China is 'racist'

DAVID Chu's article on the status of ''foreign'' nationals in Hong Kong after 1997 (Sunday Morning Post, March 6) is a remarkable example of equivocation and distortion of facts.

In his biased defence of China's racist nationality laws, Mr Chu refers to China's so-called ''ethnic minorities'' and draws inaccurate parallels to the nationality laws of Britain.

China's definition of its nationals is based on race and is therefore racist. How many white Europeans or black Africans hold Chinese nationality? How can such people emigrate to China or acquire Chinese nationality when even marriage to a Chinese citizen, long-term residence in China or even birth in China do not gain nationality for persons of the ''wrong'' colour? Mr Chu's reference to ''ethnic minorities'' such as Mongolians or Tibetans as Chinese citizens is a gross distortion of the facts and insults them. Chinese citizenship is forced on these people as a result of the Chinese invasion of their lands.

There are no benefits of Chinese nationality to the Tibetan people, certainly no passports or rights to travel, no freedom of speech or worship and no right to self-determination.

Mr Chu's sideswipe at the UK's immigration policies, claiming the UK grants citizenship to white South Africans while denying the Hong Kong Chinese, is unjust and inaccurate. Exactly how many white South Africans have been granted UK passports? Certainlynowhere near the 250,000 passports granted to Hong Kong Chinese under the British Nationality Scheme.

Any Hong Kong Chinese born in the UK can acquire full British citizenship, as can all people of whatever race, colour or creed. Can the same be said of China? Mr Chu's article is prejudiced and deliberately misleading. It would seem that his objective, in addition to being an apologist for China, is to in some way justify the Hong Kong Chinese obsession with procuring foreign passports to escape the curse of Chinese nationality. Even on this point Mr Chu fails. Words like ''international'' or ''special circumstances'' do not successfully explain why the Hong Kong Chinese are so desperate to avoid Chinese nationality, and it becomes increasingly apparent that when Mr Chu refers to the ''welcoming of other nationals'' to reside in Hong Kong, he actually refers to ethnic Chinese holding foreign passports.

Mr Chu obviously has a vested interest in ensuring Hong Kong Chinese are allowed to hold foreign passports without losing their right of abode in Hong Kong. After all, he himself holds an American passport, though this point is carefully omitted from hisarticle. ROGER PRICE Tsing Yi