South China Sea
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Very shrewd

I SUPPORT Kevin Sinclair's article headlined, ''The Force's subdued march into history'' (South China Morning Post, May 9) . . . almost. The 150th anniversary of the Royal Hong Kong Police is worth celebrating and it would have been an excellent morale booster for the Force to have a public street parade and a first class PR job too.

Regrettably, I do not support Mr Sinclair's opinion that in denying them a ceremonial march down Nathan Road, the Government (on advice from London) was ''lily-livered and nonsensical''. I suspect the decision may have been very shrewd.

Military or para-military street parades are non-existent in Hong Kong; that is the status quo. By sticking to this tradition, the Government has set the stage for any street parade of the PLA for 50 years after 1997 to be condemned as a breach of the status quo and therefore the Joint Declaration. I don't suppose for a moment it will stop them, but it might be comforting for the Special Administrative Region to have this up its sleeve as a negotiating tool.

SAMUEL P. W. WONG Legislative Councillor Engineering Constituency