Referring to your editorial China can earn the respect it so clearly craves (January 20), the responsibility of China in Asia needs a serious assessment at this juncture, where India is climbing the ladder to create economic stability.
With the West, particularly the US, China continues its harmonising association as it requires to maintain the momentum that fulfills the interests of both countries. The Chinese president's visit to the US clinched billions worth of trade for his country.
At the same time, one cannot deny the fact that challenges exist between India and China, which don't allow both countries a comfortable interaction. One reason could be the imperfect demarcation of border areas. Another is the visits of the Dalai Lama and the Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh to Arunachal Pradesh. This provoked the Chinese authorities who lodged complaints with India.
Ever since Indian trade sectors were opened to foreign investments, there has been a flow of Chinese interests into India. However, this move raises security concerns for India.
Perhaps India could counter the situation diplomatically if it secures a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council. All the members except China are willing to accommodate India's thrust for a permanent seat on the Security Council.
The other key concern is the relations that China maintains with Pakistan. Pakistan's defence stockpiles and technology have a large Chinese influence and the technological know-how is continuously being transferred, mainly to counter Indian interests. China's association with Pakistan is always with an intention to boost its presence in the region.The prospect of a comfortable India-China relationship is a distant affair.
Ramachandran Nair, Oman
The question of student cheating
In reference to University expels 34 students for cheating (December 27), you'll never believe how many students think cheating will never get them in trouble. In my last semester I was writing a report about an information system in the UAE. Surprisingly, before my group and I gave our presentation, a girl came up to me with the basic information of the report and asked me: "What do you mean by this?" I was shocked beyond words. I discovered later that one of our group members shared the information with her friends without asking me.
But cheating isn't the general rule. There are students who still follow the rules against cheating.
Amna Aldaheri, Abu Dhabi
Praise for new maternity leave
The news article Women laud maternity leave law (Januarty 20) reported that Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed, Ruler of Sharjah, has signed into law a bill that extends maternity leave provisions. This news is indeed a big relief. Undoubtedly, it will bring much happiness and hope to all women. I live in Abu Dhabi and sincerely hope that this new law comes into effect here as well.
We women need to feel appreciated for the dedication, sacrifice and pain we go through in bringing new life into this world and then juggling to balance our family life and work.
In a developed country like the UAE where women's rights are so well taken care of, it certainly helps to boost the morale of all working women by bringing this new law into effect.
Ruby Philip, Abu Dhabi
In reference to your editorial A mother's right to work, to parent (January 21), Sharjah women can count themselves particularly lucky to get maternity leave. If you are employed as aircrew with one local airline, your contract is immediately terminated when pregnant, with no attempt to find a ground position. With another airline, you can get maternity leave only after three years of service. There is obviously a great disparity in the maternity benefits available to women in the UAE, depending on their nationality, employer and emirate.
TG, Abu Dhabi
Keeping our children safe
In reference to School-bus camera law is closer to realisation (January 18), it is a shame that such a case has ended in deadlock in the past. It is just so sad to see that the UAE is advancing so quickly, yet we're not able to issue a single law fast enough to curb such incidents as the alleged rape of a four-year-old girl on a school bus. This brings me to the issue of installing cameras in buses. First, how much does this kind of camera cost? I wonder if it is enough of a deterrent factor.
The next logical solution is to actually have a guardian physically present in the bus. Can we have better screening measures as to who to hire in the first place for this position? Would female drivers make a better long-term alternative? Until action is taken, why don't schools ask parents to help out? Why not have one parent per week volunteer to see that children are seen off properly, in a car-pool manner?
Sarah Abdulla, Abu Dhabi