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August 31, 1967 - Image 121

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The Michigan Daily, 1967-08-31

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Orientalists Meet Despite Soviet Boycott

Orientalists Debate Propriety
Of Impromptu Political Talks

Scholarly - discussion and pre-
sentation of papers on the culture
and society of Asia was the chief
business of the 237th International
Congress of Orientalists which
met at the University August 13-
Attended by nearly 1,700 schol-
ars from over 50 countries, the
congress was both the largest in-
ternational conference ever held
in Ann Arbor and the largest Con-
gress of Orientalists held since the

founding of the International.
Union of Orientalists in 1873.
The congress opened with wel-
comes by University President
Harlan Hatcher; Humanyon Ka-
bir, out-going president of the
congress; Prof. W. Norman Brown
of the University of Pennsylvania,
Kabir's successor; and Prof. Rus-
sel H. Fifield of the University's
political science department, sec-
retary-general of the Congress.
In his welcoming speech Hat-
cher expressed his "regret that we

do not have with us the delegates
from the Soviet Union." The 60-
man Soviet delegation, headed by
Yevgeny Zhukov, vice-president of
the International Union of Orien-
talists, announced that they
would not attend the congress
"because aggravation of interna-
tional tensions caused by recent
escalation of the U.S. war in Viet-
nam and Israel's agression against
Arab countries, supported by U.S.
ruling circles, made it hard for
scholars from a number of Afro-

Asian nations to attend the con-
Hatcher noted that "just last
month a Soviet delegation was
here to attend a conference' on
nuclear energy, and 35 Russian
scholars" were here recently to
study English.
"Whatever may be the political
differences and the tensions that
divide governments, we are always
deeply sorry when anything inter-
venes with the very necessary and
prized intercommunication of

Romney Urges UN Seats for Both Chinas,
Progress, Communications, Self-Reliance

"The United States should
abandon it strong opposition to
admitting Communist China to the
United Nations, but' at the same
time it should not forsake Na-
tionalist China," Gov. George
Romney said at the closing session
of the Congress of Orientalists at
Hill Auditorium in the middle of
this month.
"What we all seek is progress
in an inter-dependent world," says
Romney, "and to enable each na-
tion to develop to its full poten-
tial." He cited three requirements
for the achievement of this kind
of progressive world: improved
communication and understand-
ing, a greater degree of self con-
fidence and self reliance for the
underdeveloped nations of the
world, and wise and restrained
assistance by the stronger and
richer nations.
"The greatest gulf which exists
in the world today," Romney says,
"is that between East and West.
We in the West must admit our
share, of the blame. Despite our
lnnrmous industrial and tech-
nological development and experi-
ence in self government, we lack
adequate understanding of others.
Need Self-Reliance
"Central to any lasting pro-
gress in a pluralistic world is self-
awareness and the principle of
self-reliance and self-confidence."
Every nation must work out its
own destiny in its own way. This
is not to say that nations should
not help each other, Romney says,
"but to put it generally and rele-
vantly, Asians must work out
Asian solutions to Asian problems.
To conduct foreign affairs be-
lieving one knows all the answers
is a serious mistake for any na-
The thousand delegates in the
audience, many of whom repre-
sented Asian nations, applauded
Romney heartily. Romney told
them "it would be in the common
interest for mainland China to
enter into the community of na-
tions and accept the responsibili-
ties which that entails."
"Year after year the knotty
question of admitting communist
China to the U.N. plagues the
General Assembly," Romney says,
"and since the voting began in
the fifties, the threat that Na-
tionalist China will lose its seat
has always been linked to the
seating of Communist China. The
problem still remains, generating
more and more animosity and
After tracing the history of the
issue. including the factors causing
advocacy of U.N. memberschip for
Communist China to recently
lose some of its momentum, Rom-
ney said, "We must not erect use-
less and arbitrary barriers to
Communist China's normal parti-
cipation in world affairs. We must
seek to remove any false appre-
hensivenes the mainland Chinese
may have about U.S. motives in

"It is my view that the trend to our own best interests," Rom-1

toward Communist Chinese mem-
bership in the United Nations will
tenaciously reassert itself. If it
does not at the upcoming session
of the General Assembly. then
soon thereafter. The danger we
face is that Communist China will
be invited to join as a substitute
for an ousted Nationalist China.
This must in no way bring a
repudiation of U.S. committments
to Nationalist China.
"I believe the persistent U.S.
throttling and lapel-yanking of
our United Nations colleagues to
maintain the same rigid position
on this issue will be self defeating
in the long run. Most of our allies
have already left us on this mat-
Hurts Nationalist China
"I am convinced that this prac-
tice actually weakens Nationalist
China's position in the United Na-
tions. And it does nothing to
further our own true interests, to
strengthen the cause of the United
Nations, or to foster peace around
the world.
"Given this situation, we must
be sure that we have our own
priorities in order - and that'we
do not become fixed to a policy
which is unrealistic and dangerous

neys says.
To carry out these goals Rom-
ney advocated U.S. adherence to
three principles:
"Unyielding support of con-
tinued U.N. membership of Na-
tionalist China;
"Strong international encour-
agement of Communist China to
end her self isolation from the
world .and to qualify herself for
full participation in the com-
munity of nations:
"Clear recognation that Com-
munist China must accept the re-
sponsibilities of membership in a
spirit consistent with the prin-
ciples of the U.N. charter.
China's Responsibility
"But ultimately the responsi-
bility is Communist China's,"
Romney says. "She must make
the decision. That decision may be
a long way off-but the future is
never entirely clear, and no one
knows What will come out of the
present turmoil in Communist
"The United States and the
United Nations must be prepared
for the day when those who gov.
ern mainland China feel it is in
their interest to accept the re-
sponsibilities and receive'the bene-

fits of close collaboration within
the community of nations.
"When they are willing to step
forward we must be ready to ac-
cept them. While they are un-
willing we must be unmistakably
firm," Romney says.
Bringing 700 million Chinese
into the international community
is a great challenge. If they are to
support rather than to disrupt the
peace of the world, they must be-
come intimately involved with the
world at large.
"For the day has long since
passed when the East could either
be ignored or exploited by the
West. The stability and health of
Asia affects the stability and
health of the whole world. And
Western attitudes and actions
have a vital impact on the future
cause of Asian history.
Energy, Vision, Prudence
"As we move forward in a crit-
ical and uncertain period in his-
tory, we must act with energy.
with vision and with prudence to
build the dynamic world of peace
and progress that we all desire."
"And in that joint endeavor, I
am heartened by the knowledge
that the men and women in this
romm will be committed not to
isolation but to communication-
not to react, but to enlightenment
--not to prejudice. but to under-

scholars, which always transcends
national differences and differ-
ences of governments," he said.
Following the Soviet announce-
ment, the delegations of Bulgaria
and East Germany also withdrew
from the conference. Despite the
Middle East situation, delegations
from Israel and several Arab na-
tions were present, while other
Eastern Bloc countries, such as
Hungary a n d Czechoslovakia,
seemingly ignored the Russian
announcement and sent their
delegations anyway.
Kabir stressed the importance
of international cooperation, la-
belling the congress "a key to in-
ternational understanding" and
calling for examination of the
problems common to all mankind.
He discussed the recent riots in
various U.S. cities, drawing par-
allels between them and those in
other civilizations.
He also cited examples of cul-
tures which had demonstrated
that it is possible for men to live
in peace under one civilization
despite differences in race, reli-
gion, or even language.
Kabir also warned against too
much detachment on the part of
scholars for human problems.
"The scholar must live before he
can study," he said.
One major disappointment of
the congress was the cancellation
of an address by UN Secretary-
General U Thant, who found him-
self unable to leave the United
In a message to the congress
read at the opening session, Thant
said, "The Congress of Oriental-
ists is, as it were, a smaller replica
of the United Nations, devoted
specifically to the pursuance of
many facets of cultures prevailing
in. the greater part of the world.
"The more we know about a
foreign culture, the more we are
able to evaluate our own prob-
lems. The more analytically we
look at our community, the better
we can understand others, and
understanding is the master key
to friendship and to peace, twin
aims which constitute an affinity
between the Congress of Orienta-
ists and the United Nations.

The relationship between "meet-
ings and declarations of a polit-
ical nature" and scholarly gather-
ings stirred some controversy dur-
ing the 27th International Con-
gress of Orientalists, held here
August 13-19. Several letters ad-
dressed to the Congress's officers,
Professor W. Norman Brown of
the University of Pennsylvania,
president, and Russell H. Fifield,
of the University of Michigan, sec-
retary-general, urged the congress
to take the position that "our or-
ganization is purely academic and
absolutely non-political."
The inspiration for these letters
was a meeting held at Canter-
bury House on Thursday, August
17, to discuss American involve-
ment in Vietnam. It was instigated
by people attending the congress
in response to a speech made by!
Brown in which he said that the
organization was a congress of
scholars and that political ques-
tions should not be raised.
More than 2,500 delegates at-
tended the congress, and about
300 delegates, a scattering of Uni-
versity of Michigan students and
faculty, and members of Students
for a Democratic Society, came to
the Canterbury House meeting.

Prof. Eric Wolf, of the Univer-
sity of Michigan anthropology de-
partment, who obtained the Can-
terbury House as a meeting place
for the group asserted that "if it
(the meeting) had been a plot it
would have been much better or-
Prof. Derke Bodde of the Uni-
versity of Pennsylvania read a
letter signed by 16 faculty mem-
bers of French universities who
are members of the Congress of
Orientalists, but did not attend
this year's congress. They wrote:
"we find it impossible to share
in the delightful hospitality of
that great democracy, when daily,
American planes are dropping
bombs on that part of Asia which
happens to be Vietnam."
Owen Lattimore, one of the 10
delegates of the congress who re-
quested the meeting called the
United States "the chief recruiting
agent for communists all over
Prof. Yves Hervouet, a specialist
in Chinese literature at the Uni-
versity of Bordeaux, said he lived
in Vietnam from 1950 to 1953.
Prof. Harry J. Benda, who
teaches Southeast history at Yale
University, who said the United

States by attacking communism in
Southeast Asia is fighting "the
only viable structure in that part
of the world."
Prof. John K. Fairbank, director
of Harvard University's Center for
Asian Studies and an officer of
the Congress of Orientalists, who
said: "We have a problem of U.S.
imperialism. Americans are fol-
lowing the same road the British
and French democracies took in
the 19th century. American power
is not being used properly. Every-
one in the government would
probably agree with this."
Brown, who received several let-
ters on the subject said: "I can't
stop people from having private
meetings and saying what they
wish at these private meetings. He
added that the incident was un-
likely to create further problems
because so few people knew about
Fairbank also said at the con-
ference that American colleges
and Universities lack experts on
Vietnam. Fairbank felt that al-
though the Vietnam War will
eventually produce scholars, Amer-
'ican efforts at both war and
peaces moves were hampered by
the lack of understanding.

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