” in your Winter 2011 issue of On Wisconsin. Very best thanks to Jenny Price. This comparison between two giants was very informative to read, also from a small country’s point of view.

Anssi Siukosaari MS’69
Espoo, Finland

I just wanted to share my concern and dissatisfaction with finding the flag of China displayed — plastered — on the cover of the Winter 2011 On Wisconsin. While I understand the UW’s current plan on striking a relationship with a cooperative institution in China, conferring exclusive cover space — and by extension, respect — to a nation-government that routinely imprisons those who don’t agree with them, especially political critics, just seems a bit much — a bit “not On Wisconsin.”

Geoffrey Daniel Geist MA’91
San Francisco, California

I applaud Gilles Bousquet, the dean of International Studies, for making China the prime destination for UW–Madison students studying abroad.

As a Madison graduate and an American citizen originally from Hong Kong, I benefited well from my student days at Madison, not just academically, but also culturally, as I mingled with the communities there, bonding with some students as we became lifelong friends.

Although much has been said about China’s robust economy amidst the western world’s financial downturns, China’s stunning growth, fueled by vast consumer demand and massive government investments in infrastructure to facilitate domestic commerce, created a bulging middle class enamored of the American culture in general.

While statistics show that students from China comprise the majority of international students at Madison, not everyone in China who wants to come to the United States can afford to come. Despite the emergence of the middle class, an economic gap also exists in China between the haves and have-nots.

By arranging for UW–Madison students to study in China, Dean Bousquet implements a dual winning proposition of not merely preparing Wisconsin students to be relevant and employable, in his words, but also bringing the coveted American ways to their less fortunate cohorts in China.

It is true. When you say Wisconsin, you’ve said it all.

Henry Tse ’75, MA’76, MS’79
Rosemead, California

Published in the Spring 2012 issue

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