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July 14, 1965 - Image 2

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1965-07-14

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Seventy-Fifth Year

Overseas' Chinese-Asian Fulcrum


Where Opinins Are Pree,

NEws PHONE: 764-0552

Editorials printed in The Michigan Daily express the individual opinions of staff writers
or the editors. This must be noted in all reprints.

Lodge Must Be Firm
With Saigon Catholics

AS AMERICAN involvement in the Viet
Nam war grows to a commitment of
60,000 men, and as speculation by De-
fense Department sources puts the, final
total at "well over 100,000 men," a peace-
ful solution to the conflict becomes more
distant each day.
Operations like this one have an in-
conceivable amount of inertia behind
them; the United States long ago passed
the point of no return. The situation in
Southeast Asia, desirable or not, must be
accepted as an accomplished fact.
Given this analysis, it at first seems as
if there is little which reason can do to
ease the burdens of the conflict. Yet there
are ways in which prudent action by gov-
ernment officials can both make the war
more humane and bring the prospects of
a negotiated settlement closer.
these goals is the Catholic leadership
in Saigon. That leadership is now reported
to be organizing a campaign to urge
America's reappointed ambassador, Henry
.Cabot Lodge, to be more active against
both Communism and Buddhism than
they believe he has been in the past.
To understand the actions taken by the
Catholic community, it is necessary to ap-
preciate what a precarious pinnacle of
power the community occupies. Roman
Catholicism was transplanted into Indo-
china's urban centers by the French;
those who took it up became the Western-
ized elite of this particular dual colonial
society. Religion thus combined with eco-
nomic and social status to create a natur-
al breach between urban Catholics and
rural Buddhists. Catholics were in the mi-
nority, but still they wielded economic
and social power because of their urban
This duality has continued, with the
rural Buddhists often being "soft" on
Communism both because it is not in the
nature of the religion to condemn a par-
ticular political persuasion and because
a condemnation of Communism would
have estranged many from the Buddhist
These are. the basic reasons why Sai-
gon Catholics found it easy to be anti-
Communist and why so much of the U.S.'s
early anti-Communist efforts in the area
were funneled through them.
1UT NOW AMERICAN military efforts
require much more than urban Cath-
olic support. Indeed, it has been empha-
sized that victory against the Viet Cong
can only be had if the peasants are won
to the American cause. This re-evalua-
tion of American interests in Viet Nam
lies at the base of Catholic fears there'
and so at the base of their latest de-
Second class postage paid at Ann Arbor, Mich.
Published daily Tuesday thruugb Saturday morning.

mands on Lodge. Lodge especially is fear-
ed by Saigon Catholics, since he was the
first key American to explode the myth
of Catholic dominance, as his subtle role
in the ouster of President Ngo Dinh Diem
Specifically, the Catholics will make
three demands to Lodge: a "harsher"
bombing pattern in North Viet Nam, a.
pledge not to favor Buddhism and an
avoidance of committing himself to a sin-
gle military leader, as it is felt he had
committed himself to General Nguyen
The first two demands are obviously
to help Catholics maintain their position,
while the third would ensure their abil-
ity to have a voice in any governmental
All three demands have clear disad-
vantages from the standpoint of those
committed to a peaceful settlement of the
war. Whether or not increasing the
''harshness" of the raids in the North
would expedite the war in any sense is a
moot point; but if the raids were to be
stepped up at Catholic insistence, it could
not help but make the Viet Cong wonder
who in fact was running the war, a ques-
tion they must pose themselves often
enough already. Suspicions that it might
be the vehemently anti-Communist Cath-
olics are not likely to bring the Viet Cong
to the conference table any sooner.
CATHOLIC DESIRE for a pledge against
Buddhism is nothing less than a de-
sire to extend the religious discrimina-
tion which the West has long encouraged.
At first, under the French, it was prob-
ably no more ' than simple convenience
that Catholics were urged into the gov-
ernment over Buddhists. But institution-
alized convenience has become discrim-
ination, and the last thing the West
should do is to support it.
Urgings to avoid commitment to a sin-
gle military leader would be similarly
harmful to negotiation possibilities. If
successful negotiations are to be carried
out, it will only be possible if a stable
government can be formed. Merry-go-
round politics will not bring peace to
Viet Nam.
If reason among dissenting citizens has
been unable to prevent the short-run
escalation of the conflict, reason among
U.S. ambassadors may yet be able to pre-
vent such travesties of common sense.
IN MANY WAYS Lodge has set the course
of the war in Viet Nam. If, for better or
worse, that war is to be continued, one
hopes at least that Lodge will be able to
curtail the Catholic pressure groups and
bring the war to a somewhat less irration-
al conclusion than they might envision.

HINSHUA, the Communist Chi-
nese press agency, recently
published a statement by the
Peking-oriented General Union of
Chinese Residents in Viet Nam
calling on the sizable Chinese
community in South Viet Nam to
join with the Viet Cong in its
fight against Saigon and United
The statement marked Peking's
latest attempt to tap what could
eventually be an important source
of support for its interests in
Southeast Asia, a source generally
known as the "overseas Chinese."
The origins of the overseas
Chinese go back to the 18th and
19th Centuries, when Southeast
Asia developed asan important
trading link between Imperial
China and the West. Chinese ship-
pers and merchants moved into
the area, establishing control over
most, if not all, of its trade, while
still retaining their Chinese citi-
stabilized the area, this immigra-
tion expanded until Chinese com-
munities came to control a great
deal of Southeast Asian trade and
to comprise large minorities of
the populations of several South-
east Asian states.
Having made their fortunes
many of the Chinese did not re-
turn home, but stayed and formed
separate communities within the
nations in which they found them-
Controlling the economies of
their adopted homelands, the
Chinese merchants naturally came
to look down on the indigenous
peoples, many'of whom were liv-
ing barely this side of the neo-
THE URBANIZED natives com-
bined this Chinese coolness with
their own precarious economic po-
sition and resentment of the im-
portant positions held by for-
eigners and built up a great dis-
like for the Chinese. Intermittent
racial strife between the two gen-
eral groups in all Southeast Asia
was the result.
Broadly speaking, these condi-
tions have been maintained in
many countries of Southeast Asia
to this day, notably in countries
which have had peaceful change-
overs from colonialism to some
form of democratic government.
The Chinese are a minority, but
they own much of the land and
goods. They thus resent, and are,
in turn, resented by, many of, the
native rural population.
Most immediately important to
the West is the Chinese com-
munity in South Viet Nam. There
are estimated to be between 800,-
000 and 1.2 million Chinese in
South Viet Nam, roughly two-
thirds of whom live in the Saigon

area. The Chinese control the vital
rice trade in the South but have
exerted, typically, every effort to
remain neutral in the war there:
on the one hand most of them
are at least second and third
generation, and thus have few
ties to China, and on the other,
neutrality is traditionally the best
way to protect one's financial in-
BUT RECENT pressures on the
neutral Chinese community have
made American officials fear that
many of its members may be
driven into the Communist camp.
The principal cause of this pres-
sure has been the increase in rice
prices caused by Viet Cong inter-
ference with the rice traffic in the
Mekong Delta. These increases
have engendered a greatndeal of
ill feeling in many South Viet-
namese families against the Chi-
Premier Nguyen Cao Ky recent-
ly threatened to shoot several
Chinese dealers, and observers re-
port that court charges against
Chinese-later proven false-have
increased in recent months.
The resulting tensions in the
Chinese community in Saigon are
seen by many as increasing the
possibility of Communist cadres-
of a defensive nature to begin
with-established in the area.
THAILAND, a staunch supporter
of the United States in Southeast
Asia, has also recently become the,
target of increased agitation
among its overseas Chinese popu-
lation. Normally, Thailand has
been noted for its satisfied peas-
antry and the extreme degree to
which it has been able to assim-
ilate its Chinese into its society.
Thus observers report no suc-
cesses in Peking attempts to
alienate Thailand's -3 million
Chinese from the Thai govern-
ment. But a commentary on the
subject printed in the Chinese
Communist Party newspaper,
Jenmin Jih Pao, last Thursday
predicted, "A mass struggle is un-
folding itself in Thailand against
authorities who have betrayed na-
tional interests . ."
In addition, several hundred
Chinese Communist terrorists have
recently been reported to be active
along the border between Thailand
andand Malaysia.
MAYLASIA IS certainly the
country in Southeast Asia which
is creating the greatest problem
for itself in terms of Peking-
influenced overseas Chinese. Out
of about 7 million Malaysians, 37
per cent are Chinese who.
thoroughly dominate major sec-
tions of the Malaysian economy.
Following the general pattern, they
have kept an almost caste-like
separation between themselves
and the 3.5 million Moslem Ma-



--Associated Press
VIETNAMESE GUERRILLAS LEAVE their training camp, in preparation for battle. Their future,
and the future of all Southeast Asia, may well depend on the thousands of "overseas" Chinese who

dominate the economies of the area
Yet despite Chinese economic
importance the general policies
of the ruling Alliance party ac-
tually a coalition of several small-
er groups) are distinctly pro-Ma-
lay. Moreover, Malays have con-
stitutional advantages over the
Chinese, being guaranteed official
assistance in obtaining govern-
ment posts and other benefits.
A recent flare up of legislative
discrimination against the Chinese
concerning land-tenure laws pro-
vides an excellent example of pres-
sures facing non-Malays in Ma-
laysia. The Alliance party cur-
rently in control of the legislature
is a coalition of Malay, splinter
Chinese and non-Moslem Malay
(or native) parties; the party has
often stated its determination to
work for agricultural development
of Malaysia's backward areas.
tiated legislation this spring to
open public land for sale in the
hope that development-minded
entrepreneurs would buy it. But
when it became clear that much
of the land was going to be pur-
chased by development-minded
Chinese, the Malay parties in the
legislature bolted.
They convinced the native par-
ties to force a postponement of
the legislation, a postponement
which thoroughly embittered the
This bitterness set off a wave of
terrorism in Malaysian Sarawak,
allegedly under the direction of a
gang of Indonesian and Sarawak

-- - r - - y --- -- y- -- ++ ++v s++.v wuwa n.y. v.a viV.F NV WV' VilillLhl{ w}iiV

Chinese. The terrorism culminated
in the murders of two policemen
and seven civilians by the end of
THE MALAYSIAN government
has been very clear about who it
blames for the killings. "The ter-
rorist outrages . . . in these areas
were made possible by the active
support of Chinese Communists
there and the passive indifference
of many other Chinese residents
in the vicinity," Sarawak's chief
minister said.
In a move designed to eliminate
Chinese support for the raiders,
all Chinese living in rural Sara-
wak were moved to five guarded
compounds beginning last Tues-
day. In all, several thousand
Chinese , farming families have
been relocated.
Whether or not any of the re-
located Chinese families were in-
volved with the raiders or whether
or not this is the best, or even a
fair, solution to the problem, are
questions which the Malaysian
authorities have ignored in their
rush to secure the countryside.
EVEN IF these moves have
eliminated the raiders' base of
operations, it seems unlikely that
the government will be able to
keep several thousand families
under guard forever, especially
considering the large minority that
the Chinese hold in the legisla-
The real question is not how
successful the relocation scheme

will be, but rather, how anti-
Communist, if at all, are those
several thousand relocated fam-
ilies are going to be after they
are released.
Thus the problem of the over-
seas Chinese in Southeast Asia
today. To what degree could they
use their economic importance to
aid China's goals in the area? Do
they in fact hide Communist ter-
rorists, even for racial reasons?
But most of all: to what degree
does Peking influence them and
their politics? Clearly, the answers
must vary with the particular in-
dividuals concerned.
AND THIS FACT is what makes
a government's dealings with the
overseas Chinese so difficult.
Thereis always the dangeruof,
over-suppressing, uprisings, of
alienating those who are not Com-
munist in the attempt to eradicate
those who are.
It is an extremely volatile situ-
ation. Realizing this, it is impos-
sible to foretell a future role for
the overseas Chinese in either
advancing or thwarting Peking's
tile precisely because of the posi-
tion of the overseas Chinese, be-
tween two competing worlds with-
out any realallegience to either.
They could swing either way and
the way they swing could, to a
great degree, determine the future
of Southeast Asia.




successful the relocation scheme of Southeast Asia.

Latin America Alliance for Reaction


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EDITOR'S NOTE: Edmundo Flores
is a professor of agricultural eco-
nomics at the National University
of Mexico and at present a visiting
professor of the social sciences at
the University of Chicago. This ar-
ticle was reprinted from The Na-
THE ALLIANCE for Progress,
born a little more than four
years ago, has undergone an ugly
transformation andghas entered
a "hard" stage peopled by char-
acters out of the Pentagon, the
CIA and the Marine Corps.
The passwords now are military
aid, counter-insurgency, civic ac-
tion and armed intervention. The
Brazilian coup and the occupa-
tion of Santo Domingo are the
two better known - but by no
means the only-incidents of this
hard stage.
What is the rationale behind
the return to direct intervention
and United States military pow-
er? What are the differences, if
any, between President Johnson's
"Invade Thy Neighbor Policy" and
Theodore Roosevelt's "Gunboat
Diplomacy?" How will Latin
America react this time?
IN 1960, Cuba demonstrated only
too clearly that the pressures for
social and economic reform in
Latin America were formidable.
The defensive response of many
frightened American nations was
the Alliance for Progress.
In 10 years, with the magic of
10 billion U.S. dollars, the Alli-
ance would streamline rigid social
structures, revitalize economies
and page the way for political sta-
The miracle of the Marshall
Plan would be repeated in Latin,
America and Communist expan-
+sion would be contained once
more. There need be no more
Cubas in the WesternbHemisphere.
AS ORIGINALLY envisaged at
Punta del Este, the Alliance was

courage family farms. Effective
systems of labor relations were to
be institutionalized. Low - cost
housing, educational programs and
improvements of public health
and sanitation were the main goals
on the social-reform front.
annual increase of per capita in-
come by 2.5 per cent.
The Latin American oligarchies
like the status quo. They are con-
tent with their lot and do not
want change or development. They
fear reform, revolution and Cas-
Not surprisingly, therefore, dur-
ing the formative stages of the
Alliance, the conservative Latin
American governments disagreed
with its goals and rhetoric.
HOWEVER, as soon as the Lat-
in Americans cut through the un-
familiar pieties and torrid slogans
that the North Americans were
using so freely, and grasped the
essentially conservative character
of the enterprise called the Alli-
ance, they gave their support.
The Alliance was not designed
to put into effect real, fundamen-
tal irreversible reforms. Its pur-
pose was precisely the opposite:
To devise technological and ad-
ministrative improvements as a
means of avoiding drastic shake-
Insofar as the "reforms" of the
Alliance fulfilled these conditions,
great efforts have been made to
carry them out. Thus, President
Belaunde of Peru, an architect by
profession, pushed for the con-
struction of his pet project - a
highway in the Amazon (instead
of land reform); the Colombian
government began to build dams
(instead of land reform); land-
reclamation projects were launch-
ed in several countries (instead of
land reform); and the con-
struction of low-rent public hous-
ing mushroomed.

mechanism that operates wherever
there is widespread poverty, hun-
ger, unemployment, illiteracy, re-
ligious fanaticism and rigid social
stratification seemed to reject in-
novation as rigorously as the hu-
man body rejects kidney trans-
In the meantime, the econom-
ies continued to deteriorate. In-
flation rose at staggering rates,
food shortages and food imports
increased, capital flight persisted,
the exodus of peasants to the ci-
ties mounted, and the military
share of the budgets kept grow-
The plantations of tropical and
equatorial' Latin America were
rocked by labor disputes.
University students - the only
opposition not in jail or exile in
the countries run by the military
-went on strike, rioted and bat-
tled the police and the army prac-
tically everywhere.
When Thomas C. Mann be-
came the head of the Alliance in
1964, he added to it this military
dimension. All kinds of gimmicks
were tried to improve the image
of Latin American soldiers in the
military is the only group on
which the U.S. can rely because
it is familiar with discipline and
technology and is sincerely anti-
Communist is being pushed in the
mass media. Time recently called
General Barrientos, the American
Air Force-trained Bolivian usurp-
er, "the Steve Canyon of the An-
Thus, the inadequacies of the
Alliance, the anticipation of a
spreading revolutionary wave, and
the recognized incapacity of the
local elites to defend even their
own interests, resulted in hurried
attempts by the U.S. to increase
the political influence of the mili-
tary in their respective countries.
After the army, of course, the

ills of Brazil with "unconditional"
financial and technical aid from
the U.S., then perhaps the "hard
Alliance" would find a way out.
To believe that the pressures
for reform in Latin America are
created by Communist activities is
childish. The turbulence that per-
vades the politics of most of the
Latin American countries stems
from the prevalence of ancient
and rigid social conditions and in-
stitutions inimical to economic de-
velopment and social change.
As long as a handful of men
own all the land and a few for-
eign corporations control the min-
eral wealth, the public utilities
and plantations, Latin America
will be torn by violence and in-

THE COMMUNISTS are not re-
sponsible f': these conditions;
they only exploit them to their
own advantage. Mann should have
.learned this basic lesson while he
was ambassador to Mexico.
Ironically, Juan Bosch is one
of the few Latin Americans who
understands and values the great
democratic tradition which de
Tocquville admired: The tradition
of which FDR and his New Deal
form part.
The way Bosch has been treat-
ed and the clumsy invasion of the
Dominican Republic have created
more hatred toward the U.S. in
Latin America than the combined
anti-colonial propaganda of China
and Russia.

and Russia.

Harth Stirs Series
with Sweeping Recital

At Rackham Aud.
SIDNEY HARTH and his audience enjoyed a brilliant concert-second
in the University Musical Society summer series-of period pieces at
Rackham last night.
Harth obviously gets a kick out of the heroic violin repertoire,
and he plays it with gusto. One could find several graduates of the
Eastern virtuoso factories who could get through last night's program
with greater technical ease, but Harth projects more personality than
five fiddlers put together.
Opening with a strong Nardini sonata, Harth moved through an
Ysaye Ballade, a Bloch sonata, the Faure sonata, a Lutoslawski
"morceau de salon," and the tried and true "Zigeneurweisen" of Sar-
asate. Even the musical rhetoric sang.
HARTH'S ABILITY to project is little short of astounding; not
everybody can belt out the top of the second octave on the G string
above the massive accompanient of Brooks Smith. Mr. Smith is an
immensely capable pianist, and just about tops in his field, but he
manages to step on the toes of the music at times.
The violinist played everything with a determination not to slacken,
which at timemi--ht be uestionable. Perhans the Faure lost a little


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