The Jan. 21 Business article "Marriott, others bow to China to protect their business interests" represented a long-overdue wake-up call to Beijing's global influence operations. It provided typical examples of China's use of economic coercion to curtail freedom of expression of private companies, a move inconceivable and equally intolerable to all sovereign democracies, including the United States and Taiwan.

We share the United States' legitimate concern regarding the enforced compliance of Beijing's political agenda on private enterprises and even university campuses. This type of coercion looks just like another episode of deja vu for Taiwan, which has been put under tremendous pressure by China flexing its growing economic and military muscles.

As one of the key trading and security partners of the United States in Asia, we join the American private sector to support and amplify voices of tolerance, openness and freedom.

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C.C. Chen, Washington

The writer is director of the economic division of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States.

Marriott and other corporations are shamelessly apologizing to the Chinese government for engaging in independent thought and freedom of speech. At what point do the benefits of increased market share exceed the costs of trading away individual liberties earned historically at so high a price in human life? Would the Marriott family renounce its religion if Chinese officials so demanded?

Just where is the line drawn?

Frank N. Wilner, Fredericksburg, Va.

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