Hong Kong freedoms hard won

PUBLISHED : Friday, 08 November, 2013, 3:25am
UPDATED : Friday, 08 November, 2013, 3:25am


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I disagree with all points made by Alan Johnson in his letter ("Make the most of China's generosity", November 1).

Why do people pick Egypt as an example when deciding to knock universal suffrage? The country's military leadership is not the elected government.

Why don't we look at countries like Canada, Australia, Norway and Finland, where people enjoy a much higher level of living standards than citizens in undemocratic nations?

By using Egypt as an example, is your correspondent inferring that China will use force in Hong Kong? I cannot see that scenario being even a remote possibility.

Tiananmen, on June 4, 1989, happened because Beijing felt threatened. This is not the case with Hong Kong. Besides, any kind of military suppression here would send China into an economic abyss.

With countries like Indonesia, Vietnam and India ready to share the export pie in Asia, manufacturers would move out of the mainland. The property bubble would burst and the fragile banking system disintegrate.

The freedoms we enjoy today are the result of the Sino-British Joint Declaration monitored by the international community.

We do not have such freedoms because of China's munificence. Unfortunately, the Joint Declaration is rigid and the Basic Law that is supposed to guarantee our freedom can be subject to interpretation.

I watched Rita Fan Hsu Lai-tai, a member of the National People's Congress Standing Committee, on television in July, speaking to pupils in a secondary school. She talked of the need to take a small step towards the ultimate goal, consolidate and show a readiness for the next step. Watching it with me, my 16-year old niece quipped, "Bit by bit? 2046 isn't that far away".

Mr Johnson referred to the "mainland's benevolence towards us". We pay for whatever we get from the mainland.

In fact, Hong Kong is subsidising the mainland in many ways. The 150 migrants admitted every day, who are mostly unskilled, have placed tremendous social and financial pressure on the SAR. There are around 9,000 mainland students attending universities in Hong Kong.

Why would your correspondent even question the validity of what he calls Anson Chan Fang On-sang's "non-spoken words" on the need "to protect our freedom against China"? Has he forgotten we have "two systems"?

It is obvious which one is better. That is why the people of Hong Kong must stand up to preserve that system.

Tony Yuen, Mid-Levels