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Re “How China Sees the World” [June 17]: There is no denying that the rapid growth of the Chinese economy is a great achievement. However, despite all the hype over the rise of another superpower, China has even failed to establish a status of supremacy in the heart of its own people, let alone the world. Rampant corruption, deteriorating living environment, massive food-safety scandals, frequent outflow of talent and a judicial system largely skewed in favor of the ruling class — this is not the image people would associate with a superpower.
Yang Yang,

TIME’s courageous attempt at an objective and detached report on China was bound to fail — as no doubt Time is well aware of. There is no human being on earth who could possibly tell us how to run a country of 1.3 billion people with an infinite variety of tribes, languages, ways of life and population/income distribution. The alternative model, democracy, is itself in shambles — not only in the U.S. and Australia but also in Japan and Europe, with the possible exception of Scandinavia. Democracy only works well with an enlightened electorate free of ingrained prejudice. As it is, consumerism has drowned people’s capacity for independent judgment — in the nominal democracies, China and everywhere else.
Peter Matters,
Maddingley, Australia

Honestly, the idea of pax Sinica scares me. A country that still lacks human rights and democracy cannot become powerful in a true sense. Consent and coercion are both needed for hegemony, but it seems like China lacks the former.
Kwak Ji-won,

While no one denies that China faces numerous problems and challenges to reclaim its glory, the same problems, ranging from growing inequality to environmental pollution, are not new to other countries, including the U.S.
Bao Mingyou,

Silicon Valley’s Influence
Reading the article “Hacking Politics” ought to make one despair for the state of politics in the world in general, and the U.S. in particular [June 17]. It epitomizes everything that is wrong with modern “democracy” — the wealthy few calling the shots out of narrow self-interest, with little to no regard for average people.
Craig Holyoak,
Brisbane, Australia

As the article says, the tech sector’s lobbying spending has nearly doubled over the past decade. However, the statement that it is now “on par” with the defense and oil-and-gas sectors is belied by the accompanying graph, which makes clear that they have both also doubled their lobbying funds over the same period. The real story is the inexorable rise in lobbying spending more generally. Tech is just showing how, despite its founding myths, it is a mature sector like any other (even if more innovative). And like any mature sector, the large players want to skew government action to most benefit their organizations regardless of the prevailing will of the people.
Graham Oliver-Beech,
Sheffield, England

African Migrants in Israel
Briefing [June 17]: on what basis does TIME report as a fact that Israel’s “plans to deport thousands of African migrants” are due to “its desire to retain the country’s Jewish character”? This is mere conjecture and incorrect. Some 65,000 to 80,000 Africans have illegally infiltrated Israel over the past few years. What is salient is the illegality of their presence, not the fact that they are non-Jews.
Ardie Geldman,
Efrat, Israel

Indians Spell Success
Ye “Y Indins Spl Gud?” [June 17]: My homeland, Kenya, is continually in the news for offering world-class runners, most of whom curiously hail from one geographic location in the country. Many of us have accepted the fact that the men and women from there bear a special running talent in their makeup. And just as Pico Iyer can so easily express himself in the English language, so can the little ones win spelling contests. That is a gift, a talent.
James Louis Ndirangu,

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