Mocking of Lee's freedom effort is 'paradoxical'

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 16 March, 1996, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 16 March, 1996, 12:00am

Euan McCulloch's letter (South China Morning Post, February 28) mocking what he sees as Martin Lee Chu-ming's futile efforts to safeguard the rights and liberties of Hong Kong people while also passionately stating his own aspirations for Scottish independence, is paradoxical, to put it mildly.

Certainly, I agree there is no case against the logic and justice of Hong Kong's return to Chinese sovereignty. The apprehension of many stems from whether communist China, which governs 1.2 billion people, will honour its 'one country, two systems' commitment contained in the spirit of the 1984 Joint Declaration made to 6.5 million Hong Kong people.

Simple political expediency understandably makes this difficult for any sovereign power, given the huge numbers, and social and economic imbalances between the relative populations.

But after weighing up Beijing's human rights abuses, its savagery at Tiananmen Square, its repression in Tibet, its adventurist jingoism in the South China Sea, its irresponsible military intimidation of Taiwan and its public execution spectacles, there can be no surprise at increasing doubts that 'one country, two systems' will become reality.

Mr McCulloch, grasp reality and face the facts: the abysmal record of 20th century totalitarianism is obvious. You will be aware from your Scottish history that William Wallace's macabre public execution failed to extinguish his rightful and valiant crusade against English hegemony.

Centuries later his inspiration remains a beacon for today's aspirants battling for deliverance from totalitarian tyrannies.

Please recognise that the Martin Lees are sentinels whose vigilance is essential in an imperfect world where appeasement, combined with public apathy, provide opportunities for would-be usurpers of the freedoms we take for granted.