Allegation - media speculation

PUBLISHED : Friday, 27 January, 1995, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 27 January, 1995, 12:00am

IT is difficult to make out whether David Chu (South China Morning Post, January 11) is merely strongly pro-China and Hong Kong or verging on racism.

Perhaps one should be charitable and merely refer to his anti-foreigner invective as a little blinkered. His assertion of 'British judges succumbing to public and political pressure in the conviction of innocents (sic) for terrorist bombings' may be, in Mr Chu's opinion, 'instructive', but as far as I am aware the allegation remains only media speculation.

Mr Chu goes on to praise the robust stance taken by a Singaporean who reckoned that Chinese authorities were far too lenient in their dealings with the Tiananmen demonstrators. This is the first time I have heard of mass murder being considered as a lenient form of crowd control.

As a corollary to that statement I would offer the opinion that far from Confucianist ethics being the cement of Chinese culture, the Tiananmen massacre proved the Confucianist state, with its enshrined right to rebel if the 'mandate from Heaven' had seemingly been removed from the ruler, was no more.

Let us not forget that it was the reactionary nature of Confucianism that kept China mired in the first millennium and allowed it to survive into the 20th century as little more than an enormous anachronism and a fascinating time capsule for historians.

Chinese civilisation continues because of the fundamental decency and toughness of the Chinese people and not because of the repressive laws that condemn hundreds to death every year. I do not take issue with Mr Chu's points about persecution of native peoples by countries of the West but to be fair to those countries, they have largely ceased this deplorable practice. The same cannot be said about China's actions in Tibet, which continue unabated.

As to his comments about those who are excused customs inspection in Hong Kong, diplomatic privilege is observed in most civilised countries and Hong Kong is far from alone in having a problem with enforcement of parking regulations on diplomats' cars: ask the New York Police Department about the trouble it has with United Nations staff (including Chinese delegates).

Finally, Mr Chu reckons there was enough begging in old Shanghai and Hong Kong. Begging is still sadly common both in China and in Hong Kong, although possibly not in Mr Chu's Repulse Bay area.