China's leaders ignore universally recognised codes of conduct

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 12 September, 2001, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 12 September, 2001, 12:00am

I refer to the letter headlined 'Tycoons seek to aid Sino-US understanding' (South China Morning Post, August 27), which states that the Better Hong Kong Foundation will change focus and promote better understanding of China overseas.

Why should the foundation act as a mouthpiece for the Chinese Government?

If this is true, then the foundation should change its name. The money put into this foundation should be used only to advance the good of Hong Kong and not be spent to correct problems with mainland China's image abroad, problems caused by faulty ideology and the policies of the Beijing authorities.

When foreigners criticise China, it is not because of some 'image' but because the ruling party refuses to act according to universally recognised codes of conduct, using flimsy excuses like 'Eastern values' or 'stability'.

When the PLA aims missiles at the Chinese people of Taiwan and threatens them with destruction if they do not surrender, what good is high-sounding rhetoric?

Most of the money put into this foundation was earned in Hong Kong, in other words, produced by the sweat and suffering of Hong Kong people. This money should be spent on producing jobs and income for our own people, rather than sweetening the image of remote and autocratic rulers. Let them hire their own public-relations experts.

Mainland rulers are spending billions on expensive weapons to intimidate Taiwan, to oppress the Tibetan people and to engage in wasteful arms development and space-age gimmickry. They can easily invest a few million to make them look good overseas, but who will believe them?

Actions speak louder than words. If Hong Kong's tycoons want China to be respected and admired, let them tell the Beijing bosses to be more democratic, more enlightened and more cosmopolitan. Who believes self-praising advertising anyhow?

Unfortunately, our tycoons have become so used to spending our hard-earned money for their own pet causes that they now want to do more 'shoe-shining' in Beijing.

Instead of contributing to Hong Kong's betterment, these businessmen have exported our jobs and factories to other countries, have opposed schemes to reduce pollution and have donated millions to institutions on the mainland rather than to better our own hospitals, schools and other much-needed amenities.

The people of Hong Kong will have more respect for the 'fat cats' who donate to the Better Hong Kong Foundation if they abandon this wasteful scheme and return to the purpose indicated by the group's name.

Let's stick to what we know and need the most, an improved Hong Kong business, cultural and ethical environment.