Elsie Tu, in replying to my letter of July 9, seems to regard views critical of China to be foreign-influenced and those critics agents of foreign intervention ('Present-day democracy is definitely not the genuine article', South China Morning Post, July 22).
In this era of rapid globalisation, it is unrealistic and undesirable to expect any country to maintain a sort of 'splendid isolation'. While I agree that no government should meddle in the internal affairs of another, in this age of information explosion, cultural cross-fertilisation and economic cooperation, it is only natural that ideas, be they political, economic or social, get propagated globally. To avoid such exchanges of ideas would only risk intellectual and social stagnation, and to label anything as 'foreign' is ideologically parochial and makes any constructive debate difficult.
Many mainland cities are now enthusiastically embracing Western economic concepts and social values.
The alleged ills of capitalism that so irritated Mrs Tu are already taking root on the mainland with the blessing or connivance of the central government. Shanghai may, like Hong Kong, have its own Disney theme park, which some consider a symbol of American hegemony. If Mrs Tu is so sceptical about imported concepts, she should be criticising the Beijing and Hong Kong SAR administrations over the Disney projects.
While Mrs Tu chooses to comment on foreign intervention, others, with no less justification, may opt to speak out on the internal affairs of China, which may be more relevant to us Chinese. After all, not all the ills that China suffered over the past 150 years are the result of foreign exploitation.
There is an old Chinese saying which can be translated as 'The deeper one's love is, the harsher one criticises.'
Mrs Tu may have misinterpreted the motives of some local critics of China and of the Hong Kong government.