To the Editor:
Cultures are always evolving, and it may be difficult or even impossible to determine to what extent developments are influenced by contact with other societies. Charles Horner, in “China on Our Minds” [January], contrasts the analyses of 30 years ago, when “it seemed that the great tradition of China would prove no match for an all-conquering Westernism,” with current observations that tell us about “the spirit of capitalism and Confucianism.”
Mr. Horner is less than optimistic about the future of political liberty in China: “For imagining a democratized China in our age of Western confusion involves conviction and commitment to principle as great as the one which envisioned a Christianized China in an earlier age of Western certitude.” My own experience as a teacher at Hebei Univesity in Baoding, China, during the spring semesters of 1984 and 1989 leads me to believe that China is extremely open to Western ideas, for better or worse.
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