Democratic yardstick cannot be used to measure communist system

I refer to the headline “Chinese Catholic Church demolished” which appeared on the front page of the HERALD on August 12, 2018.

Aug 17, 2018

Dear Editor,
I refer to the headline “Chinese Catholic Church demolished” which appeared on the front page of the HERALD on August 12, 2018. While this piece of news is disturbing to us as Catholics, we have to look into the perspective of the local settings in China. For the HERALD to print it so glaringly on the front page is unnecessary. I would agree that it be printed in the inside page, with the full report as it is.

Luckily on the internet edition of the HeraldMalaysia.com, it appears at the appropriate section in the Global News. I have visited Catholic churches and attended Masses in many parts of China before.

Recently, I visited the churches in Hangzhou, Shanghai and Fuzhou. These churches received funds from the central government to rebuild/renovate the churches. They are quite well kept.

At the same time, I have also visited Protestant churches and Buddhist temples as well. They have similarly received grants to maintain the buildings. Referring to the demolishing of the church building in the Jinan province, it is unfortunate that it was bulldozed down without consultation from the local priest/parishioners.

Please remember this is Communist China. It is not a democratic country. Whatever is planned and approved by the State will be executed. There might be protests here and there. But for the implementation of what has been planned, such action may be necessary, otherwise a lot of things cannot be done if they were thinking of “human rights.”

I was told that the US tried to build a railway connecting the Los Angeles airport to San Francisco. It had been planned for more than 10 years and did not materialise, and is still on the drawing board, after a few changes of Federal Government.

However, in China, they “bulldoze” development projects, use people’s land and compensate the people accordingly. That is why China can develop the “high speed train” projects in such a short time.

I would also like to point out that the land title belongs to the State. Lands are leased to the people for 30-60 years. There is no such thing as freehold land as we have in Malaysia. Even the ownership of a house or apartment is for a period less than 60 years. That is how Communist China operates.

We cannot use our democratic yardstick to measure the communist system. Whether we are agreeable to such system depends on where we are brought up, the system we are used to. On the other hand, with such system, we have to learn to “detach” ourselves from the “earthly” events/material things.

We live in the spirit of “To die is to live and to live is to die.” Without Christ dying on the Cross for us, we will not have eternal life. Without tearing down the old church building, we will not have better ones.

Lastly, I hope that the editorial board will be more careful in what is printed on the front page of the HERALD.

Our “protest” does not help in the process of the Catholics of China returning to the mother “Roman Catholic Church.”

Thank you.

Peter Wang
Via Email

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