PUBLISHED : Sunday, 04 April, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 04 April, 2004, 12:00am

Protest could grow

The central government is inadvertently inciting Hong Kong people to unrest by denying them universal suffrage in voting for the chief executive and a fully elected Legislative Council in 2007 and 2008.

This is a warning to the Hong Kong and central governments that the demonstration by 300 students ('We didn't use excessive force: police', April 3) may lead to a protest by 300,000 if the mainland continues to misinterpret and manipulate the Basic Law, and raise unnecessarily the issue of patriotism as well as the lame excuse that it is too early to introduce the democracy promised under 'one country, two systems'.


Diaoyus' ownership

I wish to comment on the letter headlined 'Diaoyus belong to Japan' (March 31), by Benjamin Tsui On-min.

I do not agree with his view that the Diaoyu island chain belongs to Japan. In fact, America was at fault in the 'return' of the Diaoyus to Japan.

The island chain became part of China during the Ming Dynasty. In 1895, the Qing government ceded the islands, together with Taiwan and Penghu, to Japan, according to the Treaty of Shimonoseki.

But Japan had to return all the invaded territories to China in 1945 after its defeat in the second world war. This included Taiwan and its outlying islands, so the Diaoyus at that moment had been given back to China. Although the US ended the occupation of the Ryukyus and let Japan rule the area again, the defeated country still had no sovereignty over the Diaoyus. Geographically, the Diaoyus are not part of the Ryukyu Islands.

It is debatable whether China or Taiwan owns the Diaoyu chain, but it definitely does not belong to Japan.


Overseas education

I refer to the letter headlined 'Don't break promise' (April 2), on the issue of overseas education allowances.

I view the issue from another perspective. When I availed myself of my contractual rights in 1997, the price of the ticket was $60,000 - which worked out at $2,000 per year of service - and which, I daresay, is rather less than many people's free entitlements every month. I think I hear the crushing of sour grapes.

PETER BERRY, Lamma Island