LettersNot just Americans value the pursuit of happiness. Chinese do, too
- Readers discuss the factors motivating talent, and the rights of Hungarians in Ukraine
I recall reading a newspaper article about a Chinese-American who, hoping to make a scientific contribution to China, returned to the motherland to work as a researcher, only to be frustrated by the bureaucracy. Yet, she remains reluctant to go back to the US. Many Chinese-American doctorate holders have contributed much to the US, only to be disappointed by how they are treated there. But Americans insist the United States is a cultural mélange, offering opportunities to many.
Influenced by John Locke, the Enlightenment philosopher of 17th-century England, US president Thomas Jefferson in the 18th century emphasised the rights of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”, as stated in the Declaration of Independence. Locke had mentioned “life, liberty and estate” in his second treatise of government. Clearly, one’s property and pursuit of happiness are interrelated.
“To live in peace and work in contentment” is a Chinese idiom encapsulating the importance of both protection of property and freedom to choose career paths and lifestyles, without which we cannot be happy.
Given Chinese people’s industry and wisdom, China, not to mention Hong Kong, can become the most influential world leader economically and politically if led by an enlightened government.
Barnaby Ieong, Macau
Hungarian interests cannot be overlooked in Ukraine war
Why? Energy supply is a very real national interest, as are self-determination and sovereignty.
There are about 150,000 Hungarians in the Kárpátalja region of Ukraine. As Ukraine’s leaders struggle against the Russian minority of the country, their frustration has extended to other nationalities, including Hungarians.
Since the adoption of an education law in 2017, Ukraine has systemically reduced the cultural and native language rights of Transcarpathian Hungarians.
If the leadership of a foreign country represses people of your nation, would you support that country? No. We are waiting for Ukraine to review its policy on Hungarians. Then we will see what happens.
Samu Tamás Gergő, Szarvas, Hungary